White Women: Here’s What We Do Next
Updated: Dec 1, 2020
Like you, I woke up this morning, looked at the news, and breathed a sigh of relief.
Now that reason has prevailed (however slightly) over greed, ego, and instability, it’s time to do the hard work. And there's a lot of it.
White women, I’m going to talk to you for a second.
I think a lot of white women felt empowered during the #metoo movement and it made us feel like we were off the hook: “I’ve been oppressed, so there’s no way I can also be an oppressor.” It’s true we’ve been oppressed. We’ve also been benefiting from privilege. We need to own that if we can graduate to doing anti-racist work.
Yes, we’ve been oppressed by a patriarchal society.
Yes, we’ve been harassed, groped, assaulted, raped.
Yes, we’ve been taken advantage of.
Yes, we’ve been underpaid and overworked. Yes, we’ve been taught to doubt ourselves and even hate ourselves.
Yes, we’ve been ignored, silenced, shut down, held back.
And we’ve had privilege.
We’ve benefited from white male privilege by association—our fathers, sons, and brothers haven’t been incarcerated in radically higher numbers or killed at a traffic stop.
We’ve benefited from white privilege directly—when we walk into a store, salespeople don’t keep an eye on us for fear we’ll steal merchandise. When we walk into a doctor’s office, they listen to what we have to say. We haven’t been denied jobs because of the color of our skin. We’ve profited from generational wealth. We’ve been given the benefit of the doubt. When we walk into a room, we don’t fear for our safety or belonging.
We’re represented on television, in movies, in advertisements, in our leaders and teachers. We haven’t been the token white friend our whole lives. If we’ve been in the minority, it’s been for a short while and in one area of our lives, not the entirety of it.
I say this not to shame you, but to acknowledge you. I know it feels like we haven’t gotten what’s due to us—we’re just starting to wake up to our power and now we’re being called Karen's. It’s ok.
We can continue waking up to our power. While we do so, we can empower BIPOC people—and specifically womxn—to take ownership of theirs, too. We all have access to the profound and formidable feminine. Together, we’re unstoppable.
In us lie the answers to the climate crisis. In us lie the answers to oppression. We’re in a unique position, poised between the most influential and the most disenfranchised.
When I tell people I’m a ghostwriter, sometimes they ask me if I ever feel like I’m not getting the credit I deserve, writing under the name of someone else. That’s not how I see it.
The ideas I articulate as a ghostwriter belong to the person whose name is on the piece; they’re not my genius. Even the voice is theirs. I’m the vehicle that brings their brilliance to the world. Yes, I play an important role. And the piece wouldn’t be written without either one of us in the partnership.
As white women, we can be the ghostwriters to BIPOC empowerment. We can use our influence and privilege to bolster their success. It’s not about claiming ownership or pride or notoriety, it’s about bringing the message to the world. I’m proud to do that work behind the scenes, and I invite you to join me. Opt into our newsletter to stay in the conversation.