BETTY CHAMBERS

Narcissism for Black Women: The Very Good and Healthy Expression of Deep Self-Love, and Extreme Self-Devotion. Why? Because It's Good For Ya! And Sometimes I Write about Natural Hair, Among Other Things


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White Women

Posted on | July 8, 2011 | 57 Comments

A while ago, someone sent an email asking why did I not write about white women.

That was funny.

The Proper Focus

At the top of this blog, the stated purpose of this site is to acknowledge the awesomeness of BLACK women. I’ve been accused of being a white man at times (tee hee hee), but I write to promote our self-love.* We get beat down more than other groups or otherwise ignored in the general course of things, unless it is reinforcing a stereotype.

As an ignored group which occasionally receives negative attention, I figure, Why not spend some time on issues that directly or indirectly affect us?

There Is No There There

I don’t write about white women, in general, for this sole reason: they are ubiquitous. They are everywhere, all the time. So much so that the writer of the email was a white woman mistakenly wondering why I wasn’t focusing on her group.

Um, okay.

After I stopped laughing, I wrote back. We exchanged a few emails. She meant well. This was a nice woman who didn’t really understand what the focus of my blog was. She was coming from a white feminist perspective, which is that everything that happens to black women comes through the prism of white women.

In her mind, our lives will always include them, sometimes as the center of attention. Yet in their lives, we are on the periphery as predictable parochial characters. Sorta like every show you see on TV today. Black shows require a white woman. White women shows have a black sidekick or she doesn’t exist except as part of the scenery in the background.

What Does Irk – The Irksomeness

There are, however, some issues, that come to mind about white women:

  1. Weak Woman Whining: Complaining about being treated as weak women is what I call the femininity gripe. Oh boy, what a wonderful problem to have! Imagine being regarded as a strong like-a-man creature all the time, where no one thinks you are delicate, have feelings, or sensitive? You know, like all other women are? Unfortunately, a lot of black women embrace this othering. White women may want to be strong and manly, and beg to be treated “equally”, but black women want to be seen as feminine, because this whole like-a-man business doesn’t yield “equality” at all. It works as a negation of our womanhood: Hallmark is selling Father’s Day cards aimed at us.
  2. The Only Woman Self-Delusion: It is irksome expecting us to listen to your problems without reciprocity. When black women launched a movement called No Wedding No Womb (NWNW), white feminists crawled out of the woodwork needing to bandwagon onto the topic, and make it about them. I have never seen so much depraved, immoral preening, and navel gazing. This could not be about black women’s empowerment. Nope. Obviously, somebody had made a mistake: it needed to be about white women, or it wasn’t a valid cause. Sometimes it’s not all about white women, there are issues just about black women. What became clear to me is that if they are not the center of attention, it’s not considered a valid “woman’s issue.” Uhuh.
  3. Gone With The Flatulent Wind: We’re not at work to be your chambermaid, personal servant, attack dog, or therapist. White women love complaining about male exploitation (same work less pay, harassment, etc), but what about what’s being done to the black women in the office by them? I acknowledge that other people can be just as trifling to black women. I accept and believe that there is a much bigger social benefit to be gained knowing and associating with white women than with other groups, but it’s up to black and white women to re-create balance to normalize and stabilize this relationship.
  4. Media Stalking – It Is All About You: Some black women do express some frustration when the news media focuses on a white woman to the exclusion of all else. There is a massively overwhelming amount of resources spent on their disappearances, run-away bride stories, trials, reality TV shows, and all manner of attention on these individuals, because she fits the “pretty white woman” profile. All other groups fall by the wayside.
  5. It’s Not Jealousy – It’s Irritation: Black women benefit when white women benefit. For those of us who have a good understanding of feminism, and the important leading role black women have historically played in it, we understand that it is win-win. We just don’t appreciate when things get whitewashed to remove the first black woman, which is a woman making history too!, when a white woman comes along and finally makes the same record. Then it becomes – the first woman to blah blah blah – when a black woman has already made this distinction. That’s the perniciousness of racism and sexism. So when white women act as if they are the sole victims of sexism, that is irritation at work, not jealousy.

The Casey Anthony Show

I didn’t follow the trial. I originally thought Casey was a guy, and the woman shown in the picture for the news story was his victim. (That’s what I get for skim reading.) The case made me vaguely remember a rash of disappearing / missing children in Florida a few years back, and her kid was one of those stories.

I have two observations that I haven’t read or heard mentioned. 1) Casey Anthony would be in jail if she was charged with manslaughter or murder in the 2nd degree (?). 2) No one on that jury was going to put a “pretty white woman” on death row.

This mistake by the prosecutor reminded me of the OJ trial. (Yeah. Oh boy, here we go.) Marsha Clark thought that all the black women on the jury would identify with the white woman, Nicole Brown, as opposed to O.J. That’s an example of white women being blind to the racial and sexual dynamics of black women. They assume we identify more with them as opposed to that of black men, and many assume we live or die for black men (well maybe a large number do, but not all).

However, those assumptions are wrong, because our reality is completely different from black men and white women. Not every situation where we are concerned will yield an easy checklist of answers, because of our sex or race. People continue to make mistakes in understanding black women due to those assumptions. Sometimes it will be true, more often than not, folks will get tripped up by it.

What Does That Have To Do With White Women?

Nothing at all. That’s why I don’t write about them. πŸ™‚

However, it is up to us, as black women to help people understand our distinctive selves.

*Narcissism for Black Women: The Very Good and Healthy Expression of Deep Self-Love, and Extreme Self-Devotion.

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Comments

57 Responses to “White Women”

  1. Christelyn D. Karazin
    July 8th, 2011 @ 5:12 PM

    I’m supposed to be working, but I couldn’t stop reading this. As I continue in my own education on black women’s issues, I can see more and more clearly what you are saying. And THANK YOU for saying it.

    GoldenAh: Thank you for getting the ball rolling with that branch of the movement. The response behavior really surprised me, but it’s good when folks show their a**ses. I first noticed that kind of strange and crazy self-centered thought process back in college. I left most of them alone and hung out with guys.

    Toby Keith says it all.

    You are welcome, Christelyn. Glad I gave you something to ponder, I appreciate you stopping by. πŸ™‚

  2. Zabeth
    July 8th, 2011 @ 5:58 PM

    You’ve just articulated so well what many BW (and dare I say it, other minority women) feel.

    GoldenAh: Oh, and you know that list could have been much longer… πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the comment, Zabeth.

  3. Daphne
    July 8th, 2011 @ 6:06 PM

    When I read the 1st sentence, I admit to blinking in confusion for a few minutes, as I didn’t understand why someone would inquire about this. I mean, as you stated, your sub-header emphasizes Black Women. Not women, but BLACK women. Not all women, but BLACK women. Not feminists, but BLACK women.

    I’m gonna assume the woman, who emailed you inquiring about a white women post, didn’t count on your response. Love.it. Be careful what you ask for!

    Anyhoo, co-sign to irksome list, particularly 1-3. Number one is particularly annoying at a movie forum I frequent, where white women constantly lament at how (usually white) women aren’t being portrayed well in modern cinema, and the good ol’ days of the 30s and 40s when women were depicted as strong yet feminine and such. And the intersection of race and gender is NEVER discussed. Which is fine, no one is required to. Just understand that my sympathy for the plight of mainly white female characters is about the size of a mustard seed. Just sayin’.

    I don’t mind helping someone understand us, or me specifically, as long as they’re truly open to it. I don’t always get the impression that, in this instance, white women are open to it. After all, the person who contacted you didn’t ask to understand US, she asked why you would didn’t pontificate on THEM. Speaks volumes. Maybe I’d be more amenable if the original request was framed that way. I’m a bit punchy at the moment.

    GoldenAh: It was a direct, boldfaced request to write a specific topic about white women. To me that translated into: “Why haven’t I seen any topics about white women?”

    I remember after Star Trek came out they were asking JJ Abrams to include more “women” in the film. Now, you see all these films about superheroes, sci-fi action flicks, and action films with maybe one chick (usually white), and I never saw a peep from these witches about “women”. The only reason they whined was because a black woman was in the lead. They’re so greedy. It’s not enough to be in every effing damn movie. Yet, there are never any black women in these film categories. So I don’t want to see or hear about Becky in any LEAD role in Star Trek. I want Uhura to get more screen time.

    Mustard seed. See Daphne. You kill me. πŸ˜€

  4. Lorraine Spencer
    July 8th, 2011 @ 6:27 PM

    BCHS indeed. You are spot on with this observation. Funny that you mention OJ, because on FB just yesterday, I got into a semi debate with a lady over this very issue. Of course it is hot button topic but anyway, a Latino conservative male stated that had C. Anthony been a black woman, she would have been convicted and the needle would be in the arm.

    The few whites who responded were sooooo disappointed that he brought race into it. I am careful about what I respond to as it can be time consuming and at the end of the day not my argument or battle to fight. But I weighed in on this and explained that the poster was correct. I also explained that I am not at all saying that blacks or latinos or anyone should get away with killing their children, but to deny the race factor was naive. I challenged them to find a case where an average black woman accused of murdering her child got this much pretrial and trial publicity and was found not guilty.

    It went unanswered for a few days while they pondered. A ww came back with “What about OJ?” I had to chuckle and restate: Typical black or Latina WOMAN! I had to further reiterate the OJ is neither typical nor black female. He had the money and a prestigious, formidable defense. And speaking of defense both in OJ and Anthony’s trial did their jobs and got their clients off, at least for the time being. OJ’s arrogance eventually got him sacked and sooner or later, Anthony will fall is some way, but I digress.

    The ww could not get passed my argument and gave up after I explained that I was a former magistrate and knew a little something something about the justice system. It doesn’t mean that I would not hold a black person accountable, especially if they did what they were accused of doing, but I also told her it was naive to think that racism, discrimination and white privilege did not still exist, and play a role in crime & punishment.

    It was too much for this lady to realize that we were not all sisters with the same issues and she had to acknowledge I was right. She was dumbstruck with my challenge only coming up with OJ and then tried to insinuate that he won because he was a man (turning the conversation into a gender woman v man issue/trap). I said no, and again said OJ is not typical. He was a rich privileged bm who had money behind him and was not a bw or lw. Bottom line was a child was dead and no one is being held accountable.

    The challenger said that she respected my opinion and ended the conversation. My challenge of finding a bw with a similar case (publicity) is still unanswered — because there is none and most people would rather not respond than say bw do catch hell in this society from wm, bm and ugh,,, ww.

    Thanks for sharing your no-nonsense, common sense, wisdom.

    GoldenAh: It’s amazing how many of them (subconsciously) deem themselves so much smarter, brighter, cleaner, and nicer. So when you challenge their thinking they are stumped. Logical thinking coming from us stumps people. We’re supposed to be mentally cluttered or cannot coherently articulate a good argument.

    They’ve been telling themselves for so long that life for us is X, Y and definitely Z. When we show them K, F and L, they don’t know how to respond or what to say. They don’t want to believe we SEE what’s going on all around us. Heck, this is life. We are complicated human beings. I love when (as you’ve done) we poke a hole in their balloon of illogical nonsense. It’s rather fun, and I suspect it may get through to some of them. I don’t think it hurts to have understanding allies.

    Thank you for the feedback Lorraine, glad to hear from you. Cheers. πŸ™‚

  5. Dee Dee Russell
    July 8th, 2011 @ 7:02 PM

    Betty you know I Stan for you! You are much too kind on this topic.

    That type of WW is the sort I’ve been deleting and blocking on Facebook as well as giving them the wave and stepping, when I see them out.

    Also that sort is used to having a ‘sassy BW friend’ to socialize with. Yes ma’am you look purty! Yes ma’am all the men folks want YOU. LOL.

    I give the side-eye to a certain breed of WW feminists trying to treat me like I’m Oprah- there to sooth listen to their problems and be there when they whine about men. Oh, but when a Sis lets them know she’s looking for a man what happens? Sound of crickets. Yeh, I’m slow on the roll, sometimes.

    Some think they’re slick, reading my FB updates showing up at events trying to ride my coattails using white priviledge. HA. I have a BM friend who LOVES ignoring them and watching their reaction when he doesn’t give them the time of day, as of course you know, WW are Kryptonite to BM!

    Casey A.? White girls justice big time just like Lindsay Lohan getting high at home on house arrest.

    This post reminds me to go delete a bunch of lurking non-supportive WW from my friends list on FB.

    GoldenAh: Don’t feed stray cats! They never leave. πŸ™‚

    We can still be nice, tell ’em nothing, and let them go get lost on their own.

    A long time ago, I asked this ww who was bothering me at work, “So if you know your relationship isn’t going to work out, why are you telling me about it?” She shut up and left. I don’t do one way street friendships. Too many of them expect it and we’ve been part of that co-dependency. Good on you to cut ’em off. Let the vampires feed elsewhere.

    Great to hear from you, Dee Dee. Always a pleasure. πŸ˜€

  6. BB Fortune
    July 8th, 2011 @ 10:24 PM

    ******APPLUASE******* ********STANDING OVATION********* what else is there to say really??? YOU NAILED IT!!!! this self centeredness is so bad with white women that it is astounding. I read on YAHOO ANSWERS a young white woman posted about 2 years ago that she went to study abraod with to black female freinds for a semester in europe. it upset her greatly that the european men were showing more love to her black freinds than to her. She went on to say how she was not a racist, but she could not understand what was “wrong” with the men in europe. People lit into her in their responses. The common response was telling her that she was used to the “white woman worship” she got in america and it was a blow to her ego that she was NOT the center of the universe when she got to europe. Her response to the commenters? “well I am back in america now and things are as they should be, I don’t like you and I bet you want me too.” SMH the entitlement of these women (including the woman tha wrote you that inspired this blog post) is amazing. Bravo on this post Betty 5 STARS!!!!

    GoldenAh: Her comments do not surprise me. Even the fat ugly ones are shocked when men pass them to talk to you over here. I think that’s why I like Europe sometimes. They are shocked! shocked! that the men aren’t falling over for them. I remember one chick having a temper tantrum on a tour bus, because the guy wouldn’t treat her like she was something special. Forget about the other 15 paid up customers, this one deserved all the attention. ‘Cause she was sure she’s “cute”. Yeah. Okay.

    She kept interrupting his tour lecture, needing to correct his knowledge of French language and history. Well… That Brit gave her such a take down and it was close to 5 to 10 minutes long; I had to resist applauding, although I was snickering. Her behind was meek and well behaved afterwards though. πŸ™‚

    The behavior has gotten worse. Thinking back over many years, I can’t call them being this bad. I lay some of the blame on “white women’s studies” at universities and the media. I honestly don’t give them much thought, but I figure why not write one post to address this. {{Shrug}}

    Thank you, BB Fortune. I really appreciate the feedback. πŸ™‚

  7. trish
    July 9th, 2011 @ 12:34 AM

    This is a terrific post as usual. I suppose when the media has constantly placed you on a pedestal or used you as the basis to determine beauty and femininity, it is no wonder why you would question why a blog didn’t address your concerns, in any way shape or form. It would almost seem unnatural to you even slightly racist (rolls eyes). One of the disadvantages of being privileged is the lack of insight into how society actually works or how your privilege can cloud your judgment when dealing with others not in the same position as you.

    Casey Anthony’s trial was a prime example of that privilege at work, even at the expense of justice for an innocent white child. Such is the power of white female privilege in this society.

    GoldenAh: I remember when NOW came out and backed that white woman who drowned her 4 or 5 boys a couple of years back. They even found a mental illness for her to claim. This “I killed the children, but it’s really not my fault” crap has been going on for years. No one in the system wants to put a “pretty white woman” in jail, no matter the crime.

    The (white) people who are acting surprised by the Casey Anthony verdict are F.O.S. All of them know how white women get off for these things. The B.S. is for our benefit. It’s the continuation of blowing smoke up our butts. That’s why they get mad when we say we see what’s going on.

    Great comment, Trish. πŸ™‚

  8. Andrea
    July 9th, 2011 @ 8:55 AM

    This was a terrific post! I am not the least bit surprised that a WW would expect to be made the center of attention on a Black woman empowerment blog. But look at it this way, we are talking about White women in general. I’m sure that pleases the email writer and other WW lurkers to no end. Lol.

    I remember a series of episodes on Oprah, way back when Doctor Phil was appearing on her show, that involved this insanely bitchy, narcissistic, bulimic WW who became enraged and verbally abusive of a BW because she felt the BW was getting too much attention and support for her problems — the BW had been sexually abused as a child by a friend of the family. She didn’t feel that the Black woman deserved any support. And was angry that attention was being taken from her. (There were several other people, but the BW was especially attractive.)

    The whole point of the shows (I think there were 4 eps) was receiving group therapy support, and supporting others!

    Even Oprah commented on this woman being a “bitch”. Though she said it in a joking manner.

    GoldenAh: Well, I look at Oprah as spending 20+ years encouraging them to be like this. She was their Mammy. And I respect Oprah’s hustle too. So no surprise there. I do think she was blown away by how much hate they had for her when she endorsed Obama for president over Billary. She was supposed to “know her role” and refused to play along. I bet she’s still getting hate mail from them. πŸ™‚

    The email was eons ago, but it stayed with me (I always keep the correspondence), because it was so … obvious. My feeling about the matter is: “What makes you think I’s got y’all on my mind? What in the world? Seriously?” Too funny.

    I really don’t see or give ’em much thought, because I’m not affected by them. They’re ubiquitous, yet invisible. I don’t say that to give offense. I’m sure most feel that way about black women: out of sight, out of mind.

    You bring up an excellent example. Who does a black woman turn to when she’s being bullied by a white woman? Everyone always assume we are the aggressor. I haven’t experienced the kind like you described (I have that “I am crazy and I’ll beat-you-down” stare when I need it), but what about the low key sisters out there? What should they do?
    Maybe a separate post on the bullying by everyone on us is needed.

    Great to hear from you, Andrea. Loved the example you cited as well. πŸ™‚

  9. Neecy
    July 9th, 2011 @ 12:12 PM

    Great Post Golden – hope you start writing more frequently again as I have missed your wonderful topics and posts.

    Anyway,
    If no one has figured it out yet its time to recognize that this is a White woman’s world. When I saw Casey walk free, I just reiterated to myself that this is not a “white mans” world but a White woman’s world. And it is. They CONSTANTLY get off for crimes such as this. I won’t even discuss the countless WW who have been on trial for having sexual relationships with their students and it was just pathetic at the attempts to sheild these women by pointing out their “attractiveness”.

    Of course the only women who go missing in this world are White women.

    For any WW to even approach a BW’s site and ask such a question (like the person did) is flat out insulting.

    And yes, many BW are often bullied by WW who know that people will most likely look to the BW as the aggressor and shit starter. That is why its importante (yes spanish) for BW to drop this fight-ready, sister soldiering stuff.

    i remember one time on a flight back from a business trip. I was with a couple co-workers. One was a White guy and my other co-worker who is also my buddy and very attractive (cuban/italian girl). Anyway, in front of us were two White girls and we all were out of breath b/c they had changed the gate of the original flight so everyone had to run to the next gate to make the flight. So, my friend/co-worker & one of the girls started having a playful argument about whose stuff was going in the top cabin above our seats. My co-worker jokingly says the other girl “we can take this outside if you want to”. Now I HAd nothing to do with this exchange although I was laughing. So the girl who was playfully arguing with my attractive white friend says “oh I’m not worried she’s has my back” (pointing to me). I was like no dear, I don’t have anyone’s BACK – I’m a lover not a fighter (everyone started laughing). but see the gall of her to just point me out as her protector! UGH

    GoldenAh: Thank you for the compliment, Neecy. I wish I could write faster, but these topics have to ruminate and ferment in my fuzzy brain a bit before I can write it down. πŸ™‚

    With the criminal justice system, I suspect there will always be some leeway for white women (at least in America). I don’t view the world as belonging to them, although they have a great deal of access to it. The Amanda Knox case in Italy is an example of the limits of this special treatment. It’s interesting to see the anger of the whites here, because she didn’t receive the leniency she’d be afforded here. And I do remember in Florida there was a WW who had sex with a student, and the news story reported her as being too “hot” to be put in a regular prison. Alrighty then.

    I think your response to that situation was perfect. That’s crazy for her to assign you guard / attack dog duty like you have no sense. These folks usually wait until they’re drunk to say such insultingly stupid and insensitive things.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Neecy. It is very much appreciated. πŸ™‚

  10. internethider
    July 9th, 2011 @ 12:50 PM

    well for white women the struggle isn’t with other races of women its their own race of men, mainly because white men are seen as top of the food chain and white women are held in second place and they want first place so that’s what they mainly whine about because they know that every other race of men fall at their feet and white men don’t have to because they’re not considered below them, its mainly a power struggle for them not just because of power but because of the attention you get with power, so when you hear one whining over not getting something she wanted right away from a WM its not the item she is actually wanting but the satisfaction of knowing that the white male gives over to them too like every one else does. (ever notice they never put an all white male jury against the white female? its always white women with different races of men kind of jury)

    GoldenAh: I don’t think in this day and age there will ever be an all white male jury, because the defense attorney and even the prosecutor wouldn’t want that. I don’t think any white male defendant would either. Men aren’t as sympathetic to each other with regards to some criminal cases. In theory, I think an all white male jury would let Casey Anthony go.

    I agree that among some groups of white women they are looking for something extra from white men, but they are wasting their time. It’s a man’s world, and that’s something they will have to live with. White men already give white women all they want. They are as high up in the tree as a monkey can go. πŸ™‚



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