Earlier this month, thousands of women put on their knitted pink hats and took to the streets all over the U.S. to protest the inequalities that they have dealt with since the birth of this nation. For some this is an everyday struggle and for others — not so much.
White feminism was on full display during the Women’s March of 2018 leaving many to wonder where all of that energy disappears to during other social movements that happen throughout any other time of the year.
According to the urban dictionary, white feminism is a brand of feminism centered around the ideals and struggles of primarily white women, effectively ignoring issues regarding other women — especially women of color.
In many cases, white feminism chooses not to focus on issues that affect women from marginalized groups such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender women and even white women who come from immigrant communities.
White feminism ignores the privilege that accompanies being white and, as a consequence, creates a flawless glass ceiling that is in dire need of being broken.
This is not to say feminists who are white are necessarily white feminists, nor that white women do not face issues, it’s rather to say there is a lot to learn about the barriers women of color face.
It is not about silencing, devaluing or invalidating the barriers white women face, but rather allowing diverse voices to be heard.
White women, the next time you decide to participate in a march that takes place once a year because it has all of a sudden become socially acceptable, think twice about who you supported at the ballot box and who you really should be supporting in the fight for gender equality.
The majority of the women who are protesting year-round march because the government is threatening to defund or shut down places like Planned Parenthood.
Slashing social services is more of an attack that harms non-privileged women rather than those who are privileged because they do not possess the same access to support systems or medical care.
The way a white woman experiences misogyny and objectification is not the same as a woman of any other race experiences it.
Issues that affect white women, affect women of color even more.
While a white woman fights for her wage difference to be equal to her male counterpart, Latinas and black women are fighting to obtain the same earning potential as white women.
White feminism, in more ways than one, excludes intersectionality which downgrades its relevancy. Relegating the reality to a mere concept or theory.
Intersectionality is the interconnected nature of social categorizations.
Rather than putting a pink “pussy hat” (the epitome of white feminism) on the Harriet Tubman memorial, how about you also participate in a Black Lives Matter march.
White feminism is oblivious to the huge role whiteness plays regarding beauty standards.
Critics who tell Nicki Minaj to respect herself and cover up while praising Miley Cyrus for revolutionizing twerking, or labeling Taylor Swift as a feminist icon, but saying Beyoncé needs to learn her place and stay in it, are just two examples society shoves white beauty standards in everyone’s faces.
Put plainly and clearly, feminism itself bears the burden of race, gender, sexuality and stereotypes of what the movement actually really is.