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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

White Feminism is Not Feminism

A girl walks into a family gathering, eager to showcase the beautiful dress she was wearing. The atmosphere was filled with soft melodies and good energy but it soon took a turn and the idyllic night slipped through her fingers.

She had captured the attention of a distant cousin, a man nearly three times her age . He stalked after her like a depraved animal and ultimately 

This is no folktale, this is the heart-wrenching story of Noora Al Shami, a Yemeni woman who was 11 when she was forced to marry the 30-year-old Mohammed Al Ahdam.

Child marriages are common in Yemen and places in the Middle East because of the unwavering commitment to uphold traditional values. In places like these, where the harsh realities of war and famine already burden so many lives, change can be elusive.

There are more important things to worry about when your roof begins to crumble under an unexpected earthquake or you are displaced because of poverty; protesting and rejecting injustice is not a privilege they have.

Nonetheless, this doesn’t imply that there are no efforts being made to address this dissent. Shami herself is actively working to raise awareness through campaigns, determined to prevent children from suffering the same pain as her. Regrettably, I can not say that others are as valiant as she is.

A common term that gets tossed around in the diverse tapestry of American vocabulary is “White feminism”. Make no mistake, this is not an attempt to bash feminism, it is a necessary aspect of our world. However, this branch of feminism primarily focuses on the issues faced by White women, often overlooking the deep-rooted struggles of marginalized groups living outside the United States.

A prime case is Taylor Swift, an iconic figure in today’s music industry with her billion-dollar tour and recent re-recordings. While I enjoy Swift’s music, I can admit that, at the end of the day, she happily exercises the privileges that come with her status.

During her brief fling with The 1975’s Matty Healy, his questionable behavior came to light, including uncomfortable remarks he made about Black women, particularly Ice Spice.

Following their break up, Swift released the music video for her song “Karma”, coincidentally featuring Ice Spice. While this was a nice collaboration, it felt too circumstantial to not be intentional; what are the odds that after her ex made racist comments, she would attempt to improve her image by including the same woman in her music video?
When faced with these concerns, Swift employed her characteristic strategy: silence. It’s not that she was unaware of the discussions surrounding her and Healy, she actively engages with her fans and media about her tours. She simply let the controversy die down on its own, and, as expected, it did.

This prevalence of deliberate ignorance is very common in White feminists who purport for the rights of all women. As demonstrated in the Swift incident, this tendency is caused by their reluctance to listen to the experiences of those of other groups. Frequently, when discussing issues of inequality, like in the workplace, they refuse to discuss racism on the grounds that it diverges from the main subject.

They fail to recognize that racism is intertwined with misogyny and sexism, and they resist acknowledging any injustices beyond US borders.

When confronted with the plight of more disadvantaged countries whose women are suffering direly, their rights completely eroded, left picking up the pieces of their shattered lives by themselves, these individuals once again assert that it is not relevant.

In such a prosperous country, it’s easy to lose sight of how much privilege we have. In your lowest moments, it’s tempting to put blame, whether on our country or our government or even a higher power. However, there are women who don’t even have the basic right of expressing their grievances or putting blame, whose mouths must remain shut or else they are struck down.

No one labels themselves as a White feminist, but it is easy to spot someone who perpetuates the very system they claim to hate. As women, it is our collective responsibility, a universal duty, to transcend borders and differences, because if we can’t, we fail to solve any problems we face.

It is not a simple road, there are forks, obscured routes, moss and bushes; it is more than just gender-based discrimination, it is about race and intersectionality, and it binds us in a unique sisterhood.

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