White women are the most dangerous upholders of white supremacy in Silicon Valley, and holding them accountable could cost you your career, your community, and your sanity.

After two years at Webflow, I am saying goodbye to more than just a job I once loved. I’m risking the most important possession I’ve acquired. The very thing that I’ve sacrificed family, friends, and good health to attain. The thing I’ve held on a pedestal for 15 years — my career — to speak my truth.

White women are considered checkmarks on tech’s list of DEI requirements.

And not only that, but we are the easiest checkmark to fulfill first. We don’t feel like total strangers in the boardroom. Men can and do applaud themselves for adding a single white woman to their executive team or board of directors; it’s even considered a major milestone achievement in their “commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.” This is particularly dangerous because male executives get validation of their whiteness from seeing their prized diversity hire behave as they would, which allows them to numb themselves in the face of criticism. Men can now sit back and have their dirty work done for them, and as long as she is bringing in results, they always have an excuse to remain silent. This authorizes the previously bad cops of the organization to rebrand themselves as benevolent fatherly figures. We start hearing familiar phrases like, “Hey, don’t look at me. You heard what your mother said.” Men can continue to cash in and pat themselves on the back for a job well done. When any non-cishet/white/man is in power (not the least of which are white women) and exudes traits of toxic masculinity, their behavior is more conspicuous, subjecting them to more damaging discourse and tarnishing of their reputation than her superiors would receive. This not only makes white men more covertly dangerous, it simultaneously decreases any opportunities for the rest of us to advance in our careers, get resources and support to do our jobs effectively, and ultimately feel represented and included at the company that markets itself as committed to our protection and prosperity. Yet white women continue to senselessly defend their toxic behavior.

It’s significantly harder to identify the patterns of abuse from white women.

Our abusers don’t just look like us — they are us. Recognizing it makes us question our own identity. Calling it out makes us traitors, harshly casting us out of the only community we felt accepted in the office to begin with. The abuse is disparate, more insidious, and more widely acceptable, thus lending itself to be all too easy to be complicit in it. Cue the white women’s flying monkeys stage left.

We’re all complicit whether we can admit it or not.

It’s ridiculously hard to collect receipts when we’ve been oblivious to and yet also complicit in the parasitic behavior in question. We usually don’t realize what has been going on until it’s either too far in the future to remember the specific details that HR requires for proper investigations, or the unspoken statute of limitations that your infantile startup uses to determine a problem’s urgency and severity has expired. And without the aid from HR, we are either too green to have meaningful influence at our organization, or we’ve been traumatized one too many times. We’re too desensitized, drowsy, and downtrodden to hope for change. Not to mention, who the fuck is going to believe us?

The cost of calling attention to abusive white women is too high for the victims and the company.

Now that we’re painfully aware of what we’re participating in, there’s no turning back. The #girlboss propaganda rears its ugly head again to remind us not to take shit from anyone. But what if the shit we’re being fed is from our own mouths? We are traitors if we go against them. Even more contradictory, we desperately want to believe they are altruistic. Because that means we are too. But what happens when we say fuck it — what have I got to lose this time?

It’s near-impossible to influence changes in behavior from white women in power.

Once white women are in positions of power, their networks solidify their tenure. What starts as one human inflicting harm one-to-one soon becomes few-to-many as they grow teams and promote their own kind. Eventually, and rapidly, an indestructible black widow’s web is spun that traps people and cements processes. By the time anyone notices, the damage has extended beyond what the eye can see. While men are inescapably the biggest perpetrators and creators of white supremacy, once a white woman benefits and profits from the system, she becomes its fiercest advocate.

From one white woman in power to another

Just because I look like you, and we can bond over the same shitty taste in music, does not mean I have your back. There isn’t a single part of me that’s afraid to look in the mirror and see your face staring back at me. I’m not afraid of you. I’m not going to blindly support you just because you’re also a blonde woman who lost your father at a young age. I have empathy for you. I understand why you are the way you are. I see you. But I don’t respect you. I don’t trust you. And I’m coming for you, just the way you came for all the people who are powerless under you — with a smile on my face and my fingers crossed behind my back.

To HR departments and executives committed to DEI

You can do better than being the “all lives matter” gang of the office. We know you know.

To my coworkers who supported me

You may be younger than me, but you are infinitely stronger and wiser. Thank you for believing me without persecution. Thank you for helping me realize how not-ok this is. Thank you for giving me strength and courage. Unfortunately, you are the most vulnerable now that I’m gone, so “keep your spidey senses on.” I know I’m not doing this perfectly. Your feedback is welcome.

To my new friends

Your experience is the truth. Don’t fall for the trap of getting sidetracked by hyper-focusing on your symptoms instead of removing the parasite that’s causing them.

Elevator of small talk to medium talk. Winner of costume contests. Capricorn ☀️ Leo 🌅. Tech marketer @webflow @atlassian @github. Sillier on the ⏰🐥 apps.