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This Is What I Mean When I Say 'White Feminism'
1) This is a really good article and I wish I had known about it when it was first posted. The image is exceptional and while it may require revision, the utaamawazo is set. (Marimba Ani)
2) What I think this article says about Black Women's Mental Health Care directly aligns of cultural competency. Most therapists who treat women, are NOT BLACK unless you are VERY LUCKY to find one and/or be assigned one by your health insurance.
That said, say you, as a Black Woman deal with work stress related to White Supremacy and White Privilege, then ADD the complex layer of dealing with a complex mental health condition, like bipolar, how much of the episode is related to the pathology of stress, bigotry and sexism, and the biology of bipolar?
See because when you're bipolar, if you want to stop trying to commit suicide and stop winding up in a mental hospital or worse (prison), then you have to make HUGE LIFESTYLE changes, that include therapy, diet, sleep patterns, mindfulness, motivation, and loved one support, etc. That is if you don't want to DIE due to suicide. That ALONE is a MEDICAL reason that bigotry and privilege HAVE NO PLACE in mental health care.
But when you don't know you are "white privileged", you do not know. A cognitive dissonance.
The most RECENT case I give is a white man had the audacity to force me to get out of line to purchase a movie ticket when I was ahead of him.
Aside that I made an error in READING the movie I wanted to see time, and the theater ticket seller was attempting to assist me and my cousin, this fool thinks he can speak to me in that manner. I was in MY home community which is becoming more diverse with Chinese, Southeast Asian and Eastern European. And this FOOL thought I was inappropriate.
Well, if I wanted to buy into his small mind, I KNOW (some) KARATE, and I am also CRAZY! If I punched him, who'd go to jail? Me.
So when I talked to my therapist about it, while she understood and was compassionate about the racism and sexism that was inflicted upon me, she did not GET how much it pained me inside and eats at my very soul with a historical context...and I remember the look on her eyes that she did not know WHAT to say. I also know that they don't teach that in social worker's school. It takes a cultural competence to have the euphemistic commentary brush off the pain even if it is a temporary band-aid, like "Just one less person to think about at Christmastime"...
A Black Woman therapist would say the commentary if they understood it... I have yet to meet a Black Woman therapist that is clueless about her culture. Social Worker school is a PRIVILEGED MISOGYNISTIC HELL and so are the exams. So there is a level of understanding what kind of plantation you are on, just LONG enough to get your degrees and then a reputable job.
Like my Ph.D. education in molecular genetics, burn out is high, then complex it with patient load while staying compliant.
3) While this article is mainly a sociological one, it has to be applied healthcare-wise because there are a number of WoC's that do suffer from mental health conditions, and there is a cultural competence based on certain amount of identification acceptance - i.e. if the woman has anxiety and she is biracial where her father is white, and the woman chooses to accept her mother's ethnicity, knowing what her father is, it makes it some way to find treatment. But in healthcare, there needs to be studies and guess what? NO STUDIES! :) Or nothing significant. THEN is it healthy AND then we are not monolithic.
4) I do know as a patient, that understanding the BIOMEDICAL issue(s) of mental health condition(s), that therapy design to ADDRESS that alone based on the symptoms I report to my provider CAN BE TREATED! At minimum, that is what ALL people should expect with these mental health conditions.
5) All this to say, while there is White Feminism and it can impede OPTIMAL mental health care, the way to redirect treatment is to demand that the condition be treated as the biomedical indications - try to understand WHY they hand you books and papers.