Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pearl Clutcher Rewind

Pearl Clutcher is a term I use to describe white women that refuse to own their privilege.  Last November I dedicated a post to them and it seems from the complaints regarding this terminology some could really benefit from reading it again.  If this post isn’t about you there is no need to make it about you, however if it makes you uncomfortable I suggest you stop and think about why.

image I have written repeatedly about colluders and the various reasons why they disgust me.  There is however another group of women which I hold in equal contempt; and they would be the Pearl Clutchers.  You know who you are. The oh noez not me crowd.  You are the kind of woman that professes to be all about equality, until a WOC has the nerve to point her finger at you and say the word privilege.

I really do wonder why it is so hard for you to STFU and just listen.  Instead we get the temper tantrum, foot stomping and all around dismissive bad behaviour, that feminism has historically employed as a weapon to silence WOC. 

This is when we start to hear the famous, "IMO its not racism".  You know what, who the fuck asked and you, and how the fuck do you know? Seriously pearl clutchers, how the fuck do you know what is and isn't racism?

You've never been followed through a store, asked if you were your childs nanny, shown cheaper merchandise, had someone look you in the eye and call you a nigger, jigaboo, babys mama, or mocked during a lecture because you dared to question a professors authority on your cultural heritage.  Do you have your womanhood questioned constantly?  Do magazines create special editions to show that your kind of women can be considered beautiful to?

Here is a newsflash: The oppressor does not get to tell the oppressed what is and isn't oppression. I know that the victor traditionally writes history, but just for shits and giggles, how about you pretend that the subaltern can speak.  I don't want to hear about the ways that you identify with me, because you cannot.  I don't want to hear your comparisons of my life to yours, because they are not the same.  My struggle will never be the same as yours, and your attempts to diminish it by trying to find a reference point in your life, only makes the degree of privilege with which you function even more obvious.

Okay take a moment to grab your pearls and breathe.  Are you working up a venom yet, because I can almost hear the shrill about my angry tone?

image The ironic part about this is, that this post isn't even angry.  I simply cannot be bothered to sugar coat my words to allow you to feel comfortable.  The entire world caters to you pearl clutchers ,and I for one need a break from the bullshit. Don't upset the fragile white woman, the mother of the great race.  God forbid there should be a tarnished spot on your pedestal.  Here let me spit shine that shit for ya. 

I know that dragging that pedestal around with you everywhere you go,  must make you tired.  Deep down some part of you must want to cast it into the sea. but it has become like a child's lovey; a symbol of comfort even as it weighs you down and stunts your potential.

image I am not going to enable you.  Children eventually give up their pacifiers and you pearl clutchers can do the same with your pedestals and pearls.  WOC live without a safety net because society has not seen fit to afford us with one.  We must meet our daily struggles head on with no shield, and only our strength of will to protect us.  This lack of social coddling has allowed us to develop a unique voice, and it is one that you could learn much from should you ever decide to step off your pedestals and cast your pearls away.

I am not going to beg to be your teacher, or your guide because I don't want to play mystical negro, to your unenlightened white princess.  I am however going to suggest you pull the fingers out of your ears and truly listen.  Bite back the taunt of reverse racism that you have been dying to scream, and hear for the first time that your lilly white, over privileged ass, ain't worth a dollar more than mine.

Now that we have that straight, don't turn me into your new black bff to prove your conversion.  I am not your symbol of enlightenment.  Take responsibility for your journey and do your own work.  While I'm at it...don't ask me for one of those sisterly hugs in your time of need either; black women are tired of comforting upset white people like we don't have enough headaches of our own. You will not be getting a honey child from me. 

Well if you have lasted this far into the post with clicking off in a rage, you are probably on the road to a little thing I call redemption.  It is not an easy thing, but at the end of it all perhaps we can look each other in the eye with some degree of trust, rather than the hidden hostility we daily exchange. Now clean yourself up, square your shoulders and dive into the muck head first.  Decolonizing your mind is dirty work, so don't expect to be all pretty when you are done, but at least at the end of the road you can declare yourself a thinking woman of courage and agency.


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