White feminism is hindering the movement


José Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

The solutions offered to solve the problems of feminism only benefit able-bodied white women as they strive to rise above systems of oppression rather than dismantle them.

The experiences women face are all so inherently different that race, gender, class, religion, and economic circumstances negate a homogenous culture within feminism.

This is why feminism cannot be seen through just one lens.

After four waves of feminism and three emerging feminists ideologiesthere is not a world where everyone can be appeased with the solution to end the patriarchal society that harms women.

However, white feminism does more harm than good.

white feminism is used to describe how white women struggle in a patriarchal system while minorities continue to struggle with the same issues that plague their daily lives.

One of the most disturbing examples of white feminism involves white savior complex where white women travel to other countries to spread their Western vision of feminism regardless of cultural differences.

The United States Agency for International Assistance and Development implemented a program called Promote in 2001 that aimed to help 75,000 Afghan women get jobs and internships.

However, two decades later, only 55 Afghan women have benefited from this program.

The main problem with programs like these is that officials want to change the mindset of these women to fit Western standards. This only invalidates women’s experiences and heightens tensions in their journey to equality and justice in their country.

Women have begun to feel ostracized and neglected by these programs because they are not really aimed at improving their situation, but only trying to blindly uproot them from their systematic oppression which takes more than a pep talk to make a difference.

White women contribute to this, intentionally or not, by rejecting the breadth of women who go against their violent patriarchal societies.

Women of color face violence in a After disproportionate rate compared to white women.

Without an understanding of how culture, religion, and other factors play a role in how inequality and misogyny build on women’s experiences, no improvements can be made to improve their experiences.

In order to help women of color, people need to listen to their experiences rather than talk about them and invalidate their struggles.

The feminist movement can only succeed if it helps and listens to all women, not just the chosen few at the top of the pyramid.

Cindy Rivas Alfaro is a second-year journalism student who can be contacted at [email protected]

Key words: Feminism, social issues, women’s rights


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