Uhh, Ms. Grenell: White Women Are ‘Your People’ Too
This post is in response to Alexis Grenell’s “White Women, Come Get Your People” article, as published in the New York Times Opinion section.
Dear Ms. Grenell,
I read your article. I was not impressed. You just successfully spread hatred and intolerance for women, en masse.
Are you familiar with the concepts of hatred and intolerance?
Hatred and intolerance are characterized by the overt persecution of a person, or group of people—like, say, when one publishes a seething, slanderous article that attacks white women who exercise their right to live, think, act and vote—different than you.
Hatred and intolerance are the products of an “us” and “them” mentality—you know, the same one you used when you reduced and de-personalized white women in support of Judge Brett Kavanaugh or President Trump into nothing more than greedy, privileged bigots, and then viciously shoved “those” women into the stereotype group you’ve labeled “gender traitors.”
Hatred and intolerance are also marked by elaborate lies and other false accusations—for example, claiming that white women in support of Judge Brett Kavanaugh have “made standing by the patriarchy a full-time job” or better yet, the intellectual-sounding garbage you wrote in the line, “white women benefit from patriarchy by trading on their whiteness to monopolize resources for mutual gain.”
And just in case you’re not aware, your angry article just told everyone that you don’t believe that women—all women—are worthy of equal respect.
Your article told everyone that it’s acceptable to stereotype and publicly attack certain women (whose views you don’t agree with) through vicious, generalized lies. You’ve unfairly painted the picture that certain women—the white women you’ve labeled “gender traitors”—are supporters and enablers or somehow otherwise responsible for sexual violence against women. Your sardonic tone implies that you think these “types” of women could be stifled and suppressed for their opposing views. Such hatred is hardly empowering.
Can I ask—where do you get the values and facts that form your opinion? What makes your views universally “right,” or applicable? Why do you cut down those who don’t share your opinion? What’s at the root of your ruthless and unfair attacks on your own gender and race?
Because Ms. Grenell, I’m worried that your merciless article betrays what’s sitting in your heart: an ugly disrespect—or the very least, a serious misunderstanding—of white women whose views differ from your own. This attitude is the very definition—and dangerous breeding ground—of true hatred, intolerance and bigotry.
And just so we’re clear: the fact that you happen to be a white woman doesn’t make you some sort of hero for speaking out in an offensive and hurtful way. Your article still furthered the divide between women—and human beings—in this country. You tore white women (and white men) down.
Yes, you have some serious misconceptions on how to treat women who don’t share your views. You haven’t quite grasped that all women—all human beings, really—deserve equal dignity and respect, even if they don’t share your ideology. That the diversity of womanhood doesn’t negate our commonality.
Ms. Grenell, I invite you to come stay with me. To get to know me. In my home.
Yes, I’m serious.
While you’re here, I invite you to search for evidence that I’m a “gender traitor,” as you watch me struggle—like so many other women—through nursing my soon-to-be-infant girl, while also alternating between snuggling, chasing, and nurturing my toddler son. I want you to sit in on one of the women’s support groups I host in my home twice a month—to listen to the intimate sharing of our personal battles, thoughts, reasons, desires to do better, be better women. Then you may have more information to help you accurately decide whether or not I am, as you allege, a “gender traitor, " or maybe just someone who has the right to live outside your expectations?
Please come stay with me and scrutinize my days to see if my life is centered on me, white-ness, patriarchy, money, and/or hatred for others as I serve my family and manage an (entirely unpaid) volunteer service for 600+ scheduled people—plus unscheduled guests—each week. After your observation period, it should be clear whether I devote my time and efforts at making “standing by the white patriarchy a full-time job.” Or if I might have a simpler, less-sensational motivation for the way I live?
And speaking of men, I’m dying for you to meet my husband when you come. So you can see for yourself if he is not the kindest, most respectful, hard-working, peaceful, least oppressive and most supportive and loving man you’ve ever met—if he is not the other, equally vital half of an enviable marriage that radiates love, mutual respect and the sharing of sacrifice. Or, if, as you’ve artfully painted, we have actually have some sort of twisted, evil “blood-pact” where we secretly don white robes with pointy hoods at night while chanting "white, patriarch power" and holding our slit wrists together over a burning cross so we can “benefit from patriarchy by trading on their whiteness to monopolize resources for mutual gain.” Or, could it be at all possible that our marriage has nothing to do with politics and we have slightly less radical ways of spending our evenings when the kid(s) are in bed?
Ms. Grenell, I want you to come stay with me so you can see that—while I’m not a model female—I’m a reasonable, rational, balanced and fairly kind human being whose choices do not revolve around race, gender or any other demographic status I was (or wasn't) born into.
Because I think somewhere during your stay you’ll recognize a fellow woman, a fellow human. Someone who isn’t like you, but still deserves her right to choose how to live out her womanhood—including her right to vote and support the candidates of her choosing for political office… without being attacked, defamed, ripped apart, and falsely stereotyped as a traitor and bigot.
Or don’t I deserve to have rights anymore—because I’m not in the liberal clique?
Do I only get the right to vote or voice my opinion if I accept the liberal mold thrust on me as a woman? Do you force the liberal mold upon people of color, too?
Come on. I know you can do better than that.
If you want to support women, allow them their right to vote—period. If you want to empower women, try creating a bond that supersedes shallow things like politics and candidate choices: get to know women as people. Love and build them up, one-by-one, in their various strengths, struggles, and states in life.
You don’t have to agree with every woman. You don’t even have to be silent about your views—but you do need to stop tearing women down with the hate-speech of name-calling and mass-applied, uninformed judgments.
Again, you are welcome in my home to get the experience you need to fully understand and learn how to support the beautiful diversity that is womanhood.
But if you aren’t ready to come into my home to do that, just yet, I get it. That’s ok. Please know that my offer stands… forever.
In the meantime—there’s a great alternative you might try. It’s simple (but maybe not easy).
Do what one of the greatest, most indisputable social-justice champions of all time suggests:
“If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family.” — Mother Teresa