I only have white friends. This hasn’t always been the case. A few years ago, I had friends of many flavors. In fact, I’ve had lots of different kinds of lady friends. I’ve had Irish lady friends, African American lady friends, Filipino American lady friends, Mexican American lady friends, Iranian American lady friends, Honduran lady friends, Canadian lady friends. Palestinian-Russian American lady friends. Guatemalan American lady friends. I’ve had mixed lady friends with names and ancestry and skin colors all jumbled up.
But right now, I only have white friends. And they have, what I like to call, white girl magic. I first came across white girl magic as a child in white rural midwest. It wasn’t so strong then. They were still learning their tricks, but the early signs were detectable in the way the girls would raise their hands in class; run to the coach at practice; walk down the hall of my high school. And it died for a little while, because I hung around other types of ladies to balance out the white girl magic, but it’s back. It’s here again. It flutters about like pixie dust and I sneeze in reaction.
What do I mean by white girl magic?
I would argue that it’s similar to white male privilege. It’s this notion that white girls have that they get what they want. They get what they want because they can make a case for it, and so of course, why wouldn’t they get what they want? And if you’re not getting what you want, it’s because you’re not making a case for yourself. You’re not trying hard enough or arguing rationally enough or talking loudly enough or standing up straight enough. Put your hand on your hip a little higher, there, there you go. It’s an attitude, so it’s hard to describe, but it’s that sentiment of, “I deserve it.”
Whenever one of my white lady friends complains about something not going the way she expected, I tell her to, “work your white girl magic.” Make it happen. It’s this almost relentless determination, maybe it’s cushioned with I’m sorrys or Is this okay or I don’t know, I’m not sure. It usually is.
Someone told me once that the best way to succeed professionally is to trick people into thinking that whatever idea you bring to the table is actually their idea. Make your good ideas into their ideas and you will succeed. This is white girl magic. Make someone feel like they’re doing you the favor, not the other way around, and you’ve nailed it. You’ve got it.
It’s cunning and it’s capable. It’s their wild card.