As I have been thinking more and more about this blog, what bigger picture goals I have, themes to write about, etc. something has been bothering me. I was given the advice to explore and unpack my “privileged white woman whining” comment before even starting the blog and initially I felt like I had done the needed exploring. But in the past few days since posting my “white woman whining” I have found myself continuing to go back and to re-read my last post. I have come to realize that I keep going back because deep down I know I haven’t done the advice justice.
It hit me tonight as I was reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me I had forgotten about the other side – the “White Woman Savior” complex. I had forgotten to explore the “I’ve experienced this once so I can speak for everyone” side. Yes I made a few statements in my last post about not wanting to equate my experiences to the larger problems, but I don’t feel as though I really acknowledged what the other side of the spectrum could become.
I have just barely started Coates’ book but it has been enough to flip my world about bodies and embodiment. It has already taught me to look beyond people’s actions and reactions and think about how those decisions are ways of protecting the body. It has also made me realize that as much as I have to worry about how my white female body is treated, I’m still nowhere close to being able to imagine what others are going through. This is the realization clicked with how I’ve been feeling about my blog. I in no way wanted or want to write anything that could be interpreted as me saying “because I’ve experienced such and such I know how it feels for everyone and this is how to make it better.”
These realizations have brought up new thoughts about goals for my blog. Who really is my audience? Of course I hope for a diverse audience to create discussions and explore issues more deeply. But who really do I hope to have an impact on when it comes to views on poverty and homelessness? I said in the first blog, if I could just change one person that I will have accomplished something, but who really is that person?
I don’t know the exact answers yet. But I am aware of and always exploring them.