Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Selfish White Lady Yoga Debacle

I feel like I'm saying this all the time, but things are incredibly busy for me right now, so I don't have much time to write. 

Long story short, my life is in shambles…in a good way…all things which are positive but require a ton of time and/or mental space right now. Work has mysteriously picked up massively, I made two significant volunteer commitments (that I didn’t realize would suck up so much time and overlap as much as they are) and we’re buying a house/moving. For the next few weeks (months?) I’m going to need to limit my time online. I know that I could just do this and not make a big deal out of it but I like sending my intentions out into the world. It makes me more accountable.

Plus, once I say it, I feel less guilty about blogging only here and there.

OK...all that aside, I need to talk quickly about the selfish white lady yoga debacle which has been unfolding since yesterday when xoJane published this. In it, a self described "skinny white girl" and writer, Jen Carlson, gets all weepy about observing a fat, black woman in her yoga class. It was one of the strangest, most condescending things I've read in a while. And luckily, the people I follow on Twitter took delight in tearing it apart.

BUT THEN my friend Travis passed along a response from another xoJane writer, Pia Glenn. I can't even begin to describe how good it is. READ IT. It's the entire reason I'm posting this. Here's a snippet:
You see, I don’t think either of you have anything but good intentions, and yet you are using them to pave the road to hell. Further enacting a societal ill in your efforts to call it out is the worst kind of white privilege. It is why we need messages of progress but the messenger matters. Otherwise, we’re left with something like this:
Hey, Oppressed Person, I feel bad for you but what’s most important right now is that we make it all about Me, even though it is your time of need. How do I know it is your time of need? Why, because you’re not me, of course! You’re you and that is Less Than Me. But I’m thinking of you! So let’s get back to Me and My Thoughts now…

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