#WhiteWomanPrivilege Highlights Intersectionality #F #WhitePrivilege

This post originally appeared on January 15, 2014 written by founder, Tara L. Conley.

Yesterday #WhiteWomanPrivilege trended around the online feminist community. According to Topsy, #WhiteWomanPrivilege was tweeted over 15K times, just on Tuesday.

It may surprise followers that the hashtag originated from a white woman, @Auragasmic who started the day tweeting about the privilege white men experience:

#WhiteMalePrivilege is saying that because you don’t personally experience something, that it doesn’t exist. #Sexism #Racism

— Auragasmic (@Auragasmic) January 14, 2014

After several tweets about #WhiteMalePrivilege, she flipped the script and began commenting on her own privilege, which launched the conversation.

Can we talk about the privilege we white women have now?

— Auragasmic (@Auragasmic) January 14, 2014

#WhiteWomanPrivilege is being the idealized as the epitome of femininity and beauty.

— Auragasmic (@Auragasmic) January 14, 2014

#WhiteWomanPrivilege is being able to express your sexuality/relationship without judgement from MSM (see: the way Beyoncé was judged)

— Auragasmic (@Auragasmic) January 14, 2014

The conversation that followed @Auragasmic‘s original tweet sparked further discussions from white feminists who spoke about recognizing their own privilege, and from feminists of color illuminating on their experiences, which differed from the stories from white women.

#whitewomanprivilege means never having the talk w/ ur sons about appearing non-threatening and law abiding when you’ve done nothing wrong.

— Tasha L. Harrison (@dirtyscribbler) January 14, 2014

Unlike the #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen trend, #WhiteWomanPrivilege focused more on the experiences and realities of women of color (WOC) as parents, consumers, and as viewers.

#WhiteWomanPrivilege is not having to celebrate the few times a character on tv looks like you and DOESN’T play a maid or a drug lord.

— Iris Estrada (@Iris_Estrada) January 15, 2014

#WhiteWomanPrivilege means that when you have 10 kids you don’t get called a welfare queen, you get a reality show (see Duggars fam)

— Lil Luna (@LunaGemme) January 14, 2014

Many of the tweets attached to #WhiteWomanPrivilege illustrated that white women are privileged because of things they don’t do while emphasizing issues WOC face daily.

1st grade: wanted to be a pilgrim in school play, teacher made me play an indian while white girls were able to choose #WhiteWomanPrivilege

— champagne mami (@nabeyakiqueen) January 14, 2014

Your race isn’t a Halloween costume. #WhiteWomanPrivilege

— Bougie Black Girl (@BougieBlackGurl) January 14, 2014

Several #WhiteWomanPrivilege tweets let pictures do the talking. Google Image searches of “beautiful women” and “smart women” turned up almost exclusively photos of white women.

#WhiteWomanPrivilege pic.twitter.com/D83WJBbpUG

— ् (@HabibahPerez) January 14, 2014

#WhiteWomanPrivilege this!!! pic.twitter.com/zTM0e4vCTK

— Seghen Abraham (@SeghenAbraham) January 14, 2014

The conversation of #WhiteWomanPrivilege joins the ranks of the #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomenand #NotYourAsianSidekick (and on the other side: #relcaimintersectionalityin2014 and #stopblamingwhitewomenweneedunity) debates.

Read more about #ReclaimingIntersectionality2014 and#stopblamingwhitewomenweneedunity

Though each hashtag has taken on a different tone and focus, the central message is clear: This generation of feminism has serious internal obstacles to overcome.

What these tweets have indicated about privilege in 140 characters or less, several skilled writers have expanded into well-articulated posts. Here is a round-up of the best pieces I’ve seen addressing #WhiteWomanPrivilege and how we as a feminist community can address it:

These articles express more fully what the conversations attached to the #WhiteWomanPrivilegehashtag were unable to express; that is, the deeper meaning and nuanced perspectives of privilege. We learn that defensiveness from white feminists is counterproductive to the feminist movement, and that expressions from WOC isn’t about blame or guilt, but rather, it’s about the need to address institutional privilege clearly, directly, and without apology.

I also wrote a piece about #WhiteWomanPrivilege and feminist infighting on my blog yesterday. Check it out: (I want to emphasize I am not including this on the “best” pieces list, but I would appreciate your feedback!) 

What are your feelings about the #WhiteWomanPrivilege trend? How do you think WW and WOC can work together in the coming year to reach feminist goals? What are the goals? Tweet me @kellybycoffee or all of us @hashtagfeminism.