I write things about etiquette and relationships and gay homosexuals and Lilith Fair! You can email me! firstname.lastname@example.org! Okay!
@neverstoptrying: Wow, thank you for this generous reading--from someone whose own struggles at the same age were very much a part of my response here, too. I appreciate it very much.
@amandacita noooo i love you that's amazing and i am sorry that you are disappointed every time ༼;´༎ຶ ༎ຶ༽
Times I Have Actually Felt Like A Criminal:
Age 5, tried to steal Chiclets and Tic-Tacs at the grocery store
Age 13, cheated on a religion test in 8th grade (Catholic school, y'all) and got away with it, still sorry, Good Pope John
Age 25, tried to wheel a Trader Joe's cart to the bus stop but felt so guilty about it I ran it back to the store and almost missed the bus
Ages 11-30, any time I have not been charged for something in a store and have to point it out or go back later and pay. Also the 1 time I didn't go back.
@dorkmuffin oh, I love it! Not to worry!
@astronauta You know, I try very hard to just not read the comments and not respond, but look. This is not a meaningful critique; it is a drive-by zinger. AHP and I are both very thoughtful, very conscientious people who MAKE MISTAKES SOMETIMES and are more than able to admit to them when people want to engage with us. We are both very accessible. My email is in my commenting profile. AHP actively reads the comments.
Even more, we are actually interested in what people have to say. But if all you're going to throw around is "disturbing," which is extremely loaded, how are we supposed to have a conversation about why you're disappointed and how we might, or whether we should, shift our thinking and our language? It's fine if you don't want to have that conversation, but trying to, like, Social Justice or Privilege Shame us for it (ironic!) is an ineffective strategy, more or less anonymous interlocutor.
If anyone wants to engage with me or us about this, please email us or start a new comment thread. Thanks.
@simone eastbro also, i just want to be clear that i am as fucked up as other white folks. i think about this stuff a lot, but i make plenty of mistakes and have plenty of unexamined privilege. (haha, email me if you want to read my blog about privilege?)
@baby crow you are right on, especially that last paragraph about racial consciousness/default. @wee_ramekin: so yeah, the fact that @baby crow assumes 'Pinners are white, too, is what suggests that it's an inherited or learned bias, that expectation, not that we/everyone "naturally" expect the world to reflect whoever we are.
@wee_ramekin I guess what I mean is, it's not an accident that you grew up in a rural white area, either, you know? Like, it's not anyone's "fault" in an individual sense, but a huge range of systems--how land is commodified and sold, how schools were and were not integrated, POLITICS, whatever--all produced the kind of environment that you grew up in and made it largely white, in the same way that those systems produced the largely-white environment I grew up in (a semi-rural Rust Belt suburb). Likewise, there has long been a set of social norms, tied up in a very long history that is not/is only recently or sort of past and that is invisible to you and me, because we are white, that directs us toward building relationships with other white people. I guess what I'm saying is, we live in a society that has trained our brains to default to "mostly white people" and assigned a lot of value on doing that. That our lives are the way they are is not an accident or politically neutral, and that they are not different is, I think, a symptom of our privilege.
Does that make sense? Like I think you could say, and it would probably be true, and different from sort of passively describing your background, "I have surrounded myself with white people."
@simone eastbro also, @baby crow, i totally improperly attributed your comments above: "I would love to encounter more white feminists who are aware of my history and who don't act paralyzed with guilt or defensiveness every time a discussion of white privilege comes up, and who don't make a huge deal about either of these things." sorry!
"@wee_ramekin I'm white, and I often make the mistake of assuming that most other Pinners are white because the only faces that I tend to see on the site are white ones. For example, I read (and liked! w0ot!) your comment on my thread about The Male Ego on last FOT (AGH THE MALE EGO), and it never occurred to me to think that you might be anything other than another white internet lady."
AAAABsolutely not trying to harsh on you in any way, but I think this reaction has way more to do with internalized white privilege and white supremacy than you think it does. It's not an accident that we're surrounded by and privilege the narratives of white people. Nor is it an accident that you (and I--I am not saying I don't do it to) assume that the people you interact with must be white. Has much to do with self-identification and white supremacy, and our surroundings are in no way neutral. I know that doesn't feel good to admit in any way, but I would suggest trying to find a way to talk about the assumptions you make that takes some ownership for/of them.