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Penny dropping on privilege, my privilege…

26 Aug

The other day, Mimi wrote a tweet that caused me to think, deeply, and to recognise that the first question that popped in my head happened for no other reason than my own white privilege.

I’m embarrassed to admit that *I* couldn’t understand what she was talking about.  My first question was why wouldn’t she see herself as just a woman without a qualifier.  Now, I could write an excuse that I was tired when I read it as I was heading off to bed.  The problem is it’s just an excuse.  The truth is that I’ve never had to imagine what it would feel like to just see myself as a woman, I do.  I don’t add a qualifier, I don’t have to, I’m white.

And, much to my dismay, it took several minutes for it to click in that she was talking about being a Black woman.  That penny dropping has stayed with me for days now.  How easy it is to live inside my world.  How easy it is being white in a world where white is the default color all around us, everywhere we look.

I was on my way to bed so I didn’t see that the tweet was the first in a series of tweets.  I took it as a stand alone, my take-away may not even be what she was trying to get across, but her words taught me something anyway.  As a stand alone it was powerful to me in ways that I’m still thinking about.  So, today, I went to find it to share with you how a one-liner cut through all the chaff in daily life and made me realize how many different ways I’m so very privileged, a privilege I didn’t earn on my own merits, I earned because my skin is white.  Words can be powerful.  Thank you Mimi.

 

Mimi is also an adoptive mom and blogs here, FB page here, she’s a good writer, she is also ABM’s partner on Add Water and Stir podcasts (FB page here) that I always find interesting.

 

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7 Comments

Posted by on August 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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7 responses to “Penny dropping on privilege, my privilege…

  1. L4R

    August 26, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    I’ve been thinking about women with additional qualifiers a lot lately. Leslie Jones and Gabby Douglas have both been verbally attacked within the last few weeks. In Leslie’s case, the racism is undeniable. In Gabby’s case, it’s more covert. But, we have to ask ourselves, if Gabby were white, would people have still criticized her for not putting her hand over her heart during the National Anthem? I doubt it.

    I’m sickened by the fact that adults have behaved so abhorrently toward two highly accomplished women.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      August 26, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Of course she wouldn’t have been treated the way she was if she’d been white. What has been done to Leslie Jones – I saw *some* of it on twitter. I can’t wrap my mind around the hate.

      Like

       
      • L4R

        August 26, 2016 at 9:34 pm

        That’s a good thing. If you could fully understand these vicious people and why they do what they do, you’d be on the wrong side of right.

        Liked by 1 person

         
  2. iwishiwasadopted

    August 28, 2016 at 3:02 am

    I once read that people always look for others like them in a crowd. Children seek children, middle aged white women seek middle aged white women. To compare themselves to. To identify with.

    That’s how humans operate.

    My daughter is going back to college tomorrow. She will be the only white woman in an on campus apartment with 5 women. Last year she was the only white woman in a suite with 4 women.

    She felt very white, every day. Not always in a good, comfortable way.

    I took a promotion 2 years ago and worked in an office with a black boss, and other black supervisors. They ate lunch together and shared food in the supervisors lunch room. I felt white, and excluded. I ended up giving up my promotion because of how uncomfortable and out of place I felt.

    I was actually given up for adoption because my mother was black, but it does not show. I lost my family because I was black, and gave up my job because I was white.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      August 28, 2016 at 3:10 am

      I’m sorry I wish…

      Like

       
  3. Mimi

    August 31, 2016 at 11:58 am

    TAO – I was catching up on my favorite blogs and found this. Thank you so much for considering my thoughts in more than a cursory way. I wrote those tweets as a result of an event that I was attending on women’s equality and was struck by the way that some of the speakers seemed to be able to see their womanness as an individual quality and I just couldn’t relate. I appreciate that you took the time to try to understand where I was coming from.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      August 31, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Thank you for making me look in the mirror – even though you weren’t trying to. Learning and hopefully growing is always a good thing… have a wonderful week…

      Like

       

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