Oct 272012

“You white girls are crazy!” – OB/Gyn to woman, when observing her tattoo during a pap smear.

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 October 27, 2012  cervix, Gyn, OB  Add comments

  36 Responses to ““You White Girls Are Crazy!””

  1. Cuz only white women get tattoos??

  2. Let’s try this one out:

    “You black girls are crazy!” — Waitress to woman, who ordered fried chicken
    “You Asian girls are crazy!” — College adviser to woman who wanted to take math program
    “You Indian girls are crazy!” — Caller to heavily-accented customer service representative

    Nope. Not okay there. Not okay here.

    • Uh, so I’m not okay with this quote, especially in a so-called “professional” environment, but one of these things is not like the other. “White girls” don’t suffer systemic discrimination connected to their “love of tattoos,” which is not even a stereotype.

      • So its ok to discriminate agents the OP because she’s white? Um No!

      • I’m not sure I understand, Dreamy, so would you rephrase for me?

        • I can’t say for certain but I think Dreamy is saying that although the above quote is not ok… it is also not in the same basket as all the stereotypes mama wrench compared it to… as they are all very real stereotypes that have a very real history of causing a lot of discrimination for the ethnicities involved… where as the original quote, although unprofessional and ignorant and plain stupid was not intended as nor carried the power behind it of making the OP feel less than for being white.

          • Thanks, Nat! Yes, that’s exactly it.

          • It would be like if you jokingly called a man a whore… ignorant and stupid and not funny but not the same power and intention of shame behind it as if you called a woman a whore due to the historically systematic shaming of women’s sexuality.

        • Black people eat fried chicken– racist stereotype connected with classism/regionalism (black people are “country”).

          Asian people are good at math– racist stereotype connected with the Model Minority myth, Brain Drain immigration policies, resentment, comparison to other people of color who are “not good at math/not smart/not pulling their own weight,” etc.

          Etc., etc.

          White people get tattoos… This is a big stereotype? What is the connection to oppression? Somehow perpetuated by people of color?

          FTR, I am NOT saying that this quote is okay. I AM saying that no one needs to play Oppression Olympics (and do some awfully fancy contortions to connect one person’s– personally held and kind of random race-based stereotype– to systemic oppression!)

          At MOST, this would be like a (presumably white) person saying, “You black girls are crazy, eating ice cream when it’s cold out!” Although I could make an argument that’s not exactly the same, since “black girls” are more typically “othered” in general, but I’ll leave that for another time (or place).

          In sum: just because something is wrong*, inappropriate, or even stereotypes (especially if it doesn’t feed into a larger oppressive stereotype) and mentions race, does not make it the same** as a widely-held oppressive racial stereotype. So there’s no need to compare it to one.

          And you know what else? Before I leave this conversation, because it rarely turns out well in my extensive Internet experience. (I used to run a forum dedicated to academic discussions of racism.)

          Just speaking to the “general you” here. Why can’t it just be wrong on its own merits? I think it’s telling that some people feel the need to compare these kinds of comments to historically oppressive stereotypes. Do they not feel the wrongness of the comment stands on its own? Food for thought.

          *Notice I said it was wrong! Wrongity wrong wrong!

          **Not even better or worse! Just not the same!

        • Tee, just one last clarifying point here.

          Part of what makes a racial stereotype problematic is that it’s based on race, which is a social construct blah blah academic blather. Part of what makes it problematic is that it “others” people, and yeah, I’m going to say that it’s more problematic when it applies to historically “othered” people (not white people). But part of what makes it problematic is when it’s a widely-held societal belief. Like, it’s not a “boycott” if just one person decides not to shop at Mega-Lo-Mart, and it’s not much of an effective “stereotype” society-wide if one person thinks all black girls eat ice cream when it’s cold out.

          It’s the same thing that makes some things hate crimes– because they are used to intimidate a whole group of people. If someone makes a “joke” about the White House lawn being covered with watermelons, it stings more (because we know the history and prevalence of that particular stereotype) than if the “joke” were that the lawn were covered with bell peppers.

          White girls are crazy because they get tattoos… Okay, inappropriate and “insensitive” and potentially “othering,” at least within this limited interaction. But pretty disconnected from any larger societal understanding or history of stereotype, etc.

          • Er, *(not white people) if it’s because they’re white. Maybe white people who happen to be poor (because they’re poor), or gay (because they’re gay), etc.

          • I really do appreciate you dumbing it down for me! I honestly didn’t quite understand your original comment!

          • It’s also a lot of experiential understanding, too. I grew up near a large metropolitan city where, in many areas, whites are a minority. And yes, whites and tattoos ARE a stereotype, at least in my experience, because white skin shows up the colors of tattoos better than darker skin tones. White people are a lot more likely to get “sleeves” or large area art than blacks just because there are more color and design options with fairer skin tones.

            As you said, even though it might not be negative or insulting (except for the ‘crazy’ bit), it’s still ‘othering;’ “You do this because you’re this skin tone, no one who isn’t that skin tone would do the same,” etc.

      • It should be the same. Anything where colour or race is mentioned negatively should be treated with the same disgust. You can say the doc was foolish but didn’t intend to indicate anything about her colour but then why did he mention colour?

        I’ve had an african girl tell me that my grandfather was not taken as slave labour because that ‘never happened to white people’. Lets tell that to the hundreds of Polish children taken from their families by the nazis and forced to work as slave labour in Germany, including the ones who couldn’t go home and never saw their families again. My granda was 14 when he was taken away from his family and he was one of the lucky ones in that he got given to a nice family on a farm, many were not so lucky. A similar thing happened to my husband’s granda. He didn’t ever see his family again either and died thinking they had all died during the nazi invasion. While I can appreciate that didn’t go on to the extent of what happened to black slaves, it still happened. It was racist of a coloured person to deny it happened because we’re white.

        Whether a race is historically discriminated against or not shouldn’t make any difference if there’s a discriminatory tone being used now, because if you allow a difference it opens the doors for white people to be acceptable discriminated against in the future.

        Any mention of colour/race is racist. And until that is the perspective taken world wide there will always be discrimination – just some of it will not be given the title it deserves and therefore will go less punished.

        It really bugs me when whites get no protection under discrimination laws because they are white and calling them ‘isn’t the same’. No one can give me a good reason why it’s not the same except to say ‘because of history’. So history gives you a right to discriminate now? It gives african students a right to deny the family history of a fellow white student based on the fact she’s white? It gives the african student a right to claim the white girl’s family will have been evil slave keepers/users despite the fact her heritage is from poorer classes, and a good bit of poor Irish and Polish which are unlikely to have been wealthy enough to have anything to to with the slave trade. Infact, my granda was actually Polish Ukrainian. They were highly discriminated against, yes by other whites, but still because of their culture.

        No discrimination based on colour, culture or race is right, but to say the calling of white people is less wrong because they weren’t historically discriminated against really irritates me so much. I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of assumptions made by coloured people assuming I’m descended from a certain branch of white people.

        Sorry, end of angry rant. This is just something I’ve felt very passionately about ever since the suffering of Polish (and Polish Ukrainian) children was announced to ‘not really happen’ because ‘no white person has ever been taken as slave labour’. Really, not by nazis? not in ancient Rome? No where ever has their been white slaves? No white culture has ever been subjugated, ever? And that makes it ok to discriminate against them now?

    • Mmm, fried chicken. Popeye’s fried chicken. Popeye’s biscuits. Now I’m hungry. Thanks a lot!

    • I’m with you! Messed up world we live it! It is also apparently just fine for people to call me “White trash” and “cracker” and I’m not allowed to be offended or to call it racism.

      • Its only racism if its aimed toward certain groups, and not when its aimed at others. I grew up in an area where the cultural was very anti-white, and I can tell you racism is racism regardless of who its aimed toward or who its coming from.

  3. Huh, a racist insult! How fun!

    Two questions… is anybody else REALLY curious as to what the tattoo is? And I’m dying to know what race the doctor is.

  4. Is what you are about to spew from your mouth pertinent medical information? No? Then shut the H3ll up!!

  5. I work in a location where whits are in the minority. We have been known to call ourselves “crazy white women” (not girls, tyvm) but there is a big difference applying a label to yourself in a joking way and someone else applying a label to you in a derogatory way.

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