Clueless White Woman

June 13, 2008

Who the hell am I and why am I writing this?

Filed under: cluelessness,personal perspective — by clueless @ 5:10 pm
Tags: ,

Perhaps you can tell from my name: I’m clueless. I know that now. I figured if I never saw it, it must not be happening. Not really bothered by the clear anger of feminists or minorities, but a little surprised — I mean, I’M nice, so white people must be nice. MY spouse is nice, so white men must be nice. I encountered sexism, but figured it was just a bit of noise on the horizon, nothing serious.

But really, that’s not true. My personal experience does not define reality, it only defines me.

I would like to publicly admit that I am clueless.

But I hope that does not make me irredeemable. I want to get a clue. I want to learn. I want to hear what is really going on, and add my voice to those others who say this bad thing is not ok.

I have a feeling this process is going to be incredibly hard to do without being defensive. I apologize in advance for any missteps I make in this, because I really do not understand yet. And this is a real apology. Not, “I’m sorry if you’re offended by my self-justification” — instead, “I’m sorry that my statements or opinions hurt you.” I just ask that you tell me why and advise me how to do better.

I have found it easy to slip into self-identifying as a feminist. It’s simple because I’m a woman and I want to be treated with respect, ergo, woman’s rights are automatically important to me. But it took longer to realize that I should stand up for any other discriminated-against group. Their rights may not be something that I need in my life, but letting myself consider them as less important means I give bigots a pass — and that chips away at civil rights for everybody.

I hope that admitting I don’t get it is a first step. And I hope that people will be willing to teach me.

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2 Comments »

  1. I come from the view that accepting that we all hold prejudices but working with them, accepting them and challenging them is the way to overcome a wider societal prejudice.

    I think its a much more honest way than claiming that ‘I’m not prejudiced’ or ‘I don’t discriminate’ and therefore I am absolved from institutional or societal prejudice. It is an easy way out for the white liberal (and I’ll say that’s where I am too). I prefer to say I have prejudices, I try to challenge what does not always come naturally with me to make sure that I counter these prejudices specifically. I read it as this is something like what you are doing (although forgive me if I read it wrong!) so I’ll be very interested in following the journey.

    Comment by cb — June 22, 2008 @ 8:47 am

  2. I stumbled upon your blog and really like your writing style. I just started blogging myself. My first tag line was, “this white woman’s pollyanna-ish perspective of the world.” It has since changed. But my point is, I can related to where you are coming from. At some point I realized that what I say and do has an impact and I am compelled to assist in beautifying our global village too.
    I look forward to reading more and I hope you publish an “about” page so I can learn more about you. Will you add me to your list of subscribers?
    All the best,
    Elizabeth

    Comment by Elizabeth — June 27, 2008 @ 9:06 pm


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