This weekend, scientists at one of the country’s most heralded bastions of journalism unearthed a living, breathing specimen of a real-life Becky. Unlike the modern-day versions of white women who trade on the privilege and status of white womanhood, this Becky was discovered in pristine form, unadulterated by societal contaminants such as intelligence, reason and self-awareness.
The Washington Post’s advice columnist Carolyn Hax published a letter on Sunday from a woman known only as “Fiancee” who was desperate to know if she should confront her boyfriend, who works in law enforcement, about his virulent racism.
“I am engaged to a great guy with many wonderful qualities,” the letter began, “and I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life with him.” The proto-Becky went on to explain that the problem with her future mate was that he is prejudiced against “one specific race,” which, coincidentally, happens to be the race of the Taylor Not-So-Swift’s ex-boyfriends. The Rachel “D’oh!”-lezal went on to explain:
He works in law enforcement, so part of me wants to attribute the racism to the fact that he has seen this particular race do many horrible things that I haven’t. This seems like a pretty trivial thing — we all have some sort of bias or prejudice — but it’s getting to the point where I can’t even talk to a member of this race in a work meeting about a work-related project without my fiance turning it into a huge fight and accusing me of trying to be a liaison for all [race] people.
He doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong, and I end up being the one to apologize and try to fix things — even though I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong either. The amount of time and energy we have spent arguing about this race is downright embarrassing.
I know you can’t change anyone, you can only change yourself, but short of moving to a commune in Massachusetts, I’m not sure what I can do. This seems like such a small thing to break up over, but it also seems like something I can’t argue about for the rest of my life.
Before you set your stunners to attack mode, it is important that we don’t scare this woman off. Finding a Becky living in the wild who can write in complete sentences and yet is so perfectly unaware could lead to numerous scientific discoveries. This is like running across an albino tiger in the jungle or finding a woolly mammoth bumbling around in the Arctic Circle. We must capture her and examine her in the name of science.
Researchers have written about the existence of women like this, but until now, we have never found one living in the wild. Since the beginning of time, we have wondered how Becky sapiens manage to distance themselves from white male patriarchy and prejudice while still enjoying the benefits of white supremacy. It is the quintessential conundrum.
But there is one problem: We don’t have a control Becky.
To remedy this quandary, we here at The Root are soliciting other Beckys to help us further the culture in our scientific studies. In case you are wondering if you qualify, we are asking all white women between the ages of 18 and 118 to take a quiz to determine your eligibility for our upcoming study in Beckyology.
1. Are you a white woman?
2. Are you racist?
A. I don’t know.
B. Asking me if I’m racist is racist.
C. No, I dated a black guy in college.
D. No, one of my best friends is black. Her name is Shantell, and by “best” I mean she sits in the cubicle next to me ... that counts, right?
3. Who did you vote for?
A. I was “with her.”
B. I voted for Trump, but I regret it. I still have my pink hat from the Women’s March, so that erases my vote. Also, why are you bringing up old stuff?
C. I don’t follow politics that much.
D. I would have voted for Obama a third time ...
4. Fill in the blank: _____ Lives Matter
5. Which is scarier?
A. Chicago’s top gang thugs
B. The Obamacare death panels
D. When Shantell doesn’t use her inside voice at the office
6. Have you ever used any of the following phrases?
A. “But what about black-on-black crime?”
B. “What would Martin Luther King Jr. have thought about this?”
C. “What’s wrong with me touching your hair, Shantell?”
D. “But if the word is racist when I say it, how come you can say it?”
7. What’s your favorite season for chicken?
B. I’m vegan. Have you seen the way the poultry industry treats chickens? It’s really disgusting ... now who is this Philando Castile fella?
C. I whisper Katy Perry lyrics to a cage-free organic hen as I marinate it in a mix of lemon juice and pureed celery for 24 hours. Next, I sous vide it for 39 minutes and then ... add a pinch of salt.
D. What’s seasoning?
8. Taylor Swift is:
A. A feminist icon, my role model and body goals.
B. Empowering, the way she recovered from the brutal Kanye West terrorist attack.
C. The Rosa Parks of my generation.
D. I don’t really talk about Taylor Swift that much ever since Shantell threw me against a wall for saying Taylor Swift is more talented than Beyoncé and Rihanna combined.
9. The reason you didn’t get your last promotion was:
A. Affirmative action. Sure, Shantell has more education and experience than I do, but you know ... quotas.
B. The Mexicans are taking all the jobs.
C. Sexism. We need to dismantle the patriarchy.
10. Racism is:
A. Over. We had a black president.
B. An excuse used by people who want to play “the race card.”
C. Just like sexism, and as a woman I’ve experienced it often.
D. I don’t see color ... except for my ex-boyfriends’ penises and the psychedelic bursts of purple and red when Shantel slammed me against that wall.
11. Blacks could get ahead if they:
A. Worked harder and focused on family and education.
B. Didn’t look up to rappers and athletes as their role models.
C. Stopped depending on the government and pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.
D. Believed in themselves.
12. The greatest thing I have learned about black culture is from:
A. The lyrics to “Bodak Yellow.”
B. Martin Luther King’s Wikipedia page.
C. There is only one culture: American.
D. When I went to Thanksgiving dinner with my college boyfriend and learned the Wobble.
14. I think the term “Becky” is:
A. Reverse racism.
B. Funny, but it doesn’t apply to me. I’m “woke.” I have a Black Lives Matter T-shirt and everything.
C. Shantell’s nickname for me.
D. I prefer “Becca.”
15. I don’t understand:
A. Why I can’t go to the Halloween party as Pocahontas. It’s not technically blackface; it’s “self-tanner.”
B. Why Shantell won’t try my potato salad.
C. What a “downbeat” is.
D. Why I can’t get a pumpkin-spice Starbucks latte year-round.
16. White privilege is:
A. Something people made up.
B. Real, except for me. I’m not like that.
C. A microaggression that triggers me. I need to go to my safe space.
D. Something I have erased by teaching team-building exercises to inner-city youth.
17. When someone is racist around me, I:
A. Say nothing.
B. Say nothing.
C. Say nothing.
D. Marry them.
A. 100 points
B. 0 points
All other questions: 0 points
0 to 99 points: Congratulations: You are not a Becky!
100 points or higher: You are a Becky. Please contact us at our research facility at your earliest convenience.