Critical Becky Studies

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 3, 2020








Becky is a generic insult for *some* white women. If you don’t know what a Becky is, you might not understand the feature below. Chad is the equivalent expression for *some* white men. He is not important enough to be studied critically. This is a repost.

It started out with a tweet, about a symposium, Critical Becky Studies: Critical Explorations of Gender, Race, and the Pedagogies of Whiteness. Soon, PG was googling CBS. The paywall protected Wall Street Journal had an article on CBS. The seminal article was at City Journal, Racial Resentment As Pedagogy. The CBS flap originated at 2019 AERA Annual Meeting, sponsored by American Educational Research Association.

@chamblee54 @CityJournal @maxeden99 There was no link to this event in your article. I suspect this is a hoax. Please provide a link to the location on the event guide, for “critical becky studies.” The AERA conference guide is a confusing academic labyrinth. After a while, PG clicked on the correct link, and found a way to search for whiteness pedagogy.

CBS is real. “In the tradition of speculative fiction, parable, and counterstorytelling within critical race theory, this session aims to problematize the characterization of “Becky,” a term specific to white women who engage whiteness, often in gendered ways. This characterization is relevant to education by critically examining who is Becky and how she is characterized, her positionality in education, and how the hope for diversity, inclusion, equity, and racial justice within the P-20 educational pipeline is impacted by Becky. … tied to the gendered and raced mechanisms of whiteness enacted by Becky. ”

The symposium featured the presentation of several papers. If, after reading this feature, you want to learn more about these papers, you can follow the links.

This Ain’t No “Wizard of Oz,” Becky “The chapter is a parable in the spirit of speculative fiction, about the fictional (mis)adventures of Becky in the land of Ny as she faces obstacles that she can only overcome by grappling with her own whiteness.”

Two Woke Beckys? “Although both Sheila and Erika slip into different whiteness performances during their conversation, including passive aggressiveness and tone policing, white innocence, and white saviority, they check each other and delve into how they each have and are employing whiteness, despite their desires to rid themselves of whiteness, albeit through different means. …”
Love in the Time of Beckyism “… a particular white heterofeminine citizen-subject popularly known as “Becky,” … Despite “progressive” commitments such as equality, and social justice; and sentimental responses to historical atrocities and current social events, these (conditional) protestations made by Becky serve as a hedonistic mechanism for image management that hinges on the exploitation and social death of people of color. …” How can a teacher preparation program work to rethink the episteme and ethos that socializes Beckyism?”

Book Club Becky: White Racial Bonding in the Living Room “Many liberal white women gather monthly for book clubs … This paper reveals the more insidious workings of these spaces, as they are places where white women bond in order to maintain their place in white patriarchy, what Christine Sleeter named white racial bonding. The conversations that take place, the women who are included as “educated,” and the spaces where they meet are laced with white supremacy and surveillance.”

Border Becky “… why white women still invest in whiteness. Using the term “Becky” establishes an academic backing that can be applied and analyzed when researching the pathology of whiteness. … whiteness manifests in classrooms riddled with white women seeking to prove how they are not like other racist white people. Becky in the counterstories demonstrates the character-like roles white women play in a white supremacist folklore.”

It was a busy weekend for whiteness pedagogy. Ekemini Uwan shocked a Christian conference with her remarks about whiteness. “So then when we talk about white identity, then we have to talk about what whiteness is. Well, the reality is that whiteness is rooted in plunder, in theft, in slavery, in enslavement of Africans, genocide of Native Americans, … It’s a power structure, that is what whiteness is, and so that the thing for white women to do is you have to divest from whiteness because what happened was that your ancestors actually made a deliberate choice to rid themselves of their ethnic identity and by doing so they actually stripped Africans in America of their ethnic identity. … Because we have to understand something – whiteness is wicked. It is wicked. It’s rooted in violence, it’s rooted in theft, it’s rooted in plunder, it’s rooted in power, in privilege … ”

“Inter city beauties, Atlantic City Pageant, 1925” illustrate this feature. These images are from The Library of Congress. We do not know if any were named Becky. UPDATE @chamblee54 I found the link. My apologies for doubting you. @maxeden99 No worries. I couldn’t have made it up if I tried :)









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