Mainstream feminism ignores repressed minorities

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Mainstream feminism ignores repressed minorities

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With the vast number of terms floating around on the interwebs, it’s difficult to keep up – especially when a new one appears. White feminism, though not a new concept, is often either unacknowledged or unknown.

  Basically, white feminism is the failure to recognize intersectionality, which is the idea that different forms of societal oppression intersect.

  Intersectionality is ignored in white feminism for a number of reasons – it’s an uncomfortable topic; it “takes away from the core value of feminism”; it muddles the line between the struggles of sexism and the struggles of racism; it opens the door to acknowledging that non-marginalized women have privilege over women who are also minorities.    

  White feminism shows its face in ways we often miss.

  When a white woman stands for feminism, we applaud her.

  On the contrary, when a black woman makes the same case, she is held to the stereotype that is just “an angry black woman.”

  When Miley Cyrus exposes herself for her music video Wrecking Ball, despite the controversy she is still recognized as a champion of owning her sexuality. However, when Nicki Minaj did the same with Anaconda, she was ridiculed.

  This poses the question as to why that was the case for Minaj’s  music video but not Cyrus’.

  A confident black woman taking a stand for her sexuality makes others uncomfortable. White woman simply do not experience this sexual oppression  in the same way.

  And unfortunately, it’s easy to fall prone to white feminism. But awareness can make all the difference.

  Mid-2015, an argument erupted between the two musical powerhouses Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift.

  Minaj tweeted that she was tired of black women not being acknowledged for influencing pop culture, and stated that any music video that celebrates women with slim bodies will get nominated for an award.

  Swift, who took the tweet as a personal attack, then responded saying that it isn’t like Minaj to pit women against women.

  While still encompassing the core idea that feminism is about all women, Swift made the crucial mistake of failing to acknowledge that what Minaj stated held truth.

  Despite still standing for her views on feminism, her tweet  ignores the problems of different women and vouches solely for the problems that privileged women face.

  She made an inevitable, all-encompassing umbrella for the problems of women, when in reality, every situation is different.

  Yes, putting women under an umbrella makes each one equal to the other.

  But by doing this, we forget that different women experience different levels of sexism.

  We forget that black women still face racism on top of sexism.

  We forget that trans women are more likely to be harassed or assaulted than cis women.

  We forget that Hispanic women only make 54 cents for every dollar a man makes.

  By saying that struggles like homophobia, racism and ableism are not the problems of feminists, we fail to achieve equality for all women.

  And feminism that doesn’t strive to find equality for all – that isn’t feminism at all.

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