To All My Fellow White Women Marchers: Use Your Privilege Against the System For Others


First of all ladies, I want to say how proud and inspired I was by the Women’s March and the continual protests I am seeing of women across the country. Seeing so many women peacefully making their concerns heard, taking to the streets, and refusing to normalize misogyny is a beautiful thing. Something I don’t think I would have believed possible after all the times I had heard feminists be called ugly dykes who just need to get laid, and seen my fellow women laughing at those jokes. So I want to thank each and every woman who walked, you are fucking brave and amazing and powerful.

So now what?

We have made our voices known, we pissed off Mr. Trump, we proved to the world and ourselves that we have serious numbers and serious concerns. But one thing keeps tugging at me, and that’s the difference in police response to the Women’s March and police response to Black Lives Matter demonstrations. We just witnessed what happens when white women in pink hats disrupt traffic, walk in the middle of the street, and surround their capitals – the police smile, and give us high fives, and pose for pictures. That’s not what happens when women and men of color protest. When black women block a road, which again, we white women totally did, people threaten to run them over with cars and trucks. See the difference?

White silence

And that’s pretty fucked up when you think about it, because people of color should have the same rights to free speech and freedom of assembly that we do. And while we are on the subject, why do we have that ability that others don’t? Why did the police and public react to white women protesting at a completely different magnitude than they do when people of color do? It’s simple really, they don’t see us as a threat. The police have shown white women again and again that they again really not afraid of us – seriously, pretty much every white women I know has had an interaction with police where she has been sent on her way with a warning. I don’t know any black men or women who can say the same.

Now before you start to feel guilty, Ashley, hear me out. The police have revealed their biggest weakness. They underestimate us. They don’t think we are strong enough or powerful enough or dangerous enough to impact them or their policies in any meaningful way. But if you actually look at policing in this country is full of problems: a lack of accountability, lack of training on implicit bias, lack of understanding of the root causes of criminal behavior and mental illness. And the result of that is that people of color are more likely to be stopped by police, more likely to be arrested, more likely to be convicted  (and given longer sentences), and, you guessed it, more likely to be killed by a police officer. That’s a problem! And I think we should help because it’s the right thing to do, and we can help because the police don’t take us seriously. We can use our privilege by attending Black Lives Matter and Native Lives Matter protests and putting our bodies between protesters of color and the police. Just go, listen to people of color, don’t try and take charge, and use all those stupid stereotypes that get assigned to us to actually make a difference in people’s lives.

A young black woman with protesters, Washington D.C., 2017.

Let’s take a stand for something important.  Let’s show the country that we are strong and powerful and unafraid. Let’s be the superheroes we know we can be, and have something to tell our children and grandchildren when they ask us what we did to stop American Fascism.