This is my last post on the Good Womyn Project. Although attacking inequality is fun, it is too much work for me. I am going to go back to my navel gazing on my blog, fauxwhore.com. If you have any questions, drop a line. <3 xoxoxoxoxox.
Andrea Plaid posted a piece over at the blog racialicious in which she argues that there is such a thing as White Female Privilege. Needless to say, that went over like a lead Zeppelin in certain circles. The canvas on which she paints her argument is the inappropriate, though I would argue excusable, tirade of Alexandra Wallace. As a side note, I would have made it a "teachable moment" for Ms. Wallace, instead of delivering death threats. But, of course, I'm an adult. As Edward Lee, Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent School of Law, wrote, "...While Wallace has no one to blame for the notoriety from her offensive video except herself, we do have to remember that she is a college student. There's perhaps no other population that is as prone to saying or doing inappropriate or embarrassing things as college students..."
Andrea Plaid bullet points a number of examples of said "privilege". Of course, I argue that being yourself is not a privilege, since I cannot control how other people treat me because of some immutable characteristic. I have no more obligation to "check my privilege" than I do to apologize for myself - which is none at all. That being said, Ms. Plaid quotes Arturo Garcia as stating, "After all, there’s a certain sector who’s perfectly willing to forgive/accept her views because she’s ‘hot.’" I argue that the vitriolic reaction Wallace received was a result of the fact that she "...visually presents as the physical and sexual ideal of the 'all-American' blonde white girl-next-door..." In other words, this is the exact opposite of White Female Privilege. This is the White Female Burden.
Alexandra Wallace got metaphorically raped BECAUSE she was a pretty white girl. It's the same phenomenon that happened to Carrie Prejean when she stated during the 2009 Miss USA pageant that she was against gay marriage. When progressives are confronted with an opposing opinion, and that opinion is delivered by a person like Wallace, or Prejean, the sparks fly. Because beautiful blondes are so sympathetic, it enrages those who oppose their opinions. It's a form of jealous revenge - to tear down those whose lives seem so much better than our own for offending us, or saying something with which we disagree.
The reason I am writing this piece is not to be a Wallace apologist, but to point out the funny comments that occur after the Plaid piece on racialicious.com and on feministe.us, where the piece is discussed. In those venues, the concept of "White Male Privilege" is not controversial. But, Whoa hoo!!!! White Female Privilege?
Luke Blue (racialicious): "...I definitely see the ways this privilege functions/manifest *differently* for white women than for white men, but I think that difference is often about women in general having lower status in society than men due to patriarchy/misogyny etc....I equally firmly believe that dubbing a use of white privilege into which is enfolded a big fat submission to male supremacy (check out all those dumb little girl "like"s and don't-hurt-me-i'm-fragile giggles) is counterproductive and fogs a clear vision of where power really rests in our society. "
Sara (feministe & racialicious): "Here’s my question: Why call it “white female privilege?” White men also have a sense of entitlement when they’re saying crazy shit. I’m not sure the tendency to “forgive”/ignore her views because she’s “hot” is a form of privilege. It seems like the same phenomenon we see when progressive views are “forgiven”/ignored in favor of attention to the speaker’s body."
LoriA (feministe): "I’m with you, Sara. White privilege is absolutely a thing and every white person has it regardless of gender. But any sort of female privilege is just benevolent sexism that actually functions to hinder women and further the patriarchy. There were several examples of this that Plaid listed in the article that had me shaking my head like crazy..."
And LoriA again, as LoriA89 (racialicious): "...Look, I'm all with you on the existence of white privilege, and I have that even though I'm female. But a specific kind of white female privilege? It makes exactly as much sense as the MRA-authored female-privilege lists, which repurpose benevolent sexism as something that actually benefits women. That is to say, it makes no sense."
Bellereve (feministe): "Agreed – it’s white privilege, not 'white female privilege.'"