I kinda can’t believe this is happening. My book is available on Amazon!
Liberal white women, with our pink pussy hats and iPhones, want to do the right thing so badly. We want equality, a government that doesn’t cage immigrants. Healthcare. An end to rape culture and poverty. Etc. We usually get what we want, let’s be honest, but now we watch in horror as racism and bigotry we thought vanquished emerges from the shadows. It’s like Voldemort is back.
Speaking for myself, I am only just beginning to comprehend how I have benefited from white supremacy. The words choke me; shock me with their truth. I live in a system designed by white men for their benefit and white women, as their sidekicks, have sidled up to their desire, complicit participants of patriarchy. We have enjoyed protection, money, power, and a perception of safety within their system. Our compliance does not protect us from their rage and misogyny, however, we have accepted that, perhaps even getting off a little bit on the attention. Until now. But even as we creep ever closer to the halls of autonomy reserved only for them, sneaking in through the windows and side doors, we have left women of color behind. There is no sisterhood, only allegiance to race.
Finally, liberal white women leaders with voices loud and clear are helping us understand the betrayal and racism built in to our societal position. Glennon Doyle, Dr. Brené Brown, and Elizabeth Gilbert. To name a few.
As Glennon Doyle explained, “We have struggles and problems despite being white but not BECAUSE we are white.”
I am starting to get it.
Now I have a call to action. Strong leaders who have the ear of white liberal women: please continue speaking AND direct your audiences to the women of color who are the educators, the women with lived experience who speak to us with eloquent rage.
To name a few.
As Kaitlyn Greenidge says, “Until you recognize the harm white women can cause to Black people, even while being the subject of misogyny by white men, you aren’t equipped to do the work of liberation. You’re merely advocating for this same system, with you at the top.”
As Dr. Brown says, “Our comfort is not on the table.” And “Yes, we are going to have our asses handed to us.”
Please bring these speakers, scholars, writers, educators to the forefront of this conversation where they belong. You have our attention, please turn it to them, if you have not already done so. (Disregard this message if you have already responded.) Because the next step, after understanding the depth of our privilege, is to be able to articulate the damage we do to those who don’t know and don’t care.
Equality means for all us.
We cannot slay the patriarchy without opening minds. We cannot open minds if we are clumsy with the conversations. If we are scared of being “not nice.” Of rocking the boat and disrupting Thanksgiving dinner.
It’s time, its way past time, to get uncomfortable.
The clock is ticking. Our democracy is rapidly slipping away. The lives of women of color depend on our willingness and ability to do this work.
Women were property since before the beginning of recorded history. How did it start? Because of differences in physical strength or because of chemical differences in the brain? Whatever the reason(s) we got owned. Religion and politics combined to use that power to keep women as possessions and make us believe we belonged there. We were bought, sold, and traded along with children and livestock.
Like trapped rats, we turned on each other as we competed for men, protection, for resources for ourselves, and for our children.
We have a little bit of power now. A little bit of a voice. The separation of church and state, laws allowing women to own property and to vote are relatively new phenomenon. We are still fighting for bodily autonomy. We are still fighting to be heard and believed. In Ohio, where I currently live, marital rape is not illegal. We still have so far to go.
My question is, what are the white evangelical women who vote against themselves (and the rest of us) thinking? Every vote for a conservative white male, every moment of disinterest, every shrug at the expense of other women is action taken in favor of our own oppression. Is there any way to throw open the doors to sisterhood and consider women first? To see the larger picture of bringing us all along together?
If we do not support each other, we are choosing to maintain the web of power, secrecy, and rape that allows men like Jeffrey Epstein to have a Pedophile Island at his disposal. For billionaires and politicians around the globe to satisfy their sick, perverted whims at the expense of little girls.*
Having more women in power puts a chink in the web of male protection that is currently in place. Every single female in office, or in any position of power, rips a hole in that web. In the web of smug winks, nudges, and open secrets. The web in which little girls are raped.
It is time, it is way past time, for women to stand together to burn down the web of protection that exists for the benefit of men.
It is time, it is way past time, for good men who would never participate in such things to understand how they benefit from the status quo.
It is time, it is way past time, for white women to understand how we benefit from siding with the money, power, and security supplied to us by our relationships with white men. We have hidden behind them, cloaked ourselves in comfort. Quoted scriptures to justify our betrayal. We are no longer silenced by branks. We are no longer burned at the stake for speaking out. We cannot pretend we do not see institutional racism, poverty, sexual assault, and bigotry.
We cannot pretend the balance of power is not within our grasp.
*Epstein was assisted by at least one woman, Ghislaine Maxwell. She is evil, too.
Trauma lives in our bodies like a chronic disease. I relate to every word of this. Isn’t it a relief when someone is able explain what you carry inside?
The Process of Leaving and Dealing With Trauma
— Read on survivingchurchandchildhood.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/the-process-of-leaving-and-dealing-with-trauma/
I have a questionable habit of sharing politically incendiary articles on Facebook. Usually no one reads them, but recently passions are high, with babies in concentration camps and ICE ransacking communities, etc. I shared the following list of steps to genocide. The list makes sense to me; has the ring of truth.
Then a Facebook stranger dropped some other heavy truth on me.
Meh. The government is already on stages 8, 9 and 10 with Black people. The government has been on a continuous stage 8,9, and 10 with Black people. We’re not seeing how everyone else thinks this is something new that you guys are doing.
And I thought holy shit, she’s right. Despite reading and researching and listening and trying to understand the ways in which I benefit from white supremacy (ALL THE WAYS), my privilege is so deeply tentacled into the very fabric of life as a white person that it’s like trying to see through my skin. The United States was literally founded on white supremacy. Native Americans were of Satan, killed, enslaved, disregarded. Black people were the same.
White women aligned ourselves with all-powerful white men, ensuring our second in line to the top of the heap spot, where we remain. Money, power, security. We are safe and protected as long as we know our place. (see Christine Blasey Ford as explained by Brittney Cooper) White women learned about female political power from the Iroquois women, who held equal political power with men of their clan.* We fought for that power for ourselves, but left women of color behind. Because it was too hard to include them or because we just did not care? Now we vote for misogynistic and oppressive policies and people, the results of our votes (ok not mine, but 53% of us) negatively effect women of color more than anyone else.
This post has meandered. I know. I currently have no conclusions.
Rumor has it I have been slacking with the blog posting situation. It is true. I have taken a giant step away from social media lately in order to enjoy my school break and to relish the completion of my book launch. I have been hanging out with the hubby, the dog, my daughter, reading, going to yoga, and breathing. Whew.
Here are some things I have learned during my first year in Ohio:
Midwesterners are kind.
Gentle landscapes are just as beautiful as dramatic scenery.
Wildlife is completely different-giant groundhog things and muskrats, cardinals and yellow finches. No whales.
It takes time to relax into love.
The sharp pointy edges of emotional armor require conscious effort to dismantle and set aside. Taking them off is merely the first freeing, weightless step. Then comes inching away from the weapon pile. Letting them gather dust and rust. Wandering so far away you can’t remember where they are or how you ever got them on.
The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid:
“This book was not an easy read. I grew up in a UPC church as well and at times it all hits too close to home. The author is so brave in her telling of her story! This is a wonderful read for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Christian denominations that exist on the fringe. The author’s vulnerability allows us into a world that many people never see filled with rapture anxiety, purity culture, and the pressure to be good enough. Beyond the church and the damage, it caused is a story of hope, self-acceptance, and self-love. She touches on religion, family, love, lost love, and finding and accepting oneself. I’m grateful she shared her happy ending because it gives hope to all of us raised in that atmosphere. I can’t wait to read what she writes next!”
Check out: Surviving Church and Childhood Blog
What is that one thing you always come back to? That one thing you can never not adore? For me, it’s cheese. Cheeeeeese.
I came up with this while playing around with poetry as short-form memoir during Creative Writing class.
Only Love Remains
How did we begin, my one true love? My passion for you endures unabated. I remember in the early days, a hastily ripped cardboard box, frantically searching for the indented foil seam and ripping back the shiny slick casing. Carefully fingering you onto my tongue as that first mouthful dissolved into creamy liquid that slid slowly down my throat. The melting plasticity of Velveeta cheese food product will always take me back to our first time. As Mom swirled Velveeta into hot elbow macaroni noodles in her blackened bottom pot, the liquid gold slithered through the curved tube creating a heavenly goo so runny it had to be eaten with a spoon.
Changing circumstances took their toll on our relationship over the years. An absent father with dark secrets coincided with subtle shifts in refrigerator contents. Slabs of dense government cheese-American, of course, Ronald Reagan’s gift to the Dairy Farmers of America, filled cheap bread several meals a day. My abandoned, anxiety-ridden mother despised my gluttony, hated me fat, but couldn’t stop me from eating. She had enough on her plate. Dad showed up long enough to forbid her from taking charity and then there was no cheese at all.
How I missed you.
Then, the joys of marriage and two modest incomes provided several packages a week where we could hide the knowledge that we had made a colossal mistake. What better way to fill the holes of missing pieces than with grated four cheese Mexican flavored topping.
Inevitably, backlash came in the form of self-imposed hungry years. Fat-free feta and scant sprinklings of parmesan marked by long periods of abstinence. I shunned you, please forgive me.
And now, now that we have reconnected, slim slices of Manchego and pungent veiny Amish bleu, artfully arranged with seasonal fruit and paired with a crisp Rosé fill my palate with undertones of bourgeoisie as we stroll into the sunset. I will never leave you again.