I’m calling myself out. And if you are a white woman in the personal + spiritual development world, this is an invitation to examine what supporting other women means + calls for in your life.
I’ve been benefitting from my white privilege without even realising it. Have you?
Early on in my spiritual journey I was blessed to be part of a gorgeous friendship group of diverse girls (white women and WOC) who went to various personal development courses and classes together BUT it was apparent that there was a real white woman vibe to the personal development world. The love and light plastering over effect. A bubble.
I’ve written before about how when I GOT how to look after my sensitivity it meant I could inform + educate myself like the wee world warrior I was when I was young, before I learned how to pretend, and live surface level. Over the last 18 months my eyes have been opened to the glaring injustices that are going on & the spiritual bypassing happening. Women I really respected in the spiritual development world seemed silent to what was going on outside of the personal development bubble.
Where were the voices calling for real reform?
- The General Election. There was this “thing’: like speaking about politics could alienate your business. Surely that’s total BS. If you have a platform and you are living authentically sharing about the importance of debate + reform is crucial. And the argument that we are all LOVE and politics is external so therefore putting any attention on it isn’t worth it, doesn’t wash with me. Yes we are all LOVE and possibly we all signed Soul Contracts before setting up in our current experiences BUT thats the BLOODY point. We are having human experiences. Which means ENGAGING in politics as they impact every part of your human experience
- Grenfell towers. Love and light, hopes and prayers… what about holding up to account the people responsible for the manslaughter of 70+ residents
- The lack of voicing opinions on migration, women’s rights, inequality
And so much more I’m sure.
Now, I’m not interested in shaming myself or anyone else but I’m up for learning, educating myself and being part of the solution.
And I didn’t see many of the women I followed, the coaches and teachers in the UK, sharing their platform to do the same. Why not? Was it down to the concern of not getting it “right?” Of offending someone or alienating their audience? Or was it because of that ‘bubble’ the LOA bubble that sometimes can prevent actual engagement and real life change?
There were some women of course, Shaa Wasmund being one (I cried when I watched her live on the day of the General Election: the way she used her platform was incredible) But the fact there wasn’t many gave me the impetus to learn way more for myself, to educate + inform me.
Big social, racial, political and economic situations are happening across the globe. These need people of privilege to use their positions to create change from. Love and light memes don’t do enough. Love and light can be used as a way to surface over what needs to be talked about or sat with. Love and light can be used as a way to not address the privileged position that person sharing the meme is in.
Outrage is needed, anger is needed – not to stay dwelling in but to fire yourself up from: really think back to the magazines you’ve read, the conferences you’ve been to, the groups you are part of on Facebook. How many white women feature? When you think about WOC not being given the roles they deserve, or being asked to work for free or being overlooked for someone white does that not make you angry? When you realise that you haven’t called this out because you weren’t aware of it or weren’t listening, how does that feel?
Something that’s stopped me from speaking up before has been concern that I might get something wrong and offend. (My inner perfectionist) But I’m learning silence is way more detrimental cause it breeds complicity
So yes I’ve got it wrong before. I’ve worn bindis as a fashion statement, I’ve sat in conferences full of white women and not said “this is a bit weird” though I’ve thought it… I’ve thought privileged, ignorant people were JUST the old Tory guard politicians in power AND not realised that, like I do now, that I am one of those privileged people.
Here’s just some ways where my eyes have been opened:
- about a year ago I bought a yoga type magazine. Pages and pages of the typical female white yogi. No representation of diversity at all
- I started to follow women on Instagram involved with the me too//times up campaign and learned about intersectional feminism … an image that stick with me is “a feminist rally without WOC is a white Supremist meeting”. OMG that made me uncomfortable AF. I had to process what that meant. And I got it.
- I’ve been fortunate to access information from people like Torrie M Pattilo, Nova Reid, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Whitney Bell and more. Links to support these educators are below
Really, what I feel is that if any of us white women are in a position to support other women without the privileges we’ve experienced then we that’s what we do. I believe that the dismantling of the patriarchy depends on it. On white women owning our past, guilt and taking responsibility for how we move forward WITH all women.
I have a lot of work to do myself to make sure what I’m sharing with my work represents the diversity I want it to. For sure. And I’m going to get it wrong at times but I’m fully in for being part of the solution and to #pressforprogress. How about you?
What can we do:
- Often there are so many issues going on it seems a bit overwhelming. So you need to be taking really good care of yourself. Your self care, boundaries and practice will allow you to create space and fill up so you can use your voice for good.
- You don’t have to do everything on your own. Find other women who want to create change, who want to support intersectional feminism, women’s equality, a more caring, compassionate political world and work together.
- Watch out for the innerFEARfreaks disrupting your intentions. Don’t worry about trying to please everyone, or waiting for you to be “perfect” before you start or fear over what you can’t control. Celebrate where you are contributing and where you want to contribute further. Listen. Really listen. When I heard what my friends who were WOC had experienced I was shocked. Listen and listen without trying to take anyone else’s experiences away from them.
If you want to carry on this conversation come and join us in my Facebook community. Click here to come join us
Links to support the writers + educators I’ve mentioned: