The Irony is Not Lost on Me

Mira Brownfield
Jan 23, 2018 · 4 min read

I am the epitome of a Privileged White Woman. I am wealthy, educated, cis-gendered, heterosexual and I live in the hills of California for chrissake. I am the definition of privilege. I also believe that right now is a good time for white women to sit down and shut the hell up and listen.

But here I am talking. And writing. And arguing.

Why won’t I shut up? Why do I think I’m different? Well I don’t. I don’t write this blog to tell everyone else how to feel and think. I write what I feel and think. I don’t expect my blog to go viral and for me to become the next guest on CNN talking about what the people need to do to change the world. (Although that would be kind of nice.) What I do is have thoughts that I think are interesting. I have feelings that I think are relevant. And I write well.

Sometimes I think what I might be here for is to reach the white women of privilege like me. Maybe, just maybe, if they won’t listen to other people telling them to sit down and shut up, they will hear me? Maybe if I find the right words to explain it they will understand something new about experiences that are not like their own. Maybe my empathy and ability to listen will help me translate for them so that they can see a bit more of what they’ve been missing.

Well that’s a bit of a messiah complex there isn’t it?

No, that may happen but that’s not the point of me writing. I write to help myself understand me. What am I going to do about these things I’m horrified and enraged by? How am I going to break through my own fears and risk confrontation, arguments, loss of friendships? What is my true purpose or calling on this earth? How can I use my writing abilities to make a difference? How can I share my spirituality and ability to heal?

Because deep in my heart I’m a healer. I have the ability to heal myself, my children, maybe you. I want to heal the whole world but one person at a time will have to do. And to start out healing I have to truly figure myself out. I’ve been working on healing myself for about 150 years now but the job is never done. The spiral of life brings you around to the painful bits again and again and again until they become mere bruises instead of weeping wounds. And it is with those bruises mending that I can go out to you and spread healing to those who need it.

This nation needs so much healing. It almost physically hurts when I watch the news these days. New wounds being created in innocent people, old wounds being torn open with hate and venom. I hope to be ready to heal those who need it when I’m called upon. I hope to remain open to more education whenever I am found lacking in understanding. For I know I am not perfect and I know someone can always teach me something because most of my wounds were not created by the world of racism and hate, they were created “in house” by family and mental illness. So I need to be constantly made aware of how true worldly wounds affect millions of people around me.

For example, take someone putting a Pussyhat on the Harriet Tubman statue in Harlem during the women’s march Saturday. Upon first glance I would have loved it, thinking “we’re all in this together!” But it enraged black and trans women who were already frustrated and angry with white cis women for past carelessness and neglect. White women were all “It’s everyone’s symbol! We are taking our power over our pussies back!” No, what we are being told is it isn’t everyone’s symbol. Not everyone has a pink one and not all women have one. Wow. Listen to that. How easy it is to forget that our own experience isn’t everyone’s. Imagine marching with millions of women and feeling like you aren’t actually included. Imagine wanting to fight with all the women fighting back and finding that you aren’t invited to the battle.

Healing begins with inclusivity. All should be welcome to the battle. No, you don’t get to decide what the definition of a resister is. No, you don’t get to know what’s in their pants or what color their skin is before you decide whether what they have to say is important. That being said, I have just told white women to shut up. The reality is that what you have to say does matter but you’ve had the podium already, and for a great long while. It’s time to share the stage, and maybe even give it over. Because we pretty much all know what white women are fighting for, what we need to know is what ALL WOMEN ARE FIGHTING FOR. We are stronger together but we will never be together if some of us don’t sit down and listen to those who have had no voice up until now.

Give them the microphone please.

Mira Brownfield

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Mom of triplets plus one, believer in words as powerful resistance.