I know many of y'all don't hang out on the main page, particularly articles that seem potentially click-baitish. But this was an interesting essay, and I want to open my comment up to the rest of you. 12 Years a Slave: Rage, Privilege, Black Women and White Women

I feel as if maybe now isn't the time for hashtags calling for solidarity, or for white women to "do" - it is a time for white women to listen. "Meaningful discussion" and "brutal honesty" are perhaps for another time, sadly maybe even another generation. Not because both groups don't want solidarity, but because I don't think white women are (or should be?) allowed brutal honesty. Why should our voices be heard equally at this point when it can honestly only open a greater divide? Have WOC (POC) not had enough access to our honesty already?

If I were to tell you that I disagree vehemently with this concept: Is this wicked characterization of Black women as illiterate harlots permanently seared into the psyche of white women? What is my justification for that vehement disagreement? Is it that this is not a narrative I'm familiar with, or is it something deeper still - some belief that my whiteness makes me the default "attractive" group? These aren't questions that need to be discussed as much as internally dissected. We could and should learn more about ourselves simply by listening.

We also can't have any discussion because to be blunt, neither "side" is completely invested in listening. We white guilt women want to be understood, we want to be heard and seen as your equal, your ally, your contemporary. But we know in our hearts that we will never be allowed to be your sister in this neverending struggle for simple equality. We're starting to get intersectionality as a concept, and it's a concept that we can't do much "about" - we can only work to understand.

Because rightly, WOC have a different fight on their hands than we do, and it's exclusionary by nature. It requires the pride of a group pushing outward, not the privileged group working our way in.

Advertisement

I'm not saying white women should excuse themselves from caring, but I'm not sure where our voice actually fits into the discussion, or if it should at all. I'm guilty of engaging in the white guilt phenomena of explaining why White People Need To calm the fuck down - to other white people. But even still I sometimes feel oddly pissed when I see a woman yelling and screaming about how White People Need To because it feels like the white woman as savior syndrome playing out, and the balance is weird, it's off, it rings poorly in my ears.*

I'm more than willing to admit I'm wrong, and would love for WOC to tell me how we can effectively begin to heal what needs healing so that we can work together on what needs to be worked on. (But I'm also expecting 19 people to jump into the comment thread to call me a racist because I don't care about working my way into a circle that I feel has every right to exclude me.) 59 minutes ago

Advertisement

Thoughts?

eta: *I am NOT calling anyone out on this (bad timing, not directed at Groupthink)