Thursday, December 8, 2011

White Women Do

Update December 2013: apparently what else white women do is hold feminist retreats on plantations. What are you DOING, Ani DiFranco??

I've seen a post going around facebook called "15 Things White Girls Love to Do on Facebook" and I want to take a moment and register my objection.

That post makes white women out to be silly young things that sit around all day taking pictures of their feet. Here's a picture of my grown feet:

But what white women do on facebook and every other place of life is far more insidious and dangerous: we participate in ongoing structural racism; we perpetrate micro-aggressions against people of color; we engage in active oppression of our own selves to further a racist patriarchy that benefits us in multiple ways. We do Bible studies on The Help and enthuse over Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side

A lot of us on facebook, we're women, not girls. And in many more than 15 ways we contribute to the suffering of others (including passing on this "15 list" with "oh haha").

A better use of our time is this book: At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance--a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle L. Maguire. Have a Bible study on that, please and I'll be there. Last year I struggled with that book in one of my seminars--our history as white women is painful history created by women misusing power. The picture in that "15 list" of two women "straight thuggin" should fill us with shame, not laughter.

What white women might do is stand in solidarity with our sisters (including our trans sisters!!). If you get a pic of my feet in the meantime, lucky you.

I'll say that from the pulpit any day.


  1. Wow! Looks like an amazing book! Such sadness that such courage by so many women could have been erased so thoroughly.

  2. Connecting with your post, I love the photo of the circle of feet over here


  3. This post is a great call of truth to power. Thank you.

  4. Awesome reflection, Katie. I will never understand why so many women are fascinated by the Help. There must be another way. Thanks for nudging us there. Er. Pushing.