The issue with white feminism


Intersectional feminism includes all types of women and this successful alliance will help us achieve equality.

The feminism movement has continued to gain support for decades now; however, this blanket term tends to only include and protect white women. The feminist agenda implies equality and inclusivity, but fails to account for the additional white privilege that is directly attached to the movement.

     The white liberal is a persona that has developed over the past few years describing someone who has an almost god-like complex in being the savior in situations of racial injustice. 

     “Feminism is supposed to power and uplift women, nowadays you can see white women benefit from these movements and take advantage of them, in the way that it is used for marketing and so-called “activism,” said junior Aanika Shergill.

     The white liberal is someone who strives to be “politically correct” and “woke” but refuses to unlearn their subconscious racist mindset that undoubtedly harms the POC (people of color) around them. The white liberal is just as damaging as an openly racist person when it comes to dismantling the systemically racist and patriarchal society we live in.

     Many white people get uncomfortable discussing race, but confronting the subject of white feminism is not placing the blame on every single white person who practices this toxic form of feminism. White feminism needs to be acknowledged so it’s clear that the issue lies with “regular” feminism solely portraying the struggles white women face and implying that’s how all women experience inequality. Consequently, white woman feminism silences and alienates the experiences that WOC (women of color) regularly face. Some white women victimize themselves and use misogyny to separate themselves from their whiteness. Not only does this completely invalidate and undermine WOC experiences, but it also creates a bigger divide between white women and WOC. 

     In a conversation about equity, it is vital to listen to and hear all voices that are speaking up about the struggles women face. That means white women listening to the struggles that WOC are going through and finding a point of intersectionality where everyone receives justice.

     Intersectional feminism is combining the struggles of gender oppression and other forms of oppression (ie. race, sexuality, disabilities, etc.) to find solutions to one societal issue without disregarding the other. This does not mean it is the job of white women to solve and end racism. It is not the white woman’s burden. Intersectional feminism calls for all parties to listen to each other, uplift voices, and use their privilege for the greater good.

     “Yes, I think intersectional feminism is the way to go because it’s important to understand that everyone’s experiences and backgrounds are going to be very, very different. So one person’s needs are not going to be the same as the others and we need a united front for any movement to work,” said senior Zoya Omair.

     Historically, feminism was a middle-class white women’s movement that had no regard for the racial inequality that is also inter-webbed with sexism. In a nation like America, where racism is so deeply ingrained into nearly all of our systems, disregarding race as a whole almost guarantees that feminism can only be successful for white women. “WOC still have to work harder than white women to get the same position because feminism has created this idea of equality of white women with men, it does not acknowledge that WOC are still being discriminated against, especially if they belong to the LGBTQ+ community, are lower class, or belong to a different religion, etc,” Shergill said.

     Feminism can not live up to its name and be successful without being inclusive and mindful of the various forms of oppression. This would not only benefit each woman’s personal gain, but provide a world of freedom and release from the handcuffs of the patriarchy for women to prosper together.