A very white lady holiday
Though the holidays kept me, your ever-lovin’ Radical Housewife, too busy to blog (that spiked eggnog can’t drink itself, ya know) I did spend the rare moments I could escape my family learning new hashtags on Twitter:
According to Meghan Murphy of Feminist Current, feminist action that occurs on Twitter isn’t “real” feminism, in part because her feelings have been hurt sometimes. Ohhh-kay……
According to Adele Wilde-Blavatsky via HuffPo, this hashtag is necessary because HER feelings were hurt sometimes, too! And something to do with Beyonce, I think. The hashtag was so blindingly dumb that I couldn’t concentrate on anything else.
According to Ani DiFranco, hosting a songwriting retreat at a Louisiana plantation that whitewashed (PUN INTENDED) its slave history was not big deal–in fact, in her cancellation announcement she wrote “i believe that people must go to [slave plantations turned into fancy resorts!] with awareness and with compassionate energy and meditate on what has happened and absorb some of the reverberating pain with their attention and their awareness.” She later apologized, then apologized AGAIN for giving the world’s lamest non-apology.
According to white lady Anne Chastain, it is possible to rise above racial disharmony just by wishing it so! As she wrote on Twitter: “I’m not white, black or hispanic, I tell my kindergarteners. I’m beyond all that. I’m green: one w/nature.” These hashtags were created to mock Chastain, who likened the negative response online to “lynching.” REALLY.
I drank my eggnog looking like this:
I hate it when dumb white lady feminists ruin things for me, another white lady feminist!
Yep, I’m white. Just look at me! I’m descended from Northern Europeans and I live in Minnesota: the only color I get is boiled lobster crimson when I’ve been out in the sun too long. Like the white ladies mentioned above, I’ve benefited from white privilege in a hundred million ways. I’m not very happy about it, but there it is. I do whatever I can to unpack my privilege, to be aware of it, to learn from it, to give my children the information that they need to do the same (because as you have seen from their photographs, they’re white, too).
I’m a cis-gendered, middle-class, hetero white feminist lady. Does it hurt when call-out culture calls ME out? OH MY GAWD YES. Of course it hurts. It hurts so much that against my better judgment I want to get out my Diversity Bingo card and wave it around (if you’re a white liberal like me, you have one, even though it embarrasses you to admit it). I see words like “racist” or “heteronormative” or “trans-exclusionary” and want to hit the caps lock IMMEDIATELY AND TWEET “OH NO, THAT MIGHT BE SOME WHITE FEMINISTS, BUT IT SURE AS HELL ISN’T ME, NOPE, YOU’RE TOTALLY WRONG, THERE IS NO WAY THAT I COULD EVER, NO NO NO NO NO NO.”
Which doesn’t help at all and is over 140 characters besides.
So what can white lady feminists do instead? I always like to give my readers advice, so here it comes: I suggest we grab a cup of eggnog (confidential to “Green Liberation”: Silk makes a vegan version I highly recommend), step away from the TWEET button and take it all in. Read, listen, think. Stash the Diversity Bingo card in the drawer with the holiday gifts that don’t fit. Pay attention. Go to the store and buy more eggnog because in January it’s on sale. Read, listen, think. It’s not that hard.
And behave yourselves, dammit! If any of you ruin Easter I will hunt you down and break the ears off your chocolate fertility symbols!