Feminism has, slowly but surely, become a prominent part of our society.
Feminist people have come together to form a bond to push for progress. The problem is that too many of these feminists don’t focus on all the issues.
They don’t focus on everyone.
And I think it’s important that they start to – with a little help from intersectionalism.
Popular feminism in America began by focusing on middle- and upper-class white women. Women of color were, and are still, rarely discussed or worried about. Society has always put white women on a pedestal, which has led to the concept of “White Feminism.™”
White Feminism™ is a so-called feminism that only concerns a group of women, particularly white, who are so focused on themselves that they neither see nor care about the needs of others. Whether they realize it or not, white feminists’ top priorities are fixing the wage gap, growing out their body hair, and freeing the nipple.
Which is fine, except that true feminism is much more involved than that. And white feminists push down feminists of color in their climb to the top.
White feminism ignores the issues of racism because white feminists rarely don’t think or worry about race. They exclude trans women because many white feminists don’t consider them to be “real women.” And they completely often disregard the pressing issues women and young girls face in countries outside America.
White feminists also ignore that they are the beauty standard, and are often seen using other people’s cultures for their personal gain. For example, white women styling their hair in cornrows, dreads, and afros, or wearing Native American headdresses, hijabs, bindis and henna tattoos.
When people of color say, “Hey, stop using my culture for fashion! You’re making a mockery of it,” white feminists are like, “WHY CAN’T WE JUST SHARE?”
Ummm. So let me get this straight, you don’t want to include us in your feminist movement but you want to use our culture? The same culture you don’t really care about? I don’t think so.
And what about transgender and agender people, and even men?
I know a lot of you may not want to hear it, they’re vital to effective discussions on feminism. How can you be a feminist and want equality for everyone if you continuously leave out a large portion of people? The answer is, you can’t. Feminism is and should be for all types of people, not just for one type. The only way you can do that is with intersectional feminism.
Intersectional feminism is the concept of describing how privileged, discriminated, and oppressed people are connected regardless of race or gender. Intersectional feminism focuses on those that society has a habit of leaving behind. Black women, women of color, LGBTQ+ people, and many men all mostly want the same things that white feminists want. But it seems like white feminists don’t want to come together to discuss these issues. That’s why intersectional feminism is so important – it gives everyone a voice, and doesn’t allow white women to talk on a loudspeaker above the rest of the room’s discussions.
When talking about feminism, we should be talking about everyone’s rights, regardless of their age, race, size, sexuality, and what they were born as. Because that’s the only way feminism can work and it’s the only way we can be equal.
Being a white feminist doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it just means that you should be more open-minded.
The best thing for white feminists do is to shut up, listen, and help shed light on other problems that others face that are constantly being neglected.
When you really think about it, it’s not that hard to do.