Please please please get the not-quite-Breton-jumper it is gorgeous. And I SUPER want it. But you should get it. Buy it. Now. Listen to the good advice of Elle who tells you to always spend your money.
It’s become customary to suppose that a measure of discrimination is built into whiteness itself, a racial category that has often functioned as a purely negative designation: to be white in America is to be not nonwhite, which is why it was possible, in 1961, for a white woman from Kansas living in Hawaii to give birth to a black baby. In a marvellously splenetic essay, “On Being White … And Other Lies,” James Baldwin argued that America had, really, “no white community”—only a motley alliance of European immigrants and their descendants, who made a “moral choice” (even if they didn’t realize it) to join a synthetic racial élite…
In 1994, the white labor historian David R. Roediger published an incendiary volume, “Towards the Abolition of Whiteness.” Paying special attention to unions and strikes, he traced the unsteady growth of American whiteness, a category that eventually included many previous identities that had once been considered marginal: Irish, Italian, Polish, Jewish. “It is not merely that whiteness is oppressive and false; it is that whiteness is nothing but oppressive and false,” he wrote. “Whiteness describes, from Little Big Horn to Simi Valley, not a culture but precisely the absence of culture. It is the empty and therefore terrifying attempt to build an identity based on what one isn’t and on whom one can hold back.” In his view, fighting racism wasn’t enough; white people who wanted to oppose oppression would have to do battle with whiteness itself.
BACKGROUND: Last week in lectures, lecturer (who is also my tutor) asked the class if any of us consider ourselves feminists. I think there’s about 160 people in the course. Anyway, 4 people put their hands up. Me and 3 girls (two of whom were mature/return students). This is in a class which is at least 60% female. Lecturer was appalled, and went on to explain that feminst does not equal man-hater, lesbian, or guerilla, and at it’s most basic level, feminism is just the struggle against patriarchy for equality.