Chapter four of this multipart series discusses appropriation and essentialism in white feminist spirituality and/or white environmentalist circles. The full text is available at unquietdead.tumblr.com; we will be posting recordings of other chapters in the future.
" I have felt troubled for some time over some white feminist practice and advocacy of essentialist 'nature spiritualities.' This tendency is certainly not limited to feminists, but I find it most upsetting as it is performed by them—the political deployment of a belief structure under the premise of sisterhood can be insidious. If we are against fascism, we must ask in what ways we are replicating its themes in our struggle for freedom, and how may we fight that tendency. I write not as part of a relentless drift towards inertia, the enforcement of identity politics that prevents movement; rather, I want to examine the real friction present between white feminists and those they are trying to save. Essentialism has poisoned our common well for too long."
Musical interludes - Sleater-Kinney - Stay Where You Are
" When the Goddess becomes a white woman, is She any less terrifying than the Christian God—and if so, is that not a reaffirmation of essentialist misogyny? How can we approach issues of gender, race, spirituality and the “natural world” without reinforcing the oppressive constructs inherent in each? How can white people show real solidarity to those with marginalized histories, the kind of solidarity that changes our mutual present? How can people of color engaged in resistance to white supremacy and efforts towards self-actualization be recognized in ways that do not prop up racial difference or assimilationist enclosure?"
You can also listen to the Cyborg Manifesto, which is discussed in this text.