Let’s talk for a minute about why white women need to get on board with fixing the white supremacist society that we live in – white women were granted suffrage on the backs of BIPOC. In the USA, Susan B. Anthony sided with white supremacists and took funding from them, fighting for an English-literate, educated electorate to intentionally leave out black people, Aboriginals and immigrants. In Canada, our Mother of Women’s Rights, Nellie McClung was an ardent eugenicist, determined to enforce the sterilization of Indigenous and immigrant women. Literally obliterating all but Anglo-Christian Canadians.
We need to talk about how white women can work to end oppression. We need to understand our roles in this society. For me, there is a tension between my white ancestors and my indigenous ancestors – I present as white, and thereby benefit from this culture, but my heritage is Métis. There is the erasure (Thank you, Brenna Duperron, PhD Candidate, for that word) of my heritage, through the Canadian system of whitewashing to create a nation of white Canadians.
This is where intersectionality comes in – imagine the challenges facing women. Now imagine being a LGBTQ BIWOC with a chronic illness. Imagine that each one of those intersections create their own challenges in mainstream society (it shouldn’t be hard… because each one of those are not generally accepted in the mainstream) and check to see how your privilege has you benefiting where these sisters are being oppressed.
If you read all the way to here hoping I could suggest how to fix this problem, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I do not have the answers. All I can tell you is to please be open minded and learn as much as you can from legitimate sources; and every time you learn something, use it. To quote Dr Maya Angelou – do the best that you can, until you know better; when you know better, do better.
Image Source – New York Tribune 1913-03-01