White feminism strikes again

White feminism strikes again

Tamara Guy, Staff Writer

Growing up in Evanston, it is likely that you have found yourself surrounded by liberals. Because we grow up in a very liberal community, it is likely that you have found yourself unintentionally practicing an action that is offensive. People choose to take a stand on social media, but when one of their peers commits an offensive action, they feel hesitant to speak up.

Intersectional feminism focuses on equality for women of all races, genders, religions, sexual orientations, nationalities, and disabilities, just to name a few. People often mistake white feminism for intersectional feminism, but white feminism encompasses advocating for the struggles of white women, all the while ignoring the struggles of other women who are systematically oppressed.

Although it may be a liberal community, ETHS is a white feminist epicenter. White feminist culture is accepted at ETHS because white women are arguably the most visible agents in the feminist movement.

For instance, you often see straight, white cis-women at pride posing with their rainbow flags and glitter. I’m not saying that straight women aren’t allowed at pride.

After all the LGBTQIA+ community appreciates allies, but rather than going to pride in support, these women are going for a party, which is a common misconception of pride. The problem is that pride wasn’t always a parade to party at: it was a riot. Pride started in the late-60’s as series of riots led by Marcia P. Johnson, a black trans woman. Many white women don’t understand the privilege they have had throughout history, especially since the purpose of the parade is to celebrate LGBTQIA+ culture and how we’ve come in the fight for civil rights.

On equal pay day in Evanston, it is likely you see posts supporting equal pay for women in general, but it isn’t very often that a white woman posts about the truth of unequal pay. White women in Evanston love to post how unfair it is that they only make $0.76 to every dollar a man makes, but they tend to forget that black women only make $0.67 for every dollar a white man makes, and Latina women make even less, at $0.54. Since Evanston has a large community of women of color, it is crucial for white women to show the intersections of the pay gap.

During the Kavanaugh nomination, an outpour of women at ETHS were posting about the danger of putting a sexual predator in the Supreme Court. I understand that in a moment of anger at our country that you would post. However, the posts neglect that this same thing happened to a woman of color, Anita Hill. By neglecting the two cases’ parallels, Anita Hill’s name faded into history, most likely due to her racial identity as a black woman. Anita Hill’s story need to be listened to, just as Dr. Ford’s was.

It is important that we advocate for everyone at ETHS. White women cannot understand everyone’s oppression completely due to the privilege they hold in society. Advocating for those who are oppressed, and not just for the injustices that include white women, can help change the way oppression is looked at in society. Ignoring the fact that you could be contributing to the white feminism hierarchy only feeds into systematic oppression.