I really, really want to cheer when women take the podium and start to speak about our need for bodily autonomy. It is something dear to me, especially as a trans woman, it means a hell of a lot, and there’s an overlapping core of law to it that forms a sinewy thread between abortion and birth control rights (for everyone who is capable of carrying a child or potentially even at risk for being seen as potentially capable of carrying a child) and trans rights (for everyone who wants to take control of how their physicality presents a gender and potentially get replacement store-bought hormones since homegrown isn’t cutting it).
I really do.
But it’s a pretty regular occurrence that I end up just… not.
White women, we are really, phenomenally good at putting our foot in our mouths.
Let me back up a step. Remember the suffragette movement? Got the idea clearly in mind? Good. I bet many of us white women think of them as die hard heroes who could do no wrong. They did, after all, literally suffer through physical violence to make their case. Out of their mouths also spewed some of the most vehemently racist filth I’ve seen. They had had an alliance with black folk who also wanted to vote. In a strategic move which gained white women the right to vote sooner but cost feminism generations of bad reputation, they burned that bridge. Oh, no, excuse me, they sent flaming tar balls over the bridge into the crowds and some of the drippings fell on the bridge and they just kind of shrugged their shoulders at the loss of the bridge, is more like it.
Eh, just a glitch in history, times were like that then and we’re different now?
Nah. Not enough has changed. I mean, the fashion is a lot different. More of us are used to moving around in pants these days than not. Addiction to whiteness is still pretty potent, though.
Case in point. The 2016 presidential election…
Oh, no, no you don’t, don’t you whine and wander away.
There’s this tendency to bemoan poor people and white women voting for the deceptive evil racist scumbag and toss it off as them being victims of a con artist’s game done at the political level. I’ve probably said as much in the past. I’ve… rethought that. If it’s so deceptive, why are these people so gods-damned consistent about doing so. It’s almost like they know what they’re doing, they’ve made a calculated choice, and have genuinely decided it’s in their advantage.
Well, in their minds, it sincerely is. Might be a tad short-sighted, but I mean it’s worked so damn well for so many generations. And I think what so many of us over here scratching our heads forget is how powerful whiteness can feel. Dammit, that drug is addictive. It’s like being on, I don’t know, think of some of the strong stuff. Like meth. Only … wow! No crash, no inconvenient “after” photos where you look emaciated. That “little” kick you get from knowing that your station in life is permanently greater than some of the wealthiest black and brown folk.
We keep saying it’s short sighted, even me, because we insist that some day a reckoning needs to come due, and… You know we’re terrible at this? We have not successfully cleansed the land of systemic white supremacy, the kind that’s baked in as a set-and-forget system for ensuring we white folk keep staying on top. We’re either too lazy to do it or we must think this shit’s the best and it’s gotta keep going.
Personally, I want to burn it all to the ground. I must sound like a crazed DEA-officer to other white folk, wanting to burn all the crops of whiteness. Only you know what? Scratch that image because the DEA is probably a significant supplier of crops of whiteness in how it’s become a tool of ensuring we’re at the top.
And that, my friends, is why the 2016 election was callously rational. Way, way too many white women voted in their own wily self-interest to ensure a steady supply of whiteness continued reaching their doorsteps, and where ever else they spent time during the day.
And that is why, when I hear a gal go for the gusto taking the podium, right after a renewed attack on Roe that we all knew was coming (or fucking well should have), I SO WANT TO CHEER … and ended up cringing.
Some of the phrasing needed a few other sounding boards and a little more research.