feminism: the dreaded f-word
I don’t like feminism.
No, it’s not the ideology itself I dislike, but rather the many implications and required explanations that come along with the bold declaration that “I am a feminist.”
In a sense, I guess that’s exactly what I am. I believe in equality for both men and women that stems across all platforms be it economic, political, cultural or social. I think women are just as capable as men and that if only given the same opportunities, can be just as powerful and successful. I’m opposed to traditional gender roles constructed to keep women in the home and dependent on men, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with a woman who chooses to never marry or have children.
But as I said, I don’t like feminism. I don’t like the way in which this ideology has become widely synonymous with “white feminism,” an oblivious form that completely disregards race, class and women with disabilities. I don’t like the fact that international attention is often given to white feminists like Emma Watson and Tina Fey, but leaves black feminists like Angela Davis and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie widely unmentioned in the fight for gender equality.
In addition to ignoring and dismissing intersectionality, I don’t like the way in which other forms such as sex positive feminism are often used to discredit the experiences of women of colour while indirectly perpetuating white feminism. While women of colour must fight for the same rights as both men and white women, white feminists are oblivious to these challenges and instead, are preoccupied with notions of sexual liberty and freedom.
As Pakistani philosopher and attorney Rafia Zakaria writes, there is no room for feminists of colour within the notion of sex positive feminism.”The pre-occupation with sex, particularly its frequency and variety, seemed trivial to me, unconnected to the feminism that I was trying so hard to model for my daughter,” she writes. “It hurt to be judged inadequate somehow by those whose class and color seemed to make them better equipped to define the terms of feminism.”
“I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I don’t like feminism and the way in which it allows white, heterosexual feminists to remain silent in the face of increasing violence against trans women of colour. With the number of murdered trans women in the U.S. having reached historic levels this year, the same women who call for equal rights for both (white) men and women have failed to call for justice for women like Amber Monroe, India Clarke and Tamara Dominguez.
I’m a feminist who views feminism as “The Dreaded F-Word.” Although I believe in equality for all, I also believe gender, race, class and social status are intricately bound together making feminism a multi-layered ideology that requires both consciousness and awareness in order to understand its true depth. But in a society that immediately equates feminism with white feminism, I guess you could say I’m not really a feminist.
But that’s just According to Adrienne.
Don’t know what white feminism is? Peep the video for a two-minute rundown!