White Feminism: A Discussion



      Feminism is not a word that means hate. It does not represent elitist values or even a power struggle. Feminism is the right to vote, the right to speak your mind, and the right to live your life out from underneath a man’s grasp and control. I can’t explain what exactly feminism is to me but I can feel it in everything I do. When I don’t brush my hair in the morning or when I scream or when I put on pants or go to school or go outside, I try to remain conscious of what got me there. The women who came before us were fighters and they worked hard to give modern women and femmes the strength and power to stand up and work to change a society that is still in many ways dominated by male standards. ‘White feminism’ is a concept that has sprung from the darkest part of the feminist movement. It's shameful to think that we possess have this level of equality, yet somehow women are now pushing past the halfway mark we have been trying to meet mankind at for centuries. The problem is not that women are pushing ‘too hard’ against the male ego because I feel as though we’ve earned that right- the right to push with both our hands and minds which have been limited for so long. The problem resides in the underlying male ego. All in all, it’s not the men behind this concept of ‘white feminism’, however; it’s other women. White feminism is speech and action that has in mind only the rights of upper class, western women. It’s usually not out of hate, although many will argue it is. Rather, I think that it comes from ignorance to the rest of the world and close-minded thought processes. 


    Feminism isn’t about how many times a month you shave your legs or your armpits. It isn’t about showing off your nipple piercing on Instagram! If that empowers you, go for it please- but we really have to consider the bigger picture here. Body image among us ladies is a huge part of feminism but it’s not about you. It's about escaping standards that were put in place to appease the other people. It's about taking what is yours as a woman of this modern century because you can recognize the struggle of your sisters before you. I would also like to mention that cis, straight, wealthy, white women's struggles are valid and we shouldn't discriminate because we think we know what is there. Also, I urge you to consider that women all over the world who are yet to be liberated from the bonds society has put them in are continuing to struggle. Many women often cannot give birth in safe environments. Others cannot protect their bodies from being bought, sold, and married off. There are countless women who don’t even resist the oppressions we see as gross injustices because that's how their mothers were treated and their grandmothers before that. Feminism is infectious. It’s a living organism and all we can do is help it grow, hopefully with a sense of community and generosity, because the last thing we need is a divide between us.

By Alice Rojas

2 comments

  1. This is an evoking piece. Though I'm not quite sure what you're getting at specifically here, I believe you're saying that we need to reevaluate our divide within feminism, especially with the concept of "white feminism". I would have loved to see this as a collaboration perhaps, getting in different women of different struggles chipping in their opinion to strengthen your stance. In the current state, your words seem a little one-sided. Nevertheless, this is a fresh opinion piece, and definitely something to chew on.

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  2. I agree with Danielle. A collaboration could really push this further, but it was definitely evoking as is.

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