What’s Awesome About White Women?

Naming what sucks about white women is really easy and really satisfying. We do it a lot, especially us white women. We get to have the satisfaction of differentiating ourselves from the white female “prototype” ie. a hetero barbie who is a pretty, nice, passive, pure, covertly racist, helpless trophy and (do a really common thing that white women do) compare ourselves and think, “See we know what that is, and we are better than that”.  In our workshops we spend a lot of time naming what the white female prototype is in an effort to shift towards a radical anti-racist white female practice and away from the myth that we are all just individuals with no culture (we may not want to claim it as our culture, but it impacts us all nonetheless). After this mostly negative naming (see the White Female Culture post) we’ve asked, “What’s awesome about white women?”

This question always makes us incredibly uncomfortable.… Read more

White Female Culture

So many white people – including the half of us that are female – believe that we have no culture. As a dominant, centered culture, it is often invisible to ourselves. We think we are “normal” and everyone else is cultural or “ethnic”. So recently, the White Noise Collective led an exercise to identify some key components of invisibilized cultural norms for white women, that we often find ourselves either trying to emulate or trying to resist.

Here’s what came up from a group of 30 white women from a broad spectrum of class backgrounds, sexuality, ages and spiritual orientations. They are listed in the order of the frequency they were written.

(things in place#1 had about 10 mentions, #10 had 2-3 mentions).

What do white females value?
1. Family, Motherhood, Children
2. Looking good for men, beauty, fit
3. Being a good girl, niceness, kindness, smiling, polite
4. Status, approval
5. … Read more