Mar 12, 2016

ARE YOU A FEMINIST?


"I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are different from my own. 
And I am not free as long as one person of color remains chained." 
- Audre Lorde 

In case you're new around here, we both aren't afraid to call ourselves feminists. We're constantly learning more about feminism and intersectionality and we want to share with you some of the things we learned. We want to get the ball rolling to start a conversation with you and hear what you have to say about it.

Let's jump in! 

What is feminism? 

To put it simply, feminism is the radical notion that women are people. It's believing that women should be treated equally to men. This means if you believe that women should have the same opportunities as men, without being stereotyped as less capable than your average Joe, and be compensated for those opportunities equally as men, congrats friend - You are a feminist!!! A lot of people are scared of the word because of what the media feeds us which is this generalization that all feminists are extremists and anti-men. And it's obviously not the case. The goal is simple: we want all sexes to be viewed as equals. Shouldn't women deserve to be treated as such?


What is intersectionality?

It's a concept used to describe the ways that oppressive institutions such as: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia etc.. are connected and can't be examined without one or the other. In this case, to be a feminist we have to take in consideration the importance that racism plays in this issue. It makes sense, how could we call ourselves feminists when we aren't aware, and don't bring attention to, the women who are even more oppressed than the average white privileged woman. 

The average white american woman makes 77% of a mans dollar. 
The average african american woman makes 64% of a mans dollar.
The average native american woman makes 59% of a mans dollar
The average latina woman makes 54% of a mans dollar.

The man being mentioned is a white man, of course. Blacks and Latinos earn less than their white counterparts, and if you don't believe us just look at this graph that was published in the Harvard Business Review:


So how are feminism and intersectionality linked?

We don't really believe that you can be feminist without talking about other issues, such as racism, the lgbtq community, and the disabled community. No one is treated as a white privileged man is. Not a white woman, not a woman of color, not a bisexual or trans woman, not a disabled woman. And the inequality gets even worse when you combine more than one, like a disabled person of color. Or a bisexual latina. How can a feminist preach that we want equality without helping our sisters out. There's a saying, Support your sisters not just your cis-ters. By "cis-ster" they're talking about cisgendered women, meaning women who identify with the gender they were born with.  
The quote that we shared on the top, it captures intersectionality perfectly, "I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are different from my own. And I am not free as long as one person of color remains chained." We need to help raise the voices that are silenced, we need to hear and listen to them and make a platform for them to be heard by everyone, not just us. A lot of women are silenced because they aren't a privileged white woman. Feminism needs to be diverse, it needs intersectionality, without it it's not feminism. 

What is white/mainstream feminism?

If you haven't heard the term white feminism, it is 100% okay. White feminism has the concept of feminism down pact, but it's not inclusive of women of color (woc), disabled women, poor women, and muslim women. This doesn't mean that white feminism isn't automatically assigned to white women. It targets those who don't recognize that racism plays a part in gender discrimination.

Self-proclaimed feminists, such as Taylor Swift and Emma Watson, have failed to recognize this problem. Feminism doesn't stop at you and me. Feminism includes every single human being. Regardless of their race, sexual identity, and social status, no one should be living in a world where they are sexualized and exploited. No one should be living in a world where they can't get education because of their gender. No one should live in a world where they have to get married as a child. We need to denounce the injustice that our sisters are living. There is no valid reason why this is something that should be happening.

Here is a post made by a Tumblr user that sums up quite well what white feminism is all about:

Feminism isn't just about the wage gap, it's about so much more. We're so passionate about it and are always watching videos, following twitter users, and tumblr blogs who are passionate about it as well. It's helping out women who tend to be silenced, it's giving them a platform to be heard. It's about equality for all races, genders, sexualities. We love having conversations about it and would love for you to join, we found some videos for you to watch that definitely add to the discussion.  Does Feminism Only Help White Women? is a great video that sums up white feminism perfectly, and this portrayal of Sojourner Truth's Aint I A Woman? video is perfect!

http://insertfeminism.tumblr.com/post/127494592324


Don't be afraid to call yourself a feminist, say it loud and proud! Let's make white feminism disappear, and have an all inclusive feminism. Let's empower one another and be empowered. We love you all, and happy (belated) international women's day!


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