I thank you for reading and appreciate your support.
I want to point out a statement which, in my mind, requires elaboration: the statement that POCs also take on other identities. Certainly, this is true as a basic fact. BUT making equivalences between white women and WOCs is not completely accurate. Because this fact about individuals is ALSO embedded in a white supremacist system, a real equivalence can't be made. The WOC is in a socially subordinate position and the white woman in a socially dominant position.
Think of it this way: these two women are equal at that individual level re: the writing of another's identity. But in terms of the socialized reality, the white woman is at a significant advantage. Thus, discussing white women taking on others' identities is not the same as WOCs taking on others from this standpoint.
Let me explain why the writing/publishing world is particularly toxic, and why their behaviors have deleterious impact, especially when they promote white women. First of all, statistics indicate that publishing is extremely white: even more so than my relatively conservative profession (I'm not an 'official' writer.) This alone should give everybody pause, because a white homogenous context indicates that the white people there DO NOT MISS POCs. This is the REALITY that is conveyed by the current status of publishing.
Here is why favoring white women creates a different context for them relative to the WOCs, even if both are writing about other identities:
1. White women have vastly, significantly better opportunity at ALL levels of publishing, at least based on statistics. This indicates NO CHANGE in white supremacy, though white women seem to think it is an improvement even though they didn't like white male feet on their necks. Interesting hypocrisy; but regardless, any person who has more opportunity than others --the very definition of INEQUALITY--will be less likely to produce value. POCs have high stamina because we are often forced to: we are forced to perform at higher levels to compensate for our lack of whiteness. This is simply reality: privilege tends to erode performance and quality.
Thus, the extreme privilege that white women receive--unless one believes that they are simply more deserving or better--will deplete the value of the writing. I find this is true: that much of it is very superficial and likely published due to the significant extrinsic advantage white women have;
2. White women are MUCH more likely to be promoted by prestigious white men, thus significantly concentrating their privilege even further. See Nell Zink, who brags about writing her books in a few months and then begs Franzen to promote them (WOCS have to actually REVISE or do some work) or Jeannine Cummins disastrous American Dirt, promoted by the routinely color-blind and just as privileged Stephen King. WOCs rarely get support from white men, who are the ones with most of the power. This is a vicious cycle: white men seem to think only white women are good enough, and once again we are locked out;
3. White women consistently get more if not much more money for advances on books. This literally puts a higher price on white women. I find this incredibly embarrassing due to its complete severance from moral behavior.
4. White women are much more likely to be positively critiqued because most critics, like most people in publishing, are white. Thus, they get yet another booster that WOCS tend not to get.
These are only some of the advantages, yet they are plenty. As a result, we have significantly truncated 'opportunity' which is nothing more than nominal.
As a result, white women's depictions of other identities are:
1. More likely to be embraced bc they are extremely favored re: publication;
2. More likely to be believed bc they are white in a white supremacist society;
3.More likely to earn money for it;
4. More likely to be praised for it;
AND overall more likely to get the kind of attention that white women get because they are white.
*5. Importantly, because they are relatively privileged, they have tenuous if any grasp on the real suffering that migrant, POC, indigenous, Black, etc have not only in our own lives but as a matter of historical recency. This makes them EVEN LESS LIKELY to write about these things with any sort of authenticity.
Dominance and privilege is blinding, to some extent. If you take a look at Cummins American Dirt, you can see how superficial it is even if you aren't Mexican--and I'm not--because it lacks the basic empathy and embedded reality of subordination. She doesn't get it. She's written an embarrassingly superficial book and gotten a lot of money for it (I suggest that POC writers start to consider IP lawyers if this continues), not to mention praise from other white people as clueless as she is.
She is blinded to a point of arrogance and superficiality, and the entire white supremacist system caters to her. This would NEVER happen to a person of color of ANY gender: I can't even imagine it. We just don't have the social POWER--and that is the bottom line.
I do hope that writers--I see that you're an official one--will find the courage to call out not only the Zinks and Cummins, but also these men like Franzen and King who spend so much time supporting white supremacy this way. They should be supporting authentic stories--not these disasters--but I fear that, when it comes to POCs, none of them have enough idea of what (racial) subordination feels like to write about it accurately.