If your automatic response is “what does being white have to do with it?” you’ve misunderstood the point.
White feminism doesn’t apply to all white people who claim to be feminist. It applies to white people who claim to be feminists without taking intersectionality and privilege into account and who do and say things that are bigoted. (A post on intersectionality will be coming soon).
Examples of white feminists include:
Amy Schumer. She’s all about body positivity and standing up for women in comedy because both of those affect her. However, she’s racist. I understand that she is a comedian but that doesn’t mean that you have to make racist jokes, which she has done often. You cannot be a feminist and be racist.
Lena Dunham. Not only is there a huge controversy surrounding her biography where she said some things that were incredibly inappropriate. She tried to play the victim while demonizing a black male athlete (Odell Beckham Jr.) literally for no reason. Then, instead of apologizing, she claimed that it was just “her sense of humor.” Bullshit.
Taylor Swift. Yeah I said it. “America’s sweetheart” isn’t a real feminist. She constantly places herself on a pedestal while trying to shame and blame everyone while deflecting responsibility from herself. While I’m not a huge fan of Kim Kardashian either, I’m glad that she exposed Swift when that whole thing with Kanye went down. For other reasons, you can read this.
Emilia Clarke. I loved the way she portrayed Louisa in Me Before You. Then I lost respect for her after she compared dealing with sexism to dealing with racism. No. They are not the same. And in case you haven’t figured it out yet: BLACK WOMEN FACE BOTH RACISM AND SEXISM, OFTEN SIMULTANEOUSLY.
If you are white and want to be a feminist, ally, or whatever, you must do a few things:
- Check your privilege. Yes, everyone has privilege. No one is blaming you for yours. And it doesn’t mean that you’ve never struggled or have had everything handed to you (for more info, click here).
- Actively practice being an ally. Don’t just say that you are. To learn how to do that (or make sure that you are doing that) read this. And then this.