Saturday, April 05, 2008

Further Understandings of White Privilege

In the comments of this post Donna asked:
Who says it's [racism in feminism] over done? I'd like to see where white feminists are discussing this at all.

And I replied:
For ME that topic is overdone. In my one women's studies class I've taken so far, we talked at length about the issue of race in feminism. And I've heard it over and over and over again. Feminism is white-centric, it ignores issues of economy and race. That doesn't mean that's true for all feminists, but for me, growing up in the politically conscious family I did, and going to the schools I have, it's been done. I recognize there are shortcomings in mainstream feminism.

You know what's funny [read: rather embarrassing] that I realize now, months and much reading later?

Those classes and my family, I mean, yah we talked about race and racism, in the WS class in particular we discussed criticism of the feminist movement being rooted in the experience of white middle class feminists. But, that was it. We never took the next step into understanding white privilege, or what white people need to do for feminism to be INCLUSIVE.

Isn't it funny (read: painfully frustrating) how a topic can be covered so often and yet the heart of it never examined?

I have to change my previous statement. As while the concept has been acknowledged, the actual work involved in it has not, is not, and that's what actually counts.

In other words, you were right Donna.


  1. So right. But to be fair... talking is the first step. It just can't stop there.

  2. Yes exactly, acknowledgment is one thing, talking and engaging another, and that still needs to actually DOING the work involved to change.

  3. I have a great deal of admiration for those who are willing to engage in the sort of discussion that eventually leads to growth.


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