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The Dangers of White Feminism

Feminism Should Include All Women

Photo by AI Image Creator on Wix

Feminism is the term that defines the social, political and economic movements and ideologies that intend to establish gender equality between men and women. Throughout history, the feminist movement has been present in efforts to eliminate gender stereotypes, improve education, gain the right to vote, run for office, own property and more, to create opportunities for women to thrive in a patriarchal society. 

Though white women are still members of an oppressed group due to gender inequality, the reality is that white women carry more privilege and power than any other group of women. While feminism is a necessary movement to achieve gender equality, the exclusive focus on the issues of white women, not all women, can cause damage that some people may be unaware of. White feminism is the aspect of the feminist movement that only focuses on the issues that primarily affect middle-class white women.

Since the beginning of feminism during the suffrage movements of the 19th century, black women were excluded from organizations and events. For example, the National American Woman Suffrage Association prohibited black women from attending conventions, and in suffrage parades black women had to march separately from white women. Based on this evidence, the exclusion of black women from the feminist movement has been a continuity since the birth of the movement. 

“What we’ve seen in the past during women’s suffrage is white women fighting for themselves instead of all women,” sophomore Brooke Butler said. “So I think that when we fight for equality, whether it’s gender equality, rights for races, it really means equality in all circumstances.” 

Any woman, no matter her race, should have the opportunity to be equal with men. Despite this, white feminist movements often fail to address the persecution faced by non-white women, or women in third world countries who have fewer privileges than women in the United States. 

An example of white feminism can be seen in the wage gap. In the United States, it is commonly known that for every dollar a man makes, a woman only makes 83 cents.This pay gap is a huge issue that is discussed in the feminist movement. But what the movement doesn't typically address, is the fact that women of color make less money compared to anyone, male or white. According to data from 2023, black women only make 65 cents compared to a white man's dollar, despite carrying the same doctorate degree and upholding the same level of education. All women deserve to be paid equal to their male counterparts. Instead of addressing the wage gap between white women and men, the feminist movement should also address the wage gap that women of color also experience. By doing this, the feminist movement can approach gender equality for all women, not just white women. 

“Obviously times have changed, but white feminists still only focus on the problems that affect them,” sophomore Mya Champion said. “I just wish the feminist movement would focus on making black women feel more comfortable in the workplace or get more exposure for the amazing things we do in society.”

The feminist movement has a huge focus on including women in the workplace. For example, a huge focal point in the movement is that women should have opportunities in corporations to be CEO’s. All women should be able to achieve any goals in the workplace, but it is difficult for less privileged women to even get to that point. Under Taliban's rule in Afghanistan, women don't have the right of education, entering public parks and playing sports. It is extremely important that women have the same work opportunities as men, but all women should be able to. In other countries, such as Afghanistan, where education is prohibited after sixth grade, it is impossible for Afghan women to even get to a point in their education to be successful in the workplace. 

“When a black woman goes into a predominantly white workspace they tend to feel very insecure in their skin, in what they wear and how they act because they want to fit in,” junior Alexis Walters said. “They should be more inclusive and try to make us feel comfortable, but at the same time not force it to the point where we notice it because then it shows that you're uncomfortable and clueless on how to act.” 

By being aware of the issues that minority and less privileged women in other countries face, there is a better chance of bringing equality to all women. In all aspects of equal rights, feminists should keep in mind that all women should have the same opportunities as men, not just white women.


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Andy Poll

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