Confession: I am listening to Dolly Parton and reading a Harlequin romance novel about a librarian titled Love Overdue.
WHAT THE FUCK
(Yes, moooost of my blog post ideas of late are just retreads of the same theme: “OMG I just realized I can stop hating XYZ and repressing myself and just like what I like and stop trying to be a hipster! MIND BLOWN!” Yes, this is another in that vein. I WARNED YOU.)
You know what else I like, other than cheeseball books and the Gilmore Girls soundtrack? PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES. WEARING FLUFFY SLIPPERS. GREY’S ANATOMY. YOU’VE GOT MAIL. LIFETIME MOVIES. TOP 40 CHRISTMAS SONGS.*
All of which makes me want to stab myself in the face.
Apparently post-election, some white people are wearing safety pins as a way to say they’re safe for marginalized people to be around. That they’re “woke.”
This new blog post on Nylon was a great, pardon the pun, wakeup call:
The promise of safety pin solidarity was…born out of white people’s desire to perform their wokeness in an effort to shed guilt about being the beneficiaries of a system of white supremacy.
The writer, Kristin Iversen, coins a new term, “performative wokeness,” or doing stuff to demonstrate how “woke” you are and aware of social justice issues, rather than doing the work and trying to make actual change. Not only is that ineffective, but it’s very short-term:
Along with its undeniable element of performativity comes a suggestion of temporality, like the advocacy has a beginning and end point, and it’s the privilege of the woke person to decide where they want to draw that line.
As a white (and cis, and able-bodied) person, I definitely have that privilege, the luxury of turning my “wokeness” on and off like a faucet if I so choose. I don’t have to think about my race when I go into a store, or second-guess the decision to wear a hoodie at night, like I would if my skin were a different color.
Acknowledging your privilege and being willing to give it up is uncomfortable, which I think is behind the appeal of temporary salves like the safety pin thing. The idea of “I want to feel less guilty about my white privilege for a sec.” But we prolly SHOULD feel like shit, writes Iversen:
Sometimes you (I) need a distraction in between being depressed af & taking action.
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(tldr I WISH I KNEW.)
I’m naturally a pretty judgmental person. But sometimes I hate that. I wish I were a Carefree Girl (maybe a cousin of the cool girl?):
Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl…[Cool Girl] doesn’t ever complain.
Girl Woman has windswept hair and tilts her chin to the sky to blow out a puff of weed smoke and drawls in a Matthew McConaughey surfer voice, “You do you, man! Whatevs! It’s all good!”
That is so not me.
I went to a new book club last night and met someone who raised all my stingy judgmental hackles. A huge fangirl of the chosen book and its author, she disagreed with anyone who was less than complimentary. I made a comment I thought was a neutral observation, and she took it as a criticism she had to correct (based on her assumption that she read more YA than I do). Judgy thoughts sprang up:
Ohhh, so you’re 22 and just graduated from an expensive women’s college? RIGHT. Call me when you have some actual real-life experience.