‘White feminism’ is not inclusive
All women’s struggles should be recognized
I am a white, cisgender, straight, middle-class feminist and I recognize my privilege.
I recognize, if I wasn’t these things, I would face different issues regarding misogyny. The problem is that many women in my position don’t realize their privilege, and this needs to change.
Intersectionality is the idea that all oppression and discrimination is connected. For example, this means women of color face both sexism and racism, and lesbian women face sexism and homophobia.
The term was first introduced in 1989 by American professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, and we need it now more than ever.
‘White feminism’ is a term to describe people who identify as feminists but fail to recognize the importance of intersectionality.
Take Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift’s twitter feud last year as an example of white feminism.
Minaj called out the VMAs for overlooking women of color in their nominations, and Swift initially saw this as a personal jab at her. White feminism takes non-white, non-cis, non-straight women and marginalizes their issues, which is unacceptable.
There is also a large number of transgender women who face hate crimes every day. Last year alone, 21 transgender women were brutally murdered in the United States.
Some white feminists even see Muslim women who choose to wear hijabs as oppressed, as they believe the hijab stands for something inherently degarding. Muslim women who wear hijabs as a choice are just as liberated as women who choose not to. This is a point some white feminists refuse to see.
Equal pay and women’s health are issues that resonate deep in me, and that’s because I am a feminist who is white and doesn’t face things like racism. But I also understand that issues like police brutality, hate crimes and stereotypes still continue to harm women of color.
As a feminist, I need to give women of color, age, differing sexualities, disability and transgender women a voice among all feminists. As a feminist, I embrace all women and recognize that our struggles are different. As a feminist, I believe in educating myself on issues that I don’t face because of my race, sexual identity and age. As a feminist, I truly believe if we work together, we can change the world.