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View Diary: Maybe if we take “White Guilt” out of the equation it will be easier to understand? (172 comments)

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  •  Maybe so. We could have an extensive (4+ / 0-)

    conversation about whether white women are part of the default setting in all circumstances. In this context, however, in terms of having to interact with people with different cultural experiences and norms, I'd say yes.

    While white privilege is not uniform across gender, sexual preference, sexual identity, to say nothing of class and religion, it's still an element that comes into play notwithstanding these other factors--unless the opportunity to pass is explicitly and openly flouted (and sometimes, not even then).

    I say this as a white woman who has been extremely committed to feminist and womanist principles and activism for a very long time. Yes, I am disadvantaged, oppressed, and sometimes at risk of harm, trauma, and even death just by being a woman. But that doesn't negate the advantages that being a white (and middle-class Christian-reared) woman has afforded me in this society. I benefited from nearly all of them even when I was a very out, somewhat separatist and gender-bending lesbian.

    It's a couple of decades old, but Peggy McIntosh's classic 1988 essay, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack" is still relevant. At the beginning you'll note that her thinking on the issue was prompted by discussions of male privilege, generally speaking.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:02:02 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  This is also my personal take on this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emeraldmaiden, peregrine kate

      and experience with white privilege/female disadvantage. They are not mutually exclusive and it is indeed possible to experience some privilege and some discrimination simultaneously! The world is not binary in that way. ;-)

      Absolutely: there are many situations in my life when being a woman is a disadvantage (and also when being a woman is an advantage, although that is rarer). Yet there are also many, many situations in my life when being white is an advantage. I did nothing to "deserve" these systemic advantages or disadvantages. They are part and parcel of how our culture and systems of power work. All you can do is to try to break those systems.

      I passed the McIntosh essay on to an online acquaintance who was struggling to process the concepts of "reverse racism," "cultural stereotyping" and "white privilege." It helped her a lot.

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