Thursday, May 18, 2006


Why is it that so many people I talk to would rather eat a poop sandwich than admit that racism, classism and sexism exist in our everyday interactions?

The other day my husband and I, who are both white, were hanging with another white guy. We were in a friendly and good-humored disagreement about something. The standing joke between us is something like this: is my classism running at him or is it his sexism that is running at me?

We mentioned that, laughing, to our friend who immediately, with a smile, asked, "And what if it is neither?"

Oh, did that stop my humor cold.

There it is again! This "what if it's neither? hippy-dippy CRAP!" (Okay I'm having a little session here. )

I have no fucking doubt that I run classism at my husband. I was raised owning-class and he was raised middle-class (the o/c nitemare). If I hadn't had seven, almost eight years of working on it I'm not sure we'd be together. He, on the other hand works harder than any guy I know on busting through his sexist conditioning. He's known and leaned on by women in many different settings because they know he'll back them. Yet, these patterns still come through. From both of us. At each other. And it takes lovingly, sometimes ferociously, interrupting it on both of our parts AND a good sense of humor--to have the excellent relationship we have today.

We work on it in several ways. One we go into a session and work on it. I've written some about what a session is (I was trying to have one above :-)). But we also set up our life to contradict the role we'd been trained to be in. We set things up in such a way that our "stuff" is challenged. For me it might mean shutting my mouth instead of saying "No, turn left!" (you idiot!) as a back seat driver. Only to find that the place we were driving to was actually on the right. :-) It might mean bigger things like saying no to myself when it comes to "having it all." Then I take the feelings that come up back into session.

Similarly Will works on his sexism.

And lastly, but not least this is how white people can rid themselves of racist conditioning. I am certain that if we rid ourselves of this conditioning that all the other confusions such as classism, sexism and environmental destruction cannot continue. They will automatically fall away. So much is depending on racism's existence. So much--war included--is dependent upon us all colluding with and perpetuating racism.

It can be argued that racism is merely classism with skin tone as a tool. Okay however you want to look at it. But it is a set up. Based on lies. And for those who keep wanting me to talk about the difference between US racism and international racism I will someday. There is a worldwide problem with white people being confused.

It's not an unnatural process to sit down with another person and decide to tackle where you've been confused. In a perfect world we'd just do it on the subway or on our lunch break etc and wouldn't need an appointment.

But I think that making an appointment to create the big life you want (Being stuck in oppressive patterns creates a very rigid, very small life.) is a good idea.


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