White feminism: Explained

There are many women who consider themselves “feminists”. But feminism and sexism affect different types of women in all different ways. For example, women of color and White women experience sexism way differently.

“White feminism” refers to when feminism is seen and projected through the eyes and experiences of White women, and describes White women who claim to be feminists but don’t acknowledge sexism from the lens of women of color. These “White feminists” approach feminism from a White woman’s point of view, and fail to acknowledge how other women experience sexism and other types of discrimination.

The bottom line is: if you are going to call yourself a feminist, you need to address the forms of discrimination that affect women of color, and stand up for ALL women, not just White women.

Many White women who engage in White feminism also enjoy playing the victim and do not recognize their White privilege. They act as if they are so powerless and discriminated against by men in society because they are a women. While that may be true when looking at the White ethnicity in particular, there are other women who experience many more forms of discrimination, and when you look at feminism through an intersectional lens (see below), you can see that White women receive much less discrimination when compared to women of color.

Intersectional feminism, a term coined by law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, describes a more inclusive experience of feminism, discussing the ways that sexism affects women of color, along with the added systemic racism that affects people of color as well.

We should all aim to be intersectional feminists because White feminism is toxic and regressive to human rights causes as a whole. Black women who are LGBTQ experience discrimination differently than White LGBTQ women because they also face racism.

It is essential to pay attention and acknowledge the levels of discrimination that ALL women face in society because sexism is not the only form of discrimination. Unfortunately, there are many more. The more we fail to recognize and call attention to them, the longer these forms of discrimination will exist.

Men have absolutely no right to an opinion on abortion

With the many new abortion laws set to take effect in 2020, the opinions surrounding abortion have grown substantially.

Yet, if abortion truly affects nobody but women, why are there constantly so many comments and complaints from men?

After all, men cannot get pregnant, therefore the issue of abortion really has nothing to do with them. What it has to do with is their desire to control women. These men who are against abortion want to keep the patriarchy alive by telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies.

What these men who are “anti-abortion” need to understand is that women are not walking wombs, and we deserve sexual freedom just like our male counterparts.

Besides the fact that a man’s opinion on women’s reproductive rights should not be valued, it is hypocritical at best to think women should suffer with the burden of a child she does not wish to have, when men themselves are half of the reason for the pregnancy. In fact, studies recorded by the CDC show that only about 1/3 of men worldwide wear condoms while about 60% of women of reproductive age currently use contraceptive methods. Based on this, the ones who are generally the most negligent when it comes to preventing pregnancy are men. So, if they are the ones who are being so careless when it comes to unprotected sex, why are women the ones who need to be punished and deal with the “consequences” of unprotected sex? Why do women have to suffer for the careless actions of men?

Let’s not forget that there are often very serious reasons why a woman would not want to have a child. These include rape, health reasons, financial reasons, age, and a number of other personal reasons that are nobody’s damn business.

Making abortion more difficult does not mean that it will not happen; it means that it will happen, but in alternative and dangerous ways. We will be back to the time in history when women used clothes hangers. Yea, it’s as unsettling as it sounds.

If abortion is not a widely available, safe and legal process, abortion-related deaths and injuries will surely ensue.

The bottom line is: Reproductive freedom is a basic human right. If a woman does not wish to carry a baby to term, she should not be forced to.

Men, stop offering women help when they didn’t ask for it

I can name plenty of times when men have come up to me asking if I need help, when I didn’t even ask for it, nor did I actually need it. Whether it’s while I am parallel parking, walking to my car with groceries, or simply working out at the gym, it seems that some men never stop feeling entitled to offer their assistance.

Although these men may think they are only being helpful and chivalrous, to me and many other women alike, it seems as if you are being condescending, or presumptuously assuming that I cannot handle what I am doing on my own.

I have been driving for around 8 years now and have a spotless driving record. I drive cautiously and efficiently, and do an excellent job parking. Yet, it seems as though people, specifically men, love to offer help when I am taking my own sweet time to fit into a tight parallel parking spot. It’s pretty hard to focus on my parking while a strange man is waving their arms and hands in front of my car as if they are directing traffic.

If I roll down my window and ask you strangers lurking outside my car how much space I have behind me, then your help is welcome. Otherwise, please stop acting like a traffic director because you look ridiculous and are being all too distracting.

I have also dealt with unsolicited help from men while carrying groceries to my car. Yes, I am 5’3, 115 lbs and don’t appear the strongest physically, but I can manage my own groceries and in fact, I choose to because I can. If I was obviously struggling and dropping my groceries, then I would thank you for your help. But, if I seem like I am managing perfectly fine on my own, your lack of engagement is much more appreciated than your unsolicited “chivalry”.

Another inconvenient time when I am offered male help is at the gym, specifically when I am lifting heavy weights or trying out new equipment. Maybe it’s because a guy thinks I am attractive, or maybe it’s because he assumes because I am a petite, blonde woman that I just need the help. If it is because he is attempting to flirt, then his chosen approach is most definitely a turn off. To randomly ask if I need help figuring out how to use an exercise machine is condescending in itself. It’s just in bad taste. If I need help, I will ask an employee. Find a new way to charm me that doesn’t seem to doubt my intelligence and astuteness at the gym.

On the other hand, I will not deny that there are also plenty of women who do appreciate the extra, unsolicited help, even when they do not need it, but simply because they like being helped. That type of woman just isn’t relatable to who I am, and for many other independent women like me.

We are not all in dire desire of a man’s help.

All in all, be cautious when offering help to a stranger. Because, one – you are a stranger, and two – they may not need your help, and your “help” may seem patronizing. In my case, I don’t need your extra arms when I grocery shop, your mansplaining while I parallel park, nor your unsought instruction on gym equipment.

So, for future reference, unless a woman specifically asks for your help or gives obvious, unmistakeable signs that she needs help, maybe think twice before you so kindly offer help.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

How straight White males can help change the world

You may think — what an interesting title considering most of the revolutionary figures who have had an influential impact on human rights challenges in history have been people of color. Yet, in this world where racism is as prevalent as ever, I think it’s beyond time more White people step up to the plate and use their place in society to provoke change.

Straight White males are the least discriminated against in society and they hold a lot of power and influence over this nation. Males don’t face sexism; Straight males don’t face homophobia; White males don’t face racism.

So, when you combine all of those attributes of a person, they have life pretty damn easy as far as lack of discrimination and heightened privilege go.

My theory is, if more straight White males would stand up for minority communities that are affected by discrimination and hate, wouldn’t other straight White males who are the root cause of a lot of the hate be more susceptible to listen? Because, clearly their sexism, homophobia and racism make them unwilling to listen to any women, LGBTQ people, or people of color.

So, straight White males — please stand up. Use your voice. Use your privilege. When you are surrounded by your White colleagues who are racist, homophobic or sexist, speak up for those communities and engage them in conversation. Make them listen.

Use your privilege and power in society to give a voice to those communities who have no voice.

I know that it can be scary and uncomfortable to talk about inequality, oppression and discrimination — especially as a straight White man. But, the reason why it’s so scary… is because no one talks about it. You’re worried that you’ll be judged and attacked, or possibly offend people who are affected by discrimination. So you avoid it. You play it safe.

Some of you feel that people are making all straight White men out to be complete monsters, who are all racist, homophobic and sexist. But, for one, why do you care so much about what others think of you? And secondly, nobody said “ALL” men; we are talking about SOME. Stop playing the victim, because you are far from one.

We know that most of you are not being sexist, homophobic or racist, but that’s just it…we need to talk about the ones that are.

Just because you may be one of the “good guys”, doesn’t mean we need to ignore the rest of the straight White men who are not “good guys”, simply to preserve your reputation and ego.

And even if you are one of the “good guys”, if you are not speaking up and using your privilege to shine a light on oppressed communities, that kind of makes you a participant in systematic discrimination anyways…so, you should start speaking up now.

Besides, if you did care about ridding our world of sexism, racism and homophobia, you would truly not give a damn what people say about straight White men…in fact, you would agree. Let’s not forget that I am a White women, yet I completely agree and don’t get all “sensitive and offended” when people speak truth on the hate coming from White people. Oh, I mean…some White people. Hope I didn’t offend.

To sum it up, 
Straight White men: speak up, or shut up.