Last week, we read some of Sydne Rain Gray’s tweets from her perspective of the Women’s March. Sydney is a student who attends Oklahoma University and studies indigenous studies. She attended the march with a group she co-founded called Indigenous Women Rise. Throughout the march, she live tweeted from an indigenous woman’s perspective on the entire thing, and from reading the tweets and speaking to her over Skype as a class, we learned that it was an overall disappointing experience for her and her group. She found that the white women around her were disrespectful, and at one point, even walked throughout her group’s prayer circle. Many white women gave them weird looks while her group was chanting indigenous sayings. She and the folks she was with felt like they didn’t have a voice, given that they tried several times to hand out fliers on current issues facing indigenous people in the U.S. such as pipelines and fracking. Over Skype, Sydney discussed how she of course, doesn’t hate white people, but was commenting on how feminism has still not fully become intersectionalized. Many women of color are still forgotten in the feminist movement, and she continues to work towards the goal of having more indigenous women’s voices heard.
At first, when I read Sydney’s tweets, I was sad for her and her group, and also felt a bit like she hated white women. I tried understanding her perspective through her tweets, but it became difficult when I felt that she was bashing many white women at the march. However, when she spoke to our class over Skype, I finally understood what her purpose was by live-tweeting the event. She reassured us that she didn’t hate white people, but was more pointing out the disappointments she had with some of the women there who were blatantly disrespecting her group. I also finally understood the concept of intersectionality as many people’s reality. Indigenous people in the U.S. are barely recognized by our government, and most times they are forgotten even though they dealt with firsthand effects of colonialism. I’m really looking forward to learning more about intersectionality and feminism with regard to indigenous women in the U.S.
I’d be curious to know if indigenous men are supporting of the indigenous feminist movement. I would like to know more about the indigenous culture after listening to Sydney.