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During these last few days, the entire country has been in solidarity after the murder of George Floyd. While it has been a powerful movement bringing people of all races and ages together, it was not as diverse as it seemed. It only left one question in everyone’s mind. Where were those white feminists that made sure we heard their point?
What is White Feminism?
The term white feminism describes feminists that only fight for issues benefiting white women but cannot address issues faced by minority groups, especially women of color and LGBTQ women. The history of white feminism goes back to the start of the Women’s Suffrage movement in 1848, where they were fighting to win the rights of women to vote. History leaves out that the fight these women fought was only for the rights of WHITE women to vote in 1920, while women of color had to wait another 46 years to vote.
History in the making
White women won their rights to vote in the 1920s, and it also allowed a minority black women to vote. In the early 1950s, in 1952, people of Asian ancestry could vote under the McCarran-Walter Act grants. Ten years later, Native American women won their right to vote. Three years later, Black women won their right to vote under the Voting Rights Act. When it comes down to Latinx women, it was a decade later that they could vote, still excluding Puerto Rico.
All Together Now
We continue to fight for the lives of our black and brown siblings. These protests are not new to us. We see them every time the system fails a black life. The protest has brought out the best and worst of the country, with looters, anarchists, and hate groups creating more violence, but what the news doesn’t show you is the hundreds of peaceful protests across the country with such diverse crowds.
Anything for Instagram
The sea of protestors lacks one group though, white feminists. Throughout the protesting, white feminists on social media were silent, maybe posting on Black Out Tuesday, but were overall silent.
This includes white feminist influencers that went to the protest just for “clout” posted on social media. It started with journalist Fiona Moriarty fake helping a man boarding up his store. Influencer Madison Beer went to the protest in LA just for a photoshoot, later being confirmed by her photographer. Influencer Kris Schatzel also treated the protest as a photoshoot complete with the Coachella themed outfit.
The Final Verdict
A white feminist doesn’t mean you’re an ally to your feminist sisters; it’s being selfish and not realizing your privilege. White feminism is harmful to the intersectional feminism movement. It excludes BIPOC women from a goal shared by intersectional feminism. To exclude is to discriminate, which is paradoxical to the aim of removing systemic discrimination of women, and supporting all women.
The BLM Movement Isn’t Truly Over