White Women™Problems Are Real.

Last night we had our first State Of The Union broadcast from the new #TWiB Studios in Berkeley, Ca. I hate most SOTU coverage that’s provided by mainstream media so I decided that we wouldn’t spend much time guessing about what the President may/may not say and instead cover some interesting entertaining stories. One of which you may have already heard about due to the outrage that it’s garnered over the interwebs in the past 24 hours. It involves a White woman feeling very very bad because of a Black woman in her yoga class. 

We had…um…some words on this topic. Check it out and tell me what YOU think.

85 replies
  1. 1
    R3 says:

    Bitches be crazy.

  2. 2
    Zam says:

    That is the craziest thing I think I’ve read in years.

  3. 3
    Mnemosyne says:

    Maybe it’s because all of the black ladies have moved on to Pilates? At least, the ones I know have, which must make it a Universal Experience thanks to my whiteness.

    Random media thought: I can always tell what country the knitting magazine I’m holding comes from just by looking at the pictures. American ones are pretty good about being inclusive, including cover models. British and Australian ones, not so much.

  4. 4
    aimai says:

    Well…that was special.

  5. 5
    chopper says:

    Jesus tittyfucking Christ, the complete lack of self-awareness is astounding.

  6. 6
    Gozer says:

    Wow…just…wow. The self-absorption…

  7. 7
    Keith G says:

    White Women Woman™ Problems Are Real.

    Jus say’in

  8. 8
    Linda Featheringill says:


    This is an answer to the White Woman in question, written by someone who described herself as a black woman with a rather generous body.

    Pia’s response is more interesting than the original.

  9. 9
    WereBear says:

    That has to be satire. Tell me it’s satire!

  10. 10

    Won’t be the first when a blogger for XoJane has written something cringe worthy. Get off my internets has their number.

  11. 11

    @WereBear: It may well be, the XoJane bloggers tend to be overdramatic and truthy.

  12. 12
    opiejeanne says:

    After the first paragraph I wondered why she didn’t just stop her downward dog and simply talk to the woman. The rest of her whine made it abundantly clear why.

  13. 13
    cokane says:

    Pretty dumb and un-self-aware but is it really worth all the effort to attack someone for what amounts to a Live Journal page?

  14. 14
    Aji says:

    Oh, good god. She “broke down crying?” It’s no longer her “safe space?”

    Jeezus, woman. You want some real problems, you just come along with me, now. I’ll give you the ten-cent tour, show you what the real world is like out there for the rest of us.

    I don’t really think there’s any way to scrub that drivel from my synapses short of applying copious amounts of booze.

  15. 15
    Medicine Man says:

    Over 2000 replies to the original. Yikes.

  16. 16
    sparrow says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah. I love Burda (German sewing mag), but their idea of diversity is to maybe run with a non blue-eyed chick. bleh.

  17. 17
    Ben Franklin says:


    Does Obama administration view journalists as Snowden’s “accomplices”? It seems so.
    James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, appeared today before the Senate Intelligence Committee, his first appearance since outright lying to that Committee last March about NSA bulk collection. In his prepared opening remarks, Clapper said this:

    Who, in the view of the Obama administration, are Snowden’s “accomplices” The FBI and other official investigators have been very clear with the media that there is no evidence whatsoever that Snowden had any help in copying and removing documents from the NSA.

    Here, Clapper is referring to “accomplices” as those who can “facilitate the return of the remaining” documents. As Snowden has said, the only ones to whom he has given those documents are the journalists with whom he has worked. As has been publicly reported, the journalists who are in possession of thousands of Snowden documents include myself, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman/The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Guardian, and ProPublica.

    Is it now the official view of the Obama administration that these journalists and media outlets are “accomplices” in what they regard as Snowden’s crimes? If so, that is a rather stunning and extremist statement. Is there any other possible interpretation of Clapper’s remarks?
    posted by Glenn Greenwald | 10:41 AM

  18. 18
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Elon, your take is hilarious. This woman seems to have a serious issue with fat-shaming. Obviously fat people can’t do yoga, and on with the condescending pity. Something told her to stop staring and not to engage this lady BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE GONE BADLY. People can tell when you’re a condescending, judgy nut who thinks self-worth is measured in calipered mm of skin. Jeez, how to engage? JUST SAY HI, like you would to a human white person.

    If you went home and cried maybe you should consider moving to a less segregated neighborhood and making new friends. Then maybe you will learn how to overcome those enormous cultural barriers that have you so weepy.

    Or you could stay in your cul-de-sac and freak out when the inevitable notwhite family moves in.

  19. 19
    Roger Moore says:

    OK, she’s being a drama queen and making it all about her, but I think the basic question of whether her group is doing something wrong that’s scaring away black people is a good one to ask. I work as a scientist, and I find myself asking that same basic question when I consider the lack of African American scientists I see around me: is there something more we should be doing to try to attract African Americans into the sciences? It certainly seems better to me to frame the question in terms of what we’re doing wrong in attracting minorities rather than the sadly more common question of what’s wrong with minorities that there aren’t more of them.

  20. 20
    scav says:

    Anybody else getting whiffs of a re-write of a sufficient college essay from, O, about year soph?

  21. 21
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Ben Franklin: Sure, it’s only a TWIB thread, let me dudebro whitesplain all over it without even the fig leaf of an “OT” in the first line.

  22. 22
    Ash Can says:

    Yeesh. She’s upset about a yoga class? Wait till she finds out about corporate management, state and federal governments, the 1%, etc., etc.

  23. 23
    Ash Can says:

    @Roger Moore: Or maybe minorities are being attracted, but are hampered in their efforts to advance in the field.

  24. 24
    CaseyL says:

    How can someone be so self-absorbed and at the same time so un self-aware?

    It’s not so much that she didn’t say a single mumblin’ word to the other woman; I can understand that part. You don’t know what to say, you’re afraid of being rude; I can get that. But to make the whole encounter all about Jen, and infer an entire (self-serving) conversation from a silent encounter? And then go home and cry because her Safe Place isn’t, anymore?? Because a black woman came in and looked at her funny?

    The rotten cherry on top is that the author changed her name once the angry comments started rolling in. I don’t know if there is a real “Jen Caron,” but if there is, she must be steaming at someone’s putting her name on that pile of garbage.

  25. 25
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Aji: Oh, good god. She “broke down crying?” It’s no longer her “safe space?”

    hahaha, that reminds me of that scene in “The Nanny Diaries” when the 1%er lady whinges that middle class women have taken over her spa and ruined her weekend.

    Oh noes, I’ve been confronted with my white privilege! Run! Flee! Flail!

    There is something deeply racist about this, for this is why segregation has always been practiced–to prevent empathy towards and understanding of the oppressed group, be they Jews, East Asians, African-Americans, etc.

    All under this cloak of “white guilt” as if it’s somehow not racist to be a raging racist who wants to continue to enjoy white privilege without the scintilla of fear of being confronted or shamed about it.

    If she actually gave a shit she wouldn’t have these fears.

    If she really said “safe space” (so not getting off the boat) I am just done.

  26. 26
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Oh, let me profusely apologize for the turf trespassing. Can the Matriarchy pardon me for the sake of comity?

  27. 27
    Violet says:

    Wow, that’s amazing. I love how she’s trying to be all inclusive and diversity-conscious and ends up sounding even more condescending.

    My favorite yoga classes were at the YWCA and YMCA. Much more diverse group of students than at yoga studios. The diversity is part of the Y culture I think.

  28. 28
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    @opiejeanne: Really. How hard would it be to summon up a “Hello. You’re new here, aren’t you?”

  29. 29
    Roger Moore says:

    @Ash Can:

    Or maybe minorities are being attracted, but are hampered in their efforts to advance in the field.

    I’m sure that’s going on, too, but there is a real deficit in African Americans, and to a lesser extent Latinos, at least from college and probably from high school. Maybe that’s just an earlier version of the same being hampered from advancing or discouraged from getting started, but I’m not sure if that’s even a meaningful distinction. There’s clearly something wrong that results in African Americans not winding up in the sciences in representative numbers, and I think it’s better to think about that in terms of what we’re doing to keep them away rather than what’s wrong with them for not wanting to be involved.

  30. 30
    🎂 Martin says:


    The diversity is part of the Y culture I think.

    Well, they have everything for men to enjoy,
    You can hang out with all the boys…

  31. 31
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Roger Moore: Maybe instead of doing the a priori reasoning shtick of asking yourselves in quiet rooms why your minority outreach is falling flat you ought to reach out to minority youth and the African-American and Latino communities and ask them what you’re doing wrong.

    Argument from first principles works no better in human affairs than it does in physics.

    Though if you ask me, physics neither appeals to an idealist’s need to change the world (witness all the physicists who jump out of the field into activism instead) or the pragmatist’s need to earn their daily bread. There are no frigging jobs unless you want to work for the MIC or be a wall st quant. And I’m not sure when they’re shopping “STEM” careers to minority youth in high schools that they mention, oh yeah, you could go for a phys b.s. and then become a highly paid number cruncher for MOTUs, only cost, your soul and sense of self respect. I guess they keep it a secret for the white children of physicists who naively try to major in the same subject to find out as they approach graduation.

  32. 32
    Aji says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Oh, she most certainly did say it, And I quote:

    I got home from that class and promptly broke down crying. Yoga, a beloved safe space that has helped me through many dark moments in over six years of practice, suddenly felt deeply suspect.

    I still can’t believe I killed brain cells reading that whole thing.

    As to the remainder of your comment, yes.

  33. 33
    Roger Moore says:

    @🎂 Martin:

    Well, they have everything for men to enjoy,
    You can hang out with all the boys…

    Where would you like your internets delivered?

  34. 34
    Violet says:

    @opiejeanne: From the article:

    Before we made it into our first downward dog, she had crouched down on her elbows and knees, head lowered close to the ground, trapped and vulnerable. She stayed there, staring, for the rest of the class.

    If the woman really did stay crouched down on her elbows and knees for an entire yoga class, the instructor should have noticed and come over and checked on her. That’s just not normal behavior. If I saw that happen in a yoga class I’d wonder if the person was sick.

    I’ve pulled out of yoga poses or chosen not to do some poses and rested during that part, but I’ll pick it back up when the next pose I’m comfortable with comes alone. But staying crouched down like that for an entire class–what is that, 45 minutes? An hour?–is just not normal. Any half-reasonable instructor would have come over and checked on a brand new student who did that. And any number of regular students around her could also have checked on her. It’s not like any one yoga class is so important that one’s breath work or whatever can’t be interrupted to check on a new student who is clearly struggling. Sheesh. These people are incredibly self-absorbed.

  35. 35
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Ben Franklin: wow, sexism fail, guess I hit the target, eh?

  36. 36
    🎂 Martin says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I work as a scientist, and I find myself asking that same basic question when I consider the lack of African American scientists I see around me: is there something more we should be doing to try to attract African Americans into the sciences? It certainly seems better to me to frame the question in terms of what we’re doing wrong in attracting minorities rather than the sadly more common question of what’s wrong with minorities that there aren’t more of them.

    I work directly toward this problem. It’s a VERY broad and fundamental problem of opportunities starting at quite a young age. Black and Latino students are routinely and systematically filtered out of the educational system in a way that makes it very difficult for them to reach the levels you’re at. Less funding for their schools, fewer opportunities for AP courses, university admissions systems that are subtly (and often inadvertently) discriminatory against students with fewer opportunities, etc. At each level you knock out another small percent of the population, until there’s so few left. If you look at your Latino colleagues, I’ll wager that almost all of them came up through schools outside of the US. You sometimes have a better shot a getting a PhD if you went to school in Mexico or Guatamala than in the US. At least in Mexico, all of the top schools are still populated with Latinos. Not usually how it works out in the US.

    From the link above:

    There are 11 states where not a single African-American took the [Computer Science AP] test, and eight states where no Hispanics sat for the exam.

    We’re not talking here about people who passed or didn’t pass, either. We’re talking about people who simply took the test, which means African-Americans, Hispanics and girls aren’t enrolling in AP computer science classes in the first place.

    Of the approximately 30,000 students who took the exam in 2013, only around 20 percent were female, according to the analysis, and a tiny 3 percent were African-American. Just 8 percent were Hispanic.

    One reason there are so few students enrolling in the class and taking the test is that AP computer science courses are more common in suburban and private schools, Barbara Ericson, a senior research scientist with Georgia Tech who compiled the data, told the blog Education Week, and those schools tend to be less diverse than urban and public schools.

    In 3 states, no women sat for the test either.

  37. 37
    Aji says:

    @Violet: Yes, this, too.

    Frankly, I tend to think the author’s exaggerating more than a bit about the position and length of time, but regardless: Seriously, what the hell kind of human being are you* that you can’t be arsed to out your fears about your precious ego aside long enough to say, “Hey, are you okay? Need anything?”

    * “You” here obviously meaning the author of the post, not you, Violet.

  38. 38
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    It was your mission, no? My job as a male is to make the path one of contrition, because of my mansplaining sins.

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    @🎂 Martin:

    It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
    You can get yourself clean you can have a good meal

    The type of YMCA that song is about is vanishing. Most of the YMCAs no longer offer any kind of accommodation. The song is sort of a snapshot of an era.

  40. 40
    Violet says:

    The author Jen Caron’s bio:

    Jen Caron spends most of her time thinking about food, bodies, and how to pay her rent. She lives in Brooklyn.

    This has to be a spoof.

  41. 41
    Aji says:

    @Violet: Nope. Trust me on this. Although I have to say that this mentality was far more omnipresent in D.C. than in NYC when I lived in both areas. I recognize the type – I used to have to work with a bunch of ’em [shudder].

  42. 42
    🎂 Martin says:

    @Another Holocene Human: It’s not an outreach problem. You can’t get black PhDs if there are no black BA/BSes. And you can’t get those degrees if you don’t admit those students. And with few PhDs out there, outreach and mentoring to young black students becomes very difficult to do.

    There’s a practical challenge in there as well – not so much with the black students that tend to be more middle-class, but with the Latino students that often aren’t which is that the lure of a career and a paycheck off of that early degree is very enticing. Graduate school is in some way a luxury. In the right fields there’s a clear payoff, but you have to be able to afford the additional 6 years of being a student to get the payoff. If you’ve got parents/siblings at home that need to be supported, well…

    I read thousands of college applications each year, and there are MASSIVE numbers of students that are truly struggling just to get to college. Countless students with 4 figure household incomes. Are they going to pass up that $40K salary with the BS, where they could help mom and dad, or help pay for a younger sibling to go to college in favor of the advanced degree? It’s a real struggle to convince them to do it, and in many cases, it just doesn’t make sense. If you’re handed a ticket out of poverty, you fucking take it – you don’t wonder if you should upgrade to first class.

  43. 43
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @🎂 Martin: I don’t disagree… I was talking about undergraduate major. Forget fucking phd, there are no fucking jobs. Only a very privileged few will become phd phys professors or get a phd research job, even fewer not for MIC or Samsung. Of course going to grad school is a luxury because those costs can never be paid off. Thus, a middle class person might aspire to being a doctor (and once upon a time, a lawyer) or an engineer, reasoning that the financial burden could be mitigated by high wages later. But the “useless” degrees, of which phys has rapidly become one, are for the upper classes only.

  44. 44
    chopper says:


    don’t tell me, Park Slope. maybe “BoCoCa” or Wburg. but with that attitude, i’m gonna say classic Park Slope.

  45. 45
    Another Holocene Human says:

    To be fair, some portions of engineering will pay your way through. As a result (this is in civil) you see far more racial, national origin, gender diversity because there’s more opportunity. Also, the ultimate employer may be a very large firm (which incorporates diversity in its corporate culture and hiring practices) or the government (which is going to have very strict hr policies about discrimination).

    Software’s endgame is often small, closely held firms or public but all white male funded/board/incestuous and still small firms which may have a very hostile culture towards women (look at the rapid, astounding, and firm drop in female participation in software industry as a whole since the 1970s) and of course towards ethnic/cultural/racial minorities. Especially minorities without personal ties back to firms in their home country with lucrative contracts that provide a safety net if Silicon Valley doesn’t work out.

    And that’s BEFORE we talk about the disinvestment in urban school systems.

    Not all Black children live in urban areas, okay? Yet even the children of the talented tenth seem to be shunning some of these fields, certainly would be interesting to ask why but it may be their classmates who were white are shunning these fields as well… I know at the school I got my phys degree at, mostly and historically white private school, phys enrollments were WAY down. NO. JOBS.

  46. 46
    Aji says:

    @chopper: Ehhh, these days, could be Cobble Hill. From what i’ve heard from folks the last couple of years, even down as far as Sunset Park.

  47. 47
    Cassidy says:

    I don’t know. The second time I read it, I heard the voice of someone being confronted with the knowledge of just how lucky they’ve been their whole life: young, cute, white, athletic, female, and educated. That’s a lot to process suddenly.

  48. 48
    chopper says:

    @🎂 Martin:

    i know it. engineering is like that – i went for a job after the BS and while i have, from time to time, considered going back for a more advanced degree, i make more than a phD does so fuck it.

    tho doing more pure sciences is meaningless with only a bachelor’s.

  49. 49
    chopper says:


    yeah, hence BoCoCa. i know some crazy-ass white women in carroll gardens who put privileged park slopers to shame.

  50. 50
    Aji says:

    @chopper: LMAO – why do I have no trouble believing you?

    I lived in the Slope years ago before it really gentrified, and when most non-white Brooklynites were too afraid to walk in Cobble Hill or Carroll Gardens. We used to ride our bikes all over, including south of Sunset Park. I got out right about the time the gentrification really started to reach uber-creepy levels, but i’ve heard horror stories from others since.

  51. 51
    different-church-lady says:

    @Ben Franklin: I’ve double checked, and I still don’t see where the words “open thread” appeared anywhere in this post.

  52. 52
    different-church-lady says:

    @Cassidy: Maybe she ought to consider processing it slowly, rather than all at once and publicly.

  53. 53
    Cassidy says:

    @different-church-lady: Oh definitely, but you know how the young and cute girls are just running at the mouth. Plus, it’s the social media age. No one processes shit privately anymore.

  54. 54
    Ben Franklin says:


    Mea culpa, again. How many Matriarchs can one blog handle? It seems a little unfair to non-castrated males, but then, Mansplanations become redundant and irrelevant in that context.

  55. 55
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @🎂 Martin:

    Graduate school is in some way a luxury. In the right fields there’s a clear payoff, but you have to be able to afford the additional 6 years of being a student to get the payoff. If you’ve got parents/siblings at home that need to be supported, well…

    You mean opportunity cost, right? No one should ever go to graduate school in a non-professional degree program unless someone is paying them at least their tuition to do it. Not unless they are already set for life.

  56. 56
    taylormattd says:

    @Aji: Yes, yes, yes.

  57. 57
    Betty Cracker says:

    Y’all got played.

  58. 58
    Aji says:

    @taylormattd: Matt! Hi, darlin’!

    And lacking booze, I’ve decided on cookies to do the scrubbing. Sugar and chocolate should work, right? Right?

  59. 59
    Rex Everything says:

    I don’t agree with the reaction of this comment section.

    Yes, this woman is clueless…LIKE WHITE AMERICA. She takes the one step that makes her unlike White, privileged, Romney-voting America—the step toward waking up and actually noticing racism—and everyone who has a clue takes the opportunity to say “fuck you” to her?

    That’s crazy. BJ commenters, you’re not being sensible here.

  60. 60
    Violet says:

    Here’s the response from the Editor who assigned the piece.

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @🎂 Martin:

    If you look at your Latino colleagues, I’ll wager that almost all of them came up through schools outside of the US.

    Actually not. Of course, I live in the Los Angeles area, and I’m including BS/MS-level workers and graduate students in my count, but we seem to be doing at least a little bit better with Latinos than with African Americans.

  62. 62
    Rex Everything says:


    Thank you.

    …the fact that Jen was willingly offering up this explicit admittance of her white privilege struck me as valuable in some way.

    This is the way I took it. Many readers seem to assume that the writer, by acknowledging her white privilege, was bragging about it. Nothing in the piece supports that interpretation.

  63. 63
    Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Yes, this woman is clueless…LIKE WHITE AMERICA.

    She made up racism. Everything in that piece is what’s in her head. She literally imagined that the Black woman was giving her stink-eye.

    Even her editor, herself an African-American, just admitted that she screwed the pooch on this:

    I SHOULD have asked Jen to do more work and questioning before writing about her experience.

    (Thanks Violet)

    We’re saying “fuck you” because her piece contributes not a damned thing, in and of itself, to improving race relations in America. Her piece was salt on the Goddamn Open Sore. It was all about her, and not a damned thing about the actual, lived experiences of People of Color in America.

    White Guilt is not being an Ally.

  64. 64
    Suzanne says:

    @Roger Moore: I’ve thought the same thing about my office of about 40 people. We have only one AA man, a couple of Latino employees, and two Asian-Americans. The main office with 250 people is similarly white, perhaps with a few more AAs, as they are in a city with relatively more AAs (and we have more Latinos here in Phoenix). But when you look at architecture school…..that’s the breakdown. And even among the architects, there’s waaaaaaay more men than women, and in interior design, waaaaaaaay more women than men. (Unsurprisingly, interior design pays less.) I really don’t think that my company is discriminatory; they have openly LGBT senior staff who are very much faces of the company, and as women have made inroads into architecture, they have becoming more and more prominent and numerous in the company, as well. But this entire industry is WHITE, and it’s because design school is WHITE, and until recently it was MALE. Many of the minority people in my company are in support positions.

  65. 65
    Rex Everything says:

    We’re saying “fuck you” because her piece contributes not a damned thing, in and of itself, to improving race relations in America.

    Really? First of all, I’m not so sure. This country is full of white people more clueless than that woman—is it impossible to imagine that this piece could speak to them? Second, if you’re going to say Fuck You to every piece that “contributes not a damned thing, in and of itself, to improving race relations in America,” you’re embarking on quite a big and endless project (you’ll need to say F.U. to everyone from Frank Brady to David Sedaris), and starting on one person who is at least making an effort seems a bit counterproductive.

    It was all about her, and not a damned thing about the actual, lived experiences of People of Color in America.

    Granted. But what on earth else could she have written? How could she, a white woman writing a first-person account, possibly write about “the actual, lived experiences of People of Color in America”? As you note, everything written about was in her head. This includes something that the editor, and I, find valuable: not the privilege, but the realization and admission of it. Honestly, you write like you can’t tell the difference.

  66. 66
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Violet: I’ll be damned. I thought it was a fake. TWO editors read it, and it didn’t raise any red flags? That’s even more astonishing than the precious self-absorption of the essayist.

  67. 67
    Rex Everything says:

    @Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill:

    She literally imagined that the Black woman was giving her stink-eye.

    And she

    describes this as her own imagining

    . It’s right there in her own words: “or so I imagined.” Seriously, there is some major blockheaded reading going on here. I watched the show linked above and the commentators are reproaching the writer for the very things she was incriminating herself for.

    It’s really kind of insane. Her article is one long self-incrimination: she reproaches herself for being privileged, insulated, and not capable of engaging a black woman. The Internet immediately jumps down her throat: “You asshole, can’t you see how privileged and insulated you are, and how you should have engaged the black woman?”

    Next, I’m sure, the Internet will debunk Dostoyevsy’s Notes From Underground via the devastating insight that the central character is sick and spiteful.

  68. 68
    Ripley says:

    …explicit admittance of her white privilege struck me as valuable…

    White privilege, squared.

  69. 69
    Rex Everything says:


    White privilege, squared.

    Interesting comment, because the sentence you quote was written by a black woman.

  70. 70
    Gretchen says:

    Ok, it was inartfully expressed, but I’m not getting the hating on the general sentiment. A new student joined the class and was obviously uncomfortable. I wish I could have done something to make her comfortable so it would be a good experience for her and she’d want to come back. I don’t know what I should have done, so I didn’t do anything, and she stayed uncomfortable and probably won’t come back. I feel bad about that and wish I’d done something different. That’s hate-worthy?

  71. 71
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gretchen: It’s the outlandish assumptions the essayist made about the other woman’s thoughts and motives.

  72. 72

    Let me clarify my issue with it:

    1) This was all projection.
    2) This is what made her think?
    3) As opposed to simply realizing her issue she decided to vomit it out on to the page.
    4) It is clueless in a White America sort of way. Acknowledging privilege doesn’t get you a Scooby snack and this feels like begging for it HARD.
    5) The tone she had when even talking about the Black woman.
    6) Your come to Jesus moment doesn’t make you special or the story special. It just highlights the bullshit that POC deal with on a regular basis and yes, that may cause some annoyance and resentment.
    7) It was PUBLISHED.

    I could come up with more but I’m tired.

  73. 73
    Rex Everything says:

    @Elon James White:

    Yeah. It was kind of a clueless piece. But the reaction to it is overblown as hell; you yourself can’t actually say anything against it except “it’s not so special” & although you bring up something regarding the “tone,” you don’t elaborate long enough to complete the sentence.

    For all the talk about how unlikely the piece is to do any good, I don’t see how smacking the writer down does any good either.

  74. 74
    karen says:

    This is what I commented to Miss Skinny White Girl:

    OMFG! You just brought “concern trolling” up to a whole new level. Because your “tacky and tasteful” bra wearing skinny white girl self felt badly for the poor awkward looking fat black girl. Which part did you feel to most sorry for sweetness? The fat part? The awkward part? Or the black part? Poor superior white skinny you, getting your precious yoga class ruined so much that you cried at home. Do yourself a favor, Jen. Learn true empathy and maybe you’ll gain a soul.

    Even if she didn’t mean it that way, that’s how it came across.

  75. 75
    eemom says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It’s the outlandish assumptions the essayist made about the other woman’s thoughts and motives.


  76. 76
    diana says:

    I’m with Rex Everything and Gretchen. It honestly sounds to me like our clueless young white yoga girl is trying to empathize, and failing, but that’s not the same thing as saying “I got white privilege” which seems to be all that her critics are hearing. Yes, she seems to have made some “outlandish assumptions.” Did she think them up herself? Or was she taught them, and is this maybe the first time she’s actually thinking them through?

    I usually take people’s criticisms at face value. But the level of animosity at this clueless teenager is so off the charts that I can’t help but feel that it’s animated by something other than actual analysis of what she wrote.

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @diana: Teenager?

  78. 78
    CaseyL says:

    If she’s taking a step towards recognizing and acknowledging her privilege, and the piece is supposed to be self-critical, then why does it end with her crying over the loss of her Safe Place?

  79. 79
    Rex Everything says:

    why does it end with her crying over the loss of her Safe Place?

    I don’t get why this is so hard for everyone to understand: By “safe place” she meant safe from racism. She had envisioned her yoga as one thing that was inclusive and non-judgmental. But she realized that it was just as racist as the rest of America.

    I’ll try to state this as simply as possible: She’s NOT upset because a black woman came to her yoga class. She IS upset because, by failing to include that woman, her yoga class revealed its ingrained racism. What she lost was an ideal. Her yoga class let her down.

    This is just a very basic, simple read of the piece; it’s appalling that it could be so widely misinterpreted.

  80. 80
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Ben Franklin:
    No one in this thread has used the word ‘mansplaining’ except you.

  81. 81
    Paul in KY says:

    How she didn’t manage to work ‘my pert breasts’ into that article, I’ll never know…

  82. 82
    Paul in KY says:

    @karen: Like your response. Good job.

  83. 83
    lethargytartare says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Thanks for trying to bring some sanity to this thread, Rex.

  84. 84
    Gretchen says:

    Good explanation, Rex. I’m seeing this from the point of view of the new student. She was hoping yoga class would work for her, she got there, felt uncomfortable and not – included, and left, probably thinking it’s not her thing and not intending to come back. I feel sorry that she may have missed the opportunity to participate in something she may have enjoyed. And someone who was there felt the same way. She saw someone new, who felt uncomfortable, and thought that she should have done more to welcome the newbie and make her feel comfortable so she could continue to enjoy going to yoga. She considered how she could have done better in welcoming the new person, and, having thought this, will probably do better the next time she sees a new person feeling awkward and uncomfortable. That’s a good thing, not deserving of 2000 comments of internet-hate.

  85. 85
    Gretchen says:

    As someone who has participated in many, many yoga classes, I think that the real problem is that this studio should have had a beginner’s class so the new people could start with other people who didn’t know what they were doing instead of being thrown in with experts who had been practicing for years. Then nobody would have to worry about how to include someone who couldn’t keep up, because they’d be with others at their own level.

Comments are closed.