So I may be late to the party, but instead of writing my paper and preparing for exams like I should be, I’ve immersed myself in several interesting posts/exchanges about white privilege. But not just any white privilege, but female white privilege.At this point, I’d say that white privilege is usually acknowledged, thanks to things like Peggy McIntosh’s list, and one of my personal favorites, this website here.

However, white privilege doesn’t exist in a vacuum. What about white privilege when the person involved is female? That’s where controversy abounds.

So in response to the Alexandra Wallace debacle (which I’ve written abouthere), Andrea Plaid posted on Racialicious an examination of white female privilege. Cue the denial.

Womanist Musings posted a follow-up rightfully criticizing some of the reactions of commenters on Feministe, but it’s not without problems either.

First of all, the commenters on Womanist Musings are quick to lump together all the commenters on Feministe as white female privilege deniers, which is quite unfair to the WOC contributors and commenters that they have (as well as any other supporters of WOC). Upon closer examination of the comment thread on Feministe, it’s clear that there is an engaged debate with several commenters, and moderators, attempting to explain the issue of white female privilege. It’s unfortunate that instead of discussing the issue at hand, it derailed into a conversation arguing over the existence of white female privilege. Well, it exists. It’s not tantamount to white male privilege, by any means, but it exists nonetheless. Privilege is not a zero-sum game. People are privileged in many different ways, and intersectionality plays a huge role in it.

Example: I’m a cisgender WOC. That makes me privileged over a transgender WOC. See? Easy. It doesn’t make me a terrible person, it’s just a fact that we live in a society where cisgender is a privilege over transgender, and it works in tandem with the fact that I am a woman of color.

Anyway, yeah, it is frustrating to read some more mainstream feminist blogs because they sometimes miss their own privilege. But I don’t think that’s a reason to deride them as a whole. Sometimes the commenters are awful, sometimes even the posts make me cringe. But instead of shouting down each other when these issues happen, why can’t we talk about it? I’ve had issues with Feministing, actually, over a post about Alexandra Wallace, but that just means I comment about it, hope someone reads it and takes note about it, and then I read other articles that do have insights that I admire. It’s not always fair to lump everyone on a particular blog as being no longer worthy of reading, because a few people make mistakes or say something you disagree with.

Personally, I love Feministe. And I don’t think that the debate that ensued over this topic is a reason to stop reading it–on the contrary, it’s encouraged me to comment more. Because while observation is fun and such, sometimes you have to really step in and step up and talk as well as listen.