Please Get Over Yourself, Fellow White Lady

by jillst


Hi! It’s me, your friendly neighbourhood privileged white lady! I have called myself in to the latest round of the privilege wars, because even though multiple excellent women of colour have written succinctly and well about why white ladies need to get over ourselves, apparently some of you out there just won’t listen! Like this bitch* fellow human being!**

Now sweetie, I read your article, and I want to you to know that I get it. I really do! I too went to a nice school and grew up in a nice middle class suburb with a pool and had nice parents who made nice money but still had room in their week to have lots of nice family time with me. Who could buy me everything the school said I needed and had time to read my home reader with me and make sure I did my homework. Who answered my many questions about educational materials and life in general and were so proud of me when I got into a nice selective school. Thank you for including us in your rant by the way – white people who go to selective schools are often assumed to have been somehow tainted out of whiteness by being around all those cheating immigrant children who got tutoring. But don’t worry, we still got preferential treatment and were frequently made prefects and held up as weird sex symbols!

But hey – let’s be real.  I don’t think I got in to a selective school just because my parents did all those things for me. I mean, that was a big part of it, but I also think I got in because I’m smarter than morons like you.

And you know what I did after school?  I got a degree, just like you! Actually, I got two. Isn’t getting a degree hard? All that turning up to class when you could be getting a tan and finding a billionaire to marry? And then getting a freaking job? When we could be sitting around living off mummy and daddy’s ‘Tory’ money? Seriously, we are basically freaking saints for even trying.

And you need a little pat on the back, do you? A nice little congrats for studying so hard to get your creative writing degree while mummy and daddy let you live at home and pay nominal or no rent? A scratch and sniff ‘well done’ sticker for getting up an hour early to hit the gym and put on your makeup so you can get some bloke’s attention? Oh, life is just so very hard for us well-off white girls isn’t it, with parents to help us pay for uni and lend us money if we need it and generally act as a safety net. Oh wait, you didn’t know? You didn’t know not everyone could run home to mummy and daddy if they were suddenly out of work or found themselves in a pinch? Yes, I know it’s very strange isn’t it. Some children of immigrants actually have to send money home to their struggling families to help out. Some white women from working class backgrounds have to hold down a second job as well as their full-time gig so they can pay rent and their car loan simultaneously. Some of people of colour find it difficult to land a job at all, because white people have all of them, and we are kind of dickheads about sharing.

You know what though, as you so eloquently pointed out, white women do not have all the privilege – we are not yet white men. Sometimes our voices aren’t heard. Sometimes people don’t listen to our opinions. I mean, in your case, sometimes the reason they aren’t listening is because you tried to whitesplain someone’s religion to them – which is potentially one of the only times when I think a women’s voice need not be heard, to be honest.

But even if your opinions magically became well-formed and not inherently ignorant and potentially racist, you know what’s not going to get them heard or win you respect (at least in the long term)? Making yourself into a sex symbol, as you suggest.

Sweetie, prepare yourself, because I’m going to use some big words. They are patriachal bargain and they mean you’ve decided to operate within our current, broken system, wherein you trade looking like a model and writing opinion pieces in defence of the status quo in exchange for a nugget of potential love from daddy.

What you’re doing is like putting money into a vending machine thinking that eventually, if you give it enough, it will grow legs and follow you home and listen to all of your opinions. In reality, it will give out shitty poorly refrigerated sugar goop that will make you feel good for a moment and then leave you worse off than you started, with all your credit gone.

We fe****sts (sorry, I know that word offends you, but it means, as you so eloquently put it, that we believe in gender equality) believe in the rights of you and Kim Kardashian to work as hard on your bods as you like, and to display them any way you please. I’m sure you are indeed more beautiful than me, a girl who – you rightly guessed – only sometimes wears makeup, and applies it poorly. But don’t pretend you’re doing yourself any real favours – and please, don’t even try to pretend that what you’re doing doesn’t impact the rest of us.

Do you really want women as a gender to continue to be judged primarily on our looks? On our ability to ensnare a man? Because you do know that’s how we got here in the first place – this place where our opinions aren’t valued. We spent centuries as living statues and human sex toys – the only thing that’s changed is that now we can actually fill ourselves with plastic.

But you know what? I’ve said all those things, and at the end of the day, I know the deal.

I won’t change your mind. And I won’t change the minds of women like you.

But you know what me and all the women of colour, and the trans women and the lesbians and the working class ladies and yes, even the single mums, are going to do for you, ignorant lady?

We’re going to help you.

We’re all going to help you.

Whether you fucking like it or not.

Yeah. I know.

It seems like an incredibly stupid thing to do, and frankly it is, because I don’t want to help you, or the many women like you I know in real life or know online or who voted for Donald Trump***.

But I do want to help as many women as I can up to my level, the privilege level of privileged white girl, so that together we can push some other ladies up to levels we haven’t quite hit yet.

Maybe that will be you lady. In fact, knowing all of our luck, it probably will be. When you’re  and old white man and you’ve got an army of angry disenfranchised people banging down your door, your first point of call is probably your friend the hot sexy lady who defends you all the time.

My point is, you are not going to lose any of your power by the bunch of us going up a peg. You’re going to benefit even if you do it kicking and screaming.

And eventually, we will all beat down your door. We will rise to your lofty new heights. I hope someday people of every race, colour, creed and sexuality will be privileged enough to enjoy the heights of your personal arrogance.

And you know what? I hope against hope that you will join us, angry privileged white ladies. I hope against hope that I can be for you what male celebrities who tweet about domestic violence and date rape are for the rest of the world – a voice you’ll finally hear, because you can only hear voices who look just like you.

But regardless of whether you’re onboard or not, we’re all headed onward and upward.

See you in the past baby doll!

*Like I would ever call this woman a bitch! It’s a wonderful word reserved for smart awesome lady friends, and also for dogs, who are the greatest and don’t deserve to be lumped in with frivolous white ladies.

**I thought for a while and this was the nicest thing I could think of to call her.

***Please imagine this beeped out, in the style of Broad City. I recognise this reference may be ironic given that it’s mostly, from the bits of it I’ve seen, about white ladies.

Normally I save my posts for Thursday nights, but this one was too bubbly and angry to live inside me until then. You should see another one pop up Thursday evening (unless you don’t.)