As NPR’s “Tell Me More” gets ready to air its last episode on August 1, host Michel Martin took to the pages of the National Journal to spell out how conversations about women in the workplace ignore race. She references Anne-Marie Slaughter’s popular 2012 essay in The Atlantic “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” explores the jobs women of color have in today’s workforce, and then finally lands on it’s not all that useful to “check your privilege:”
Women of color have a long history of making a way out of no way, of rising out of circumstances many would consider impossible, of finding hope and purpose in the most difficult circumstances. Surely these are strengths that should be brought to bear on these issues, and surely there is a way for white women to join us in this struggle. There is a saying that is popular on some college campuses right now: Check your privilege. As I understand it, it’s mainly aimed at advantaged white people who are being admonished to recognize their advantages, especially ones they take for granted. I won’t presume to speak for all women of color so I will speak for myself: I don’t care about that. I don’t want your pity, and I can’t use your guilt. I don’t want my white female colleagues to “check” their privilege. I want them to use it—their networks, their assets, their relationships—to form a united front with women of color, and to help improve things for all of us.
Read more at National Journal.