Trigger warning: Rape and Sexual Violence

Pixabay

It was a warm summer day and I was on my way to a friend’s party in New York City, serving up a big look in a form-fitting, red lace dress. Still new to the city, I stopped for a moment to analyze the map on my phone, when I heard someone call out my name in a friendly and surprised tone. I turned around to see who it was, and there on the street was my rapist, smiling at me.

Rewind a few more years back. I met this guy through mutual friends…


How I learned to see the ways that I unconsciously reinforce the norms I’m fighting — or — How I realized I was a fuck boy.

“Mask” by liber is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

I like to talk to people, particularly male-bodied people, about what feminism means to them. It’s not so much a litmus test as it is a method of learning about a person’s thought process, analysis, and reasoning — although I will ghost a chauvinist quickly. One of the common misconceptions I come across is that “feminism” is about what men do, or don’t do, to women. …


Four years ago after the election, the first thing I did was make a sign that read “Confront Whiteness” to carry into the streets the next day. I had tried to convince myself that the polls and reporting were right, that Trump would lose, but I couldn’t shake the nagging suspicion that racism, xenophobia and hatred and derision for the ‘other’ would prevail. Our society had yet to really confront the unifying factor in all those things: the insidious construct of “whiteness” and the right to domination it bestowed upon people whose physical traits fit the social prescription.

Soon after…


One of the core myths of white supremacy is that Europeans are the only group of people in history who have built international empires and “advanced” civilization.

In grade school, my “world” history classes reinforced this notion, drawing a straight line from Ancient Egypt (the white-washed version) leading to the Greek and Roman empires, and then exclusively European history for the rest of the year.

As a child reading the National Geographic magazines that my grandparents bought for me, I was excited to learn about the historical empires of east Asia, India, Central America and the Andes in South America…


Today’s #BlackHistoryMonth challenge is a re-up from 2018, because the soul-crushing experience of poverty is one that confuses poor white folks who are told we have “privilege”. My testimony is a time I directly benefitted, monetarily, from white supremacy, while still being broke as hell.

I left home soon after graduating high school, moving to New Orleans with about $300 and an old car. I shuffled through a variety of terrible, low-wage jobs before I found some stability in the food service industry.

I worked two jobs, one of them was at a now-shuttered pasta chain. This was my “fancy”…


When I began waiting tables at the restaurant I described yesterday, with the all-white waitstaff and all-Black back of house, one day a fellow waiter complained to me about having an all-Black party seated in her section.

“Black people don’t tip,” she said bluntly, “and they just want to eat the free bread.” She sighed heavily as she grabbed the basket of bread and butter and walked out the kitchen.

I was shocked, and turned to another coworker, who shrugged at me and said, “I don’t know, it’s unfortunate but it’s true.”

I got pretty bent out of shape about…


Day 13, and I want to again hold myself accountable. The purpose of the #BlackHistoryMonth challenge is to help other white and white-passing folks become aware of anti-Blackness in our society. It is not to shame others or claim I’m the best, wokest ally. We ALL have internalized white supremacy, because it is indoctrinated throughout our society. By holding myself accountable, I hope I help foster understanding that we must also look within.

So, here goes. I remember a time when I used to be excited when I could introduce Black people that I knew to each other. …


Day 15 of the #BlackHistoryMonth challenge is inspired by the incomparably brilliant Dr. Tami Lee, who noticed today’s Google doodle featured an image of suffragist Susan B. Anthony above a line of predominantly Black and Brown women going to vote.

Except that Susan B. Anthony campaigned against the right of Black people to vote. (And it should be noted that “Brown” people like indigenous people, Mexican-Americans, even Asian-Americans, were not even part of the conversation until a century later.)

This is really worth some unpacking, because the feminist movement is largely unchanged 150 year later. We’ve picked up a few…


Day 16, I’m following up on yesterday’s post about the shameful history of Susan B. Anthony with some testimony from the trenches of modern feminism.

After the 2016 election, I was appointed Head of Communications for a then-unknown organizing effort which would become the 2017 Women’s March on Washington. I could write books about the things I witnessed as I shepherded the messaging for the march, but I don’t do things to draw attention to myself.

I try to speak only when I truly believe what I have to say is necessary and useful.

All of the things that white…


For #BlackHistoryMonth, I’m once again challenging myself to break the veil of white supremacy and think of 29 instances (leap year!) in which I’ve seen it operating around me.

I’m doing this in addition to watching documentaries and reading books that celebrate the contributions of Black people in the U.S. and worldwide, because it is a month intended for this kind of education. I’m also attending anti-racism trainings for myself, which I invite you to attend in NYC, or find some in your area as well.

White supremacy is the built into the foundation of this culture, and we have…

Cassady Fendlay

Dismantling systems of oppression, inside and out.

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