I’ve been meaning to write about white feminism for awhile now because I think it’s an important thing to talk about. The distinction of white feminism is to address the practice of centering the issues disproportionately felt by white, middle class women while also ignoring and excluding the intersectionality of issues like racism, classism, ableism, and others. Anne Theriault has written about white feminism before and in one piece, described what she meant by white feminism:
* by “white feminism” I mean a certain demographic of white women who are straight, cis and able-bodied and view their brand of “feminism” as being better and more “real” than that of anyone else’s.
NinjaCate also wrote about what she means by white feminism, saying among many things that:
As I always say, “If it doesn’t apply to you, then it’s not about you. If it’s not about you, then don’t take it personally.” Being a good ally means recognizing that sometimes your input is not needed or wanted, and that it’s incredibly inappropriate to demand that a marginalized group, (in this case, WoC within the feminist movement) restructure a conversation that is happening to serve their needs, in a way that is more “comfortable” for the very people they are mobilizing against.
NinjaCate also wrote about the greatest hits of white feminism in 2014 (part one) (part two), where she references different events that happened over the year, including the fact that Emma Watson thinks feminism should be nicer to men. Additionally, Anne Theriault wrote a couple pieces about white feminism, including a list of shit that white feminists need to stop doing and the white feminist savior complex.
As a white feminist (and trying to not be a White Feminist™), I think it’s incredibly important to have intersectionality at the center of feminism and activism. And I think it’s important for white people in general to be okay with being called out on any bullshit. We’re not going to be perfect but we sure as hell can listen, learn, and strive to be better.
Update – some other articles and videos include:
- Does Feminism Really Help All Women – Or Just White Women? – Marina Watanabe
- The Black Feminist’s Guide to the Racist Sh*t That Too Many White Feminists Say – Maisha Z. Johnson
- The Beginning Black Feminist’s Guide to Feminism Without the Anti-Black Bullsh*t – Maisha Z. Johnson
- Here are 4 Ways to Navigate Whiteness and Feminism – Without Being a White Feminist™ – Maddie McClouskey