Fifty three percent of white women voted for trump.
Fifty three percent.
White women are often blamed for electing trump.
I’ll admit it. I hate being grouped with the women who voted for trump. I hate people putting me in the same box.
But here’s the truth.
I get it.
I am a college educated middle class white woman. My privileges are many.
I am given more societal advantages than people of color, people without a degree, people living in poverty, immigrants, LGBTQ people.
Privilege surrounded me like the air I breath. I could not see it because it is the fabric of my existence. My struggles were relative to the people in my bubble and, in my psyche, I was far from privileged.
I was raised in an abusive home, bogged down by sexual assault, surrounded by people with more wealth. I had to work harder than my male peers in the STEM field and still faced harassment and discrimination. I fought hard against my own early gender based wage gap and closed it.
If I did not have my scholarship to college, my first sexual assault could have broken me. Instead, I escaped my hometown and I was able to keep my life moving forward.
When I made mistakes as a young white educated woman (and I did), people were always willing to give me a second chance.
Second chances are given to the privileged.
White women have the ability to thrive in white patriarchy, at least as long as we conform to the expectations.
Some of us can even be activists as long as we wear the hat of the charming idealist. The white male power system will still reward us. Our activism can be a hobby, even a passionate one, because we will always be protected by the envelope of privilege.
In my late 20s, I ventured out of my bubble and my privilege came into view.
I imagine some of the white women are aware of their privilege and intentionally seek to succeed within the constraints of white male patriarchy. For those dependency is a costume they wear to access the bigger payouts. For others, privilege is as invisible as the air we breath.