The Next Step

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.

Dr. Brittney Cooper

Layla F. Saad

Tori Williams Douglass

Kaitlyn Greenidge

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.

Cooper’s perfect response to that horrible CNN interview.

 

 

Women (Not) Supporting Women

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.

Vote like your life depends on it because someones does.

vote

*Epstein was assisted by at least one woman, Ghislaine Maxwell. She is evil, too.

 

Truth Bomb

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.

genocide

Then a Facebook stranger dropped some other heavy truth on me.

She commented:

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.

Song of the Day: Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday

Me and White Supremacy Challenge

*source-Washington Post article on suffrage movement

 The Uncomfortable Confessions Of a Preacher’s Kid