A prof told me the other day that the title is what her partner thinks, that she is sure that feminism is simply an idea planted by the system to keep actual change from occuring. My prof expanded on it a bit, and I sat down and thought about it too, so heres a mix of our…
Yes but let’s keep in mind these criticisms of feminism have long been theorized by WOC since the 18th century with little regard from mainstream feminists …….. that there are COUNTLESS woc who have devoted their lives to making feminism a more inclusive space. In fact, here’s a crash course explaining how feminist theory in the past has dealt with these issues:
—-FEMINIST THEORY CRASH COURSE—-
Feminism moves in between these branches (not a mutually exclusive list, just listed most prominently recognized theorists by each)in order to directly oppose mainstream feminist discourses loaded with eurocentrism, phallocentrism, orientalism, imperialism, racialized colonialism, capitalism (which goes hand in hand with feminist movements as commodification of a so called revolutionary struggle!), white supremacy, ethocentrism, transphobia, ableism and much much more:
1. post colonial theory-undoes the victimization discourse of western feminists/their metonymic blurring of different forms of oppression through an essentialist explanation
2. global feminism/”third world feminism”- disrupts idea that feminism is an inherently “western” ideology
3. Women of color feminism-emerged to counter cultural hegemony of white western feminism
- black feminism-Audre Lorde, Combahee River Collective
- Afrocentric feminism-Patricia McFadden
- Chicana feminism-Anzuldua
- womanism (check out Alice Walker and Layli Phillips to find out more why this isn’t a subcolumn or branch of feminism completely)
4. critical race theory-comes from radical POC law professors who acknowledge feminism’s lack of tools in making visible the ways racial supremacy is embedded in the law system. Check Kimberle Crenshaw, Barbara Smith, Patricia Hill Collins, Susan Schechter
5. Black nationalist feminism—opposes anti-blackness in feminist movements
- Africana womanism (different from African feminism and womanism)6. Feminist hermeneutics-analyzes religious studies as a source of feminist theory7.Feminist Science studies—disrupts biological determinism. Check out Ruth Hubbard’s “Fact Making and Feminism” as an intro to why science needs to be included in discussions of feminist discipline8. Queer theory-holy shit i can’t even start on the ways its disrupted mainstream feminism but HEY:
Flower crown feminism is in no way a reflection of the deeply rooted radical work Women of color, transnational, zapatista, chicana, african-american, “third world” (global south), indigenous and native, queer, dis*abled and post-colonial feminisms have carved out.
When Ida B. Wells called out the racism of progressive feminist leaders in 1894 IE suffragist Frances Williard of Christian temperance union who publically represented black women voters as a threat to modern society, Wells was not about that “abandoning feminism” life
When Paula Gunn Allen pointed out that white American feminism ripped off gynocentric Iroquois nations, who held their own feminist rebellions as early and before the 1600’s, she wasn’t about that “abandoning feminism” life
When Linda La Rue, the Combahee River Collective, Barbara Smith Claudia Jones, Audre Lorde and countless others called out the heterosexist, classist racist shitfield that was the women’s liberation movement, they weren’t abt that “abandoning feminism” life
When Beverly Guy Sheftall, Rudolph Byrd, and Johnetta B. Cole anthologize unpublished works of queer poc thinkers in I Am Your Sister, Still Brave, Traps,and Gender Talk, they aren’t about accepting white feminism as the dead-end truth.
WE CAN’T DISREGARD THESE CENTURIES OF WORK SUBVERTING DOMINANT PARADIGMS AND CREATING SPACES FOR CHANGE BECAUSE A WAVE OF PASTEL COLORED “GRRRLS” REEMERGE AS THE PRIVILEGED SUBURBAN GRANDDAUGHTERS OF THE SAME RACIST FEMINIST WHO STORMED THE POLITICAL SCENE LOUDER AND WHITER THAN ALL THE REST, FIRST IN THE 1870’s, 1920’s, 1970’s, AND THEN 1990’s
Instead let’s make this a fight to continue the legacy of these radical visionaries
in reclaiming our spaces,
reaffirming our rights to tell our own stories freely, to live in the security of our own bodies, and to rewrite histories of social movements that replicate hierarchy within.
If you have any more, or alternate links just in case these ever get removed, feel free to add to the list. Pass the resources along!
Black Women Intellectuals (pdf) (from Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life with Cornel West)