Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What feminism is lacking  

Can you be 100% for equality, for respect, for a non-sexist non-racist non-homophobic world and not call yourself a feminist? Yes. Renee at Womanist Musings identifies as a womanist, and would never dare call herself a feminist, because she feels that feminism has no place for her. While reading her post, I grew increasingly upset... not because I disagreed with her, but because I knew she was right. While I believe feminism has made recent advances in becoming more inclusive, we're not even close to achieving racial equality within the movement, or else people wouldn't feel the need to identify as "womanist."

I'm guilty of it. We all are. I do make genuine attempts to write about issues that affect women of color because I feel they are extremely important and don't get even near the coverage they deserve, but when it comes down to it, I'm still a white and privileged young woman who will never be able to provide enough coverage and discussion of race and racism to make up for what feminism has been lacking. Renee writes:

Every time we are used, or our issues are ignored, it drives WOC running and screaming from feminism and I suppose that is the point. It has never been about solidarity or sisterhood; it has always been about making the white female the equal of the white male. When we make it clear that we are not to be used in such a manner, the pearl clutching begins. It has become tiresome and insulting. Dear white feminists, please stop playing the same game, Sojourner Truth long ago read your cards correctly.

While I would love a perfect world in which we are all joined in one pro-woman movement that isn't guilty of patriarchal behavior, I understand why WOC have to be womanists and why they feel feminism isn't for them. The most popular feminist blogs are run by white women, major feminist organizations are arranged in hierarchical manner in which white women are on top, and as little news coverage as women's issues receive, the issues that plague women of color receive a fraction of that.

(Current NOW officers)

I still believe the attempts of many white feminists to be inclusive are with good intentions, but feminism as a movement remains naive.

What next?

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