Are you aware that this “ism” seems to forget about fighting for the majority of what women really need? Check out how effectively ineffective feminism is at helping the majority women get true status by failing to promote choice. What does feminism really promote?
Next to white men, do you know who the most powerful social class is? If you guessed white women, you are correct. White women tend to enjoy many, although not all, of the privileges of white men, whether through birthright, marriage or working up the social ladder. This reality is not to say that gender inequality does not still exist in the modern world; for instance, proof positive of this is the gender wage gap in the United States. However, what keeps appearing within the scope of the feminist movement is whether or not feminists speak for all women, or simply white women.
So what do women need to know about feminism? Read on and you will get ten things all women should be aware of the next time they run into this very controversial ism.
Many accuse feminism of being white egocentric in its scope, and intersectionality emerges from this problem in feminism. Intersectionality means having two social issues of possible discrimination, usually based on race and gender. For instance, an African-American woman would have the problem of intersectionality as she has both race and gender working against her. A white woman would only have gender working against her, and thus no intersectionality. Many argue that feminism started with white women who did not understand this idea, and thus the movement forgot about intersectionality.
Most White Women Fight to Work; Many Minority Women Do Not
From a cultural standpoint, not all women do want to work, or feel that they should leave the home sphere. And that’s all well and good as long as it’s her choice. Many cultures in the minority sphere emphasize the woman as a homemaker, and many women are happy to perform this traditional role. While the emphasis was on the ability of females to go to work when feminism first started, not all women agree with this concept. Most argue that, from a cultural standpoint, feminism’s fight to work is entirely lead by white feminist assumptions that all women should work like men. The problem is that the theory should have emphasized choice, which really is the key to empowerment, not to generalize the idea all women would want to mimic men in the job sphere.
Some women have culture influencing this decision. But of course, that’s not to say that some white women don’t choose to be homemakers—so you can see yet another problem here. There is a section of white women that clearly don’t agree with this approach to life even if it was their white ancestors that pushed this idea.
White Women and Black Women
Many forgot that during slavery, Black women worked just as hard in the fields as black men. The point being, even with the awful conditions and cruel workload, black women were just as equally pushed to do their jobs and they did them as well as the men. So since feminism is about proving women can be equal to men with the workload, you’d think this would be an important point. Let me repeat that; you’d think it, right?
While black women would point this historic fact out, it never aligned well with the white female sense of fragility and was a factor that many ignored in the feminist movement. If it didn’t fit in with a particular image, apparently it didn’t have to matter enough to pay attention to. But let’s not play dumb here. You can’t rewrite the history books by making a choice to ignore historical fact. So many black women were turned off by this movement for another reason besides intersectionality— plain ignorance and, I have to agree with them here, plain disrespect. So now you know why so few black women see anything positive here—I mean, would you?
White Women Have the Wealth
And as much as feminism has shouted for the equality of women and men especially in work, there’s a huge inconsistency here between cultures that shows a total lack of equality. The reason why white women seem to have the louder voices in society is that they have the wealth. Their housing income is $100,000 higher than that of the average black woman. With money comes power, and that’s the power of white privilege. This notion is another reason why feminism seems to have favored white women and upset pretty much the rest of female society (including some of its own).
Feminism is White-Centric Even with the Wage Gap
While feminism nowadays fights loudly about the wage gap, the statistic we hear is that women make .79 of every dollar a man makes. But guess what? Again, here, there’s inequality between women of different cultures, and white women again have it better.
So what’s even more staggering is the amount a black woman makes in comparison to a white man’s dollar—about .65 cents. The wage gap is even greater for black women, but this fact is usually not pointed out when feminism talks about the wage gap. The statistic you constantly see, and the one that’s very easy to find unless you’re going to do your research is the .79 cent of every dollar factor that applies to white women.
Again, you’d think that if feminism included the .65 cent of every dollar statistic in its gender wage gap argument. I mean, it’s an even worse margin of comparison, and it hits the point of this problem home even more strongly. But guess what… feminism does not. And yes, it honestly does not make much sense to ignore a fact that would make the feminist argument about the wage gap even stronger. But as usual, striking facts that would make a more persuasive point about an ongoing issue for all women gets marginalized completely in the research, proving again that feminism largely focuses on white women.
STDs in Minorities
Another thing feminism rarely mentions the growing STD epidemic in minority women, and a big part of the problem is economic status. Since minorities often unfairly fall into a lower economic sphere, they don’t get the treatment, medicine, or health care they need to prevent it because they can’t afford it. So if feminism wants to fight for the betterment and empowerment of women, the STD issue is a disturbing and depressing social issue a powerful lobby group like this could campaign for to effectively raise large amounts of money to help a large population of these minority women.
But does feminism do this? What do you think? Do you think talking about STDs is something that fits in with their image—something that seems to be more important to them than actually helping the majority population of minority women in this country?
While the STD problem continues to grow, feminism does little to push or discuss this concept. While education and awareness are the keys to solving almost any social problem, feminism seems to ignore issues when they fall outside of the white community.
We all know that ignoring a problem like this doesn’t make it go away, and failing to take action in a case like this, which completely conflicts with feminism’s motto and what it is supposed to stand for just shows where the ethics are here, correct? And by that I mean the ethics aren’t here if feminism is going to continue to tout its motto like it means it. After all, what this demonstrates about feminism is some great acting and a total lack of ethics or action.
Wanting that White Skin
Anybody who has read Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye must realize that many minority women, in their teenage years, wished to be white. After all, adolescence is identity crisis time and media promote a very shameful and stereotypical white view of what’s attractive to people. And for women, the images are overwhelming. The social impression of who is the most beautiful as far as models and celebrities goes usually focuses on white women.
So for some minority women at this point in their lives, this cruel and incorrect depiction of physical attractiveness insults them, but they don’t take it as an insult. They feel they aren’t good enough, and if that feeling is amplified too much. There have been plenty of instances where it has, tragedy can strike for a young person with her whole life ahead of her. And it isn’t to say that this problem doesn’t affect young white women—it does—they just don’t have it quite as bad. But this particular generation of young women has the media influence (with social media’s boom) eyeing their looks more closely than any other group of young women that came before it. Thus, the problem is not only a growing one; it’s totally exploded because of social media.
This self-esteem mutilation is a social issue that both sexualizes and stereotypes women; however, even worse; it leaves casualties in its wake. So since feminism wants to fight for what’s right for women, you’d think they’d campaign or use their influence to educate and emphasize this problem, because most feminists abhor the equalization of women in the media (and honestly they do).
And what do you think they do to address this problem? The jury is still out on it because they’ve done nothing, even with white teenagers being affected. It’s just another one of those things they don’t like talking about because it doesn’t fit their image and it would mean getting their hands dirty with equalization which is something they’d rather not discuss. I guess being prim and proper is more important than using influence to educate, change things, and even save young lives. So, in the end, feminism forgot to promote that beauty can be of any color or race, and instead decided to show to the next generation of young females that both their attitude and beauty is only skin deep.
Psychology of Minority Oppression
Much of the psychology of minority oppression remains in present day society. Because feminism started out as originally voicing the worries of white women, who are in the majority and have the power and the money, it seems to have stayed within that focus. Why there has been no evolution to include other women, since the minorities combined are now in the majority, is beyond me. Obviously, they could have made their causes extremely effective using these deep social issues and pushed a more persuasive campaign about respecting women’s worth and not sexualizing them. But they didn’t.
While feminism claims to speak for all women in society, it seems to selectively forget much about minority women’s problems and needs. This fact only makes it less popular as an “ism” and completely takes away from its potential and effectiveness. Strangely, though, to feminism, that’s what’s important.
So what are your feelings here? I guess that the ignored “something else’s” I just covered are clearly important to address in modern society to you. Are you just as perplexed as I am?