White women, we have GOT to step up.
Look, I know that we live in a world which still tries, in a multitude of ways, to hold women back, and that includes us.
I know that we still face physical danger in our daily lives, especially from those we are supposed to trust.
I know that we still aren’t paid enough for what we contribute to society.
I know that we are still constantly being inundated by messaging that we aren’t enough, and where the made up yardstick for ‘enough’ changes all the time.
I know that we still don’t get anywhere near as many opportunities, for education, for work, for leadership, for positions of influence or power.
I know that we are still mistreated and gaslit by medical professionals, and that our health concerns aren’t taken seriously enough.
I know that we are still expected to be the caregivers, the homemakers, the stress ‘shock absorbers’, while we hold down a career.
I know that we are pushed to the limit, and we are exhausted by all of it.
I’m not saying we are having an easy time of it, or that we have much excess capacity to offer.
We do still have a form of privilege; white privilege.
It is still easier for us to get through life and be successful on our own terms than it is for women of colour.
We are marginalised as women, but also privileged as white people.
And what I’m calling for is that when that privilege affords us opportunities, we need to step up and use that privilege to help women of colour, to ally with them, to open doors for them.
No, we didn’t ask for the patriarchy.
Yes, it hurts us so much.
But not AS much.
And we can be better at helping bring all women up to a level playing field.
I sat across from an incredible woman today, who told me the story of her career and how much she had been undermined, bullied and harmed throughout — not by white men, but by white women.
Women who walked through open doors and closed them behind them. Women who made her solely responsible for the emotional labour of DEI work, even when she wasn’t paid for it. Women who gave her no resources, but expected the world from her, and then threw her under the bus.
I hear this story all the time.
We can be better than this.
We can study anti-racism.
We can ask the women of colour we know and work with what we can do to support them better.
We can appreciate their experience being different from ours, and become aware of how their needs differ.
We can learn about generational and racial trauma and hold space for those suffering.
We can lend a helping hand.
We can speak up for them when they cannot (or should not have to) speak up for themselves.
We have to step up.
If it’s not equality for all, it’s not equality at all.