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12 June 2009 @ 09:30 am
White feminists  
Interesting post in debunkingwhite about white feminists specifically, Jessica Hoffman's Open Letter to White Feminists.

White feminists have difficulty hearing letters which address them as a racial group, because white women don't usually see their whiteness as relevant. That's part of what makes it a privilege--that thinking of it as relevant is an option, rather than a necessity of survival.

I recently interviewed forty bisexual women in Toronto, a city that reports a visible minority population of 42.9% (with all the ensuing white panic that entails). Only 15% identified themselves as visible minorities. Of the remaining 85%, only 12.5% self-identified as white or Caucasian. The women who used these identifiers did not give additional details (e.g., British, or German) with one exception, who described herself as having a “boring WASP background.” This suggests that those women who receive white privilege may not see whiteness as a significant or even accurate identity themselves.

I wonder how white feminists can hear themselves addressed by a letter to white feminists if they have difficulty seeing their whiteness as anything other than politically neutral.