I remember my first women’s studies class at Stanford, when there was a conflict when one of the white woman students was talking about the Black maid at her home, and how much they loved her. And I raised the question, “But does she love you? What do you really know of what she says about you when she is home? What have you done to earn the right to talk about her?” Of course, I remembered that when my mother came home, the critique that she brought to bear on the white people that she worked for was fierce. They would not have been able to imagine it. She would come home and do a gendered critique, or do a critique of the idea of female freedom, of the white female leisure-class model in a way that the white people she worked for did not see because of their racism and classism.
bell hooks, in homegrown: Engaged Cultural Critique in the chapter “Feminist Iconography,” p. 39.
Funny I read this this weekend after hearing and reading so much about The Help.