Thursday, April 22

I've Been A White Woman Playing The Role Of Expert

I realized while reading "Jezebel Circles the Wagons" by Renee over at Womanist Musings that I have been itching to do this lately:

My shoulders are tired of carrying the burden of their outright conceit. How many times has the work of WOC been stolen so that a White woman could play the role of expert?

I've been lecturing my coworker/friend a lot lately. I'm trying not to do it, but I'm really struggling with it this past 3 weeks. A lot. Like...on and on and on w/ ridiculous "expert"-ing in fun conversation at lunch. Gardening, (socioeconopolicital lefty stuff even--watch it!!!), crap I am so not an expert on--just a big collector of knowledge on.

And y'know, I tamp it down because I had enough of a little voice telling me it'd be wrong to bring up stuff I read in blogs written by women of color just because she's a woman of color...

...but now I realize it's a damned good thing I didn't, because it'd have at least 3 reasons for being the wrong thing to do to her. The "this is about you--look!" wrong thing, the "playing the role of expert" thing, and the "stealing the work of WOC" thing. Yeesh.

I plan to take this as a kick in the pants to stop "playing the role of expert" with things I stole. I think that should help me do a lot of the shutting up I've been struggling w/ these 3 weeks, anyway.

Recent headlines from the blog "Black and Missing but Not Forgotten:"