Q: You make it clear in the first paragraph of the book that you are a white woman. What was it like to write this book as a white woman? Why did you decide to write this book now?
a: I’ve been thinking about these ideas for a long time, a few decades. I was actually planning on writing a separate book, but the events of the pandemic and the rebellion after the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd made me move this book. This is such an urgent time to speak up on these issues of race. For me, the events of last spring, the day George Floyd was murdered, were “Central Park Karen” when a woman called 911 and said she was being threatened by an African American man (when He had asked her to leash her dog as per the rules of the park). It really illustrates to me the damage being done to society as white women. The fact that she could have called 911 and received death threats by the police on this man… it filled me with an immediate sense of writing this book.
Q: It seems that part of what this book is trying to do is a better understanding of what the phrase “good white woman” means. According to your book, it’s not just white conservative women, is it?
a: I really want people to understand that this is not true of women. It really is about all of us. It is not a matter of left or right. It’s not only women who voted for Trump… It’s the women who protested wearing pink caps. There is also something about performance activism that we do that is harmful as well. One of the signs of the Women’s March was “If Hillary had been elected, I would have been at brunch now.” This is what I mean by loss of performance activation. That kind of activism where we are showing for ourselves, but not for anyone else. It has a lot to do with how we understand feminism when it is through this gender-only lens. We need to start putting race at the center of our feminism. That’s the part I’m trying to put forward in my thoughts on this book.