The White Girl Game
I attempted suicide after losing so horribly. She brought me home after she fired me. At the time I thought it was because she was being nice and was concerned. Now I know it was to inspect my living arrangements and confirm her cruel judgment.
I am not one of those people that share at work, at least not about my private life. I grew up the first born grandchild of nineteen. All our parents worked and all were professionals. My grandmother was our daycare provider and she made sure that we were being prepared for the working world. Fifteen of my cousins are male, so I was taught from day one how to work like a man in a man’s world. It is really not that hard, you don’t talk about home stuff, you don’t talk about much at all, and you never show any emotion at work.
I was not interested in decorating the office with monthly themes or thrilled to go out to lunch and chat about the upcoming wedding or talk about redecorating the kitchen. Silly me, I wanted to learn how to run the office when I was alone, what the script for advising students was, what question get answered by what department. I thought I got hired to do office work. Totally failed at the “best-ies” thing.
September 28th, I walked into work and there were both my supervisors. Neither of which could clearly define my job or work tasks because they were never set. But they were there with huge smiles on their faces, and the letter, and the check. Both smiled sweetly and told me I was way over qualified for this job, that I was just not a good fit, that I would be better off teaching than in the office. They agreed that I was over qualified for the job. Hideous, sneaky, lying, white bi$ches.
I am very used to racism and bias being thrown in my face. I spent my adult life in Arizona where the west is so wild the bigotry is not hidden. People drive down the street and yell derogatory terms at others hourly. It is odd to go a day without hearing sh*t fall out of someone’s mouth. Not so in the Pacific Northwest, here it is so hidden that when it happens; when the rug is pulled out from under you, you are not aware of it until after the ringing in your ears stops and you realize that you are flat on the floor.
The White Man’s game is direct and arrogant. If you understand men who like to compete and enjoy the heat of battle, you understand the game. It is a game of arrogance with a splash of narcissism, where the man who barks the loudest, stands the proudest, keeps the emotions out of the office best, wins. The rules are clear and when a new rule is introduced all male players try to break it and the one that breaks it the most tactfully or what could be considered diplomatically, is allowed to make up new rules. When men of color get involved the rules tend to have and educational component, if you don’t have letters behind your name you are not allowed to speak. When women get involved they are called a bi$ch or ball buster but if they are good at the game they can play for a bit if they are lesbian they can stay as long as they do not complain about any misogynistic language. So I have been told.
The White Woman’s game has no rules except to destroy her. It is the ugliest form of racism that is known because it is women fighting women. The bigotry stinks of burnt bodies. Bodies that were chosen because of the darker skin color of the player. The game is difficult to identify but it usually is in a work situation where three or more women (two must be white) have been working together for an extended amount of time. However, there is no definition on what extended means so it is best to enter cautiously.
There are two layers to this game. One is the surface, appearance, dress, language, and family position, where you are judged and given points by how much you share and how well they relate to your private life. Being aware of your own culture, bilingual, clever, and motivated to move on to other goals subtracts points. The second layer is your skill, education and talent. If you prove to be a better thinker, more motivated worker or have a higher education than the other players they automatically gather and plot against you to ultimately get you fired. Lord of the Flies would have been banned or at least labeled Horror if it was written with girls.
I had no clue that this White Woman Game existed. Imagine me a proud Mexican-American woman that has a Master’s degree, walking into an office in a part of the US I have never lived in, to work so I can pay bills and get comfortable before applying for the PhD program. I came here as a migrant from the Desert Southwest were the cultural battle is hotter than the daily temperature to the Pacific Northwest where the progressive nature and growing environment is celebrated by the media. I came to complete my education and learn a new way of life. All I ever wanted to do was to work on a university campus. My family was so proud. One of my co-workers took the time to celebrate the moment with me. Little did I know she was looking for the perfect way to mount my head, once I lost the game.
Five weeks later, I put my one box of desk stuff on the floor of my living-room and thanked my supervisor for the ride. “People like you always land on your feet.” She said with a victorious smile. I shut the door and began to sob. I screamed, “What the hell was that?”
Two days later I woke on the floor, my dog licking my hand, my friends filling my voice mail box and the extreme need to shower. I called a doctor and it took three months of therapy and medication but I can finally leave the house to start looking for work without fear. This game is quite possibly more psychologically damaging than experiencing war. It grows out of the ground and rains down from the sky then slowly soaks you while slowly swallowing you. It bleeds out your power, your strength and eventually your identity. This game is designed to annihilate not assimilate but to completely destroy anything that could be better, different or unacceptable to the White Woman.
White Men conquer and re-build land to look as they want it to. White Women practice complete genocide and re-create behavior as they see fit. I am sure versions of this game have been played for centuries. But when manifest destiny was wiping the land clean of “the other” the White Woman was developing her game face. When the US isolated its self from the rest of the planet before the wars the White Woman was breeding her daughters into a perfect machine of hate and destruction. After the wars White Women had to prove they had won a war too so they presented the “June Cleaver” advertisements and the “Donna Reed” pearls. This is how the game developed and this is when it became nasty.
Seventy years later this horrid idea or game established by the women encouraged by the Mighty White-y is still being played in small university cities around Oregon. The White Woman with only a high school diploma, from the same city, decides who can play. After all, streets are named after her husband’s family. It is like the Good Old Boy system, but more dangerous. For the women it is the thrill of the slow methodical kill. Step one, find out what the other really loves and then use it as poison to kill. When I grew up hunting was to attain food. You ate what you killed. If you could not eat it you shared it with another so that no one would go hungry. Here, hunting is just a sport to hang the head on your wall, but the head is human and female.