A moment to breath...
Articles on acupuncture, health, life, and some actionable steps we can take...
The greatest barrier for white women to accept our role in racism, I would argue, is for us to simultaneously hold space for and recognize the hard battles we've fought to gain position and power, while recognizing that doesn't remove our complacency, compliance and active participation with a racist system.
We fought hard in the early 1900's to get a voice in government, which was granted in 1920. While the first state in the US to ban the long-established right of men to beat their wives occurred in 1850, today we still find that between 40 to 70 percent of women murdered in the United States were killed by an intimate partner. Even today, it seems hit or miss whether police will respond accordingly to calls of domestic violence, as they themselves are associated with higher rates of domestic violence (2 to 4 times as common among families of police officers). We still get paid less than men, we still get judged more harshly than men (consider the "Karen" meme, or smear campaigns against women running for office), and we still have professors in Ivy league colleges promoting the idea that we aren't mentally capable of being scientists! 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted by the age of 18- let's correct that- 1 in 4 girls will be sexually assaulted before reaching adulthood.
We, as women, were raised to put the needs of others first. We were raised to consider ourselves secondarily, and that we could only become proper women if we were dutiful and considerate others, especially the men in our lives. We were taught that our personal value is tied up in being good daughters, good sisters, good wives, and good mothers. We were taught to listen to everyone and not speak. It takes us decades for us to realize that we must consider our own needs and care for ourselves, and we often have to get angry before we do so. [I would argue that this is the definition of the Susan and Karen memes- every generation of women arriving at this stage in an earlier phase of life as women's rights progress.]
But none of that nullifies the benefits we gain from systemic racism. Instead, it just makes it harder for us to accept the power we hold and how we use it to perpetuate racism.
We have fought hard to find our voice and speak up. But we must acknowledge that we do, in fact, have a voice. And we do have power.
Only once we can acknowledge our power as white women can we be more responsible with how we use it. When do we draw upon our inner Karen and stand up, speak loudly, and make demands? We've fought hard to find our inner Karen and free her, so now we must learn how to summon her for the good of all. Let's use our inner Karen with the level of responsibility, care, and concern that we wish every person who had power over us had used.
I believe that it is, in fact, harder to process one's own abuse of power if one has not processed, accepted, and found a way through one's own trauma. We all carry trauma, and we need to be gently supportive of ourselves and others. We all carry baggage. Being considerate of the heavier load another carries does not mean we do not need help or support for our own heavy load. Get help. Ask for support. Respect yourself. Buy that Pumpkin Spice candle and thoroughly enjoy it with a long epson salt bath! Don't get caught up in the prison of shame that prevents steps forward.
Then you will be able to acknowledge the impact you have on those more disadvantaged than yourself.
There is plenty of space for all of us in this world. There are plenty of resources to share with everyone. There is enough food to feed every person on this planet. There is enough empty housing in our country to house every homeless person in America.
We will find a way forward, together.