I feel similarly about this "white feminism" term being thrown around when it applies to feminist efforts and thoughts that help all women. It divides. It holds us back. It shuts our mouths. I'm not talking about racist statements - if a feminist is being racist then he or she's being racist. I'm talking about statements like equal pay, pro women's achievements, against violence and rape being called white feminism. It keeps happening and it's cheating everyone!
And the image of white woman as frappuccino drinking ugg wearers of privilege isn't exactly racism against white people - its just plain sexist as f*ck- an amplified misogyny justified sometimes as being about race - but it's not just about race - the image of woman as superficial, all the same, empty, sitting around with no care in the world is an image that negatively affects all women.
When women of color do great things, I am excited for all women and feel united. I don't want our culture and modern times to manufacture a feeling of division among us - because I don't feel it! It's backwards! When Beyonce, Oprah, Malala for example achieve great feminist feats I'm excited for all of us and I don't want any jerks taking that away.
Labeling a feminist statement as "white feminism" denigrates the statement and silences the speaker. Silencing of women's voices is bad enough as it is and we don't need to erode a woman's voice any further.
It's true that the needs of women differ among races and economic spheres - but there are countless threads that unite us, and just about everything that's important about feminism is important for all women.
If you disagree - then educate me because I want this conversation to happen. It's the great power we have to talk and communicate and connect and figure things out. Don't silence me. Don't silence anyone. Progress can come from discussion, not name calling, not labeling, not marginalizing. Let's talk.
|Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes in 1971 and later in 2008|