Oh, White Women
Farrah Bostic

Respectfully, I suspect that thinking about men and women in terms of power structures is misleading.

A power structure is a disparity — yet some disparities are good and just. I should respect the wishes of my girlfriend, because I admire and love her.

In some ways that gives her power over me. If I thought about us simply as a power relationship, that would seem unbearable. But it would be inaccurate. The same goes for my relationship with my mother. I have many reasons to respect her, and none of them debase me.

“Power structure” is a weak concept. All it can do is point to inequality, but it does not say whether that inequality is bad. To treat all instances of unequal power as wrong is misleading; what is wrong is when power is abused.

I hope you will consider other ways of understanding people and their actions. For example, regarding women who voted for Donald Trump, like one of my aunts did: Was she defending the power structures of white supremacy, or following her husband? I was curious, so I interviewed her. Turns out she could not get over the fact that if she had violated protocol with a private email server she would have been fired, whereas Hillary got to walk away. For her, it was a matter of fairness.

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