Narratives of White Women Used to Uphold Racism and Patriarchy: A Partial Timeline

This is a timeline we use in White Noise workshops to help make visible dominant representations of white women that have historically served to reinforce, normalize and naturalize forms of racist violence and patriarchal oppression.  How do these narratives of white female sexuality and identity (re)appear in the present? How do they continue to live in our imaginations, bodies, dreams, media, collective consciousness, politics? By no means attempting to be some kind of comprehensive history, but rather pulling out some key threads in the unweaving of structures of domination.  Here we go:

Captivity narratives, stories of women and men of European descent who were captured by Native Americans, were immensely popular in in both the US and Europe from the 17th century until the close of the United States frontier in the late 19th century. A defining genre of American literature that told tales of Indian savagery, the bravery of white male settlers, and the vulnerability of white women in need of protection and rescue.… Read more

Stuff White Women Like

These items are the top 50 things named in 526,000 profiles of white women on the dating site, Ok Cupid, as posted on their blog.
These are listed in order of the frequency each thing was written.

1. the Red Sox
2. Jodi Picoult
3. boating
4. Nascar
5. mascara
6. Ireland
7. Nicholas Sparks
8. horseback riding
9. bonfires
10. flea markets
11. a country girl
12. Nora Ephron
13. waitress
14. Ray Lamontagne
15. I’m blond
16. Yankees
17. Kenny Chesney
18. decorating
19. getting dressed up
20. skiing
21. When Harry met Sally
22. baths
23. my red hair
24. horses
25. summertime
26. wine
27. dmb
28. historical fiction
29. cookbooks
30. flip-flops
31. my girlfriends
32. The Time Traveler’s Wife
33. country music
34. diet coke
35. dirty dancing
36. coffee
37. thunderstorms
38. Midwest
39. Tim Mcgraw
40. new recipes
41. Patricia Cornwell
42. mom
43.… Read more

Themes to Comment On!

Here are the themes that the folks who came to our last dialogue said that they want to explore in future dialogues. Through the help of Beja, they miraculously transformed from notes on poster paper into typed clusters in this blog for people to comment on to collectively figure out what to talk about next (April 12). Let’s see if this works. They are numbered and named for ease of commenting: Here’s a suggested process:

1. Read them over

2. Pick a cluster or a topic within a cluster that you think would be a good place to start. You can also propose restructuring the clusters.

3. Post it in a comment, along with any other thoughts about any of them, or the structural ideas at the bottom.

how do we claim ancestry? (white privilege, healing the burden, understanding the choices our ancestors made)
current deep north and addressing the ways we currently/tacitly benefit from global slavery
tendency for forgiveness of others but not ourselves
we are generations into colonization
radical/proud identity/need to know your roots

2.… Read more