13 9 / 2011
Yesterday in my Contemporary Feminist Political Theory class I was called a white girl feminist. Let me give you some context.
The second part of the class was dedicated to the analyzing the intersection of the LGBT movement and the feminist movement. To counter the argument of post-feminism that was outline in the book, I raised my hand and said I thought the feminist movement should tread lightly in throwing themselves wholeheartedly into the LGBT movement. It is not that I am not supportive of that movement, but sometimes I worry the feminist movement itself forgets about all the things we have yet to take care. The examples I gave in class were the wage gap and reproductive rights, but other issues include sexual slavery and the rape culture in our society. Another girl in my class told me that the issues I was worrying about were white girl problems and that I need to think of everything more holistically.
Correct me if I am wrong but I think the wage gap and reproductive rights are hardly a “white girl issue”. If anything, minority women suffer even more for the wage gap because not only are they being payed less because of their gender, but because of their race. Further, I think that reproductive rights, if anything, are an attack on women across the board. I could understand the argument that attacks on reproductive rights are more of an attack on women of lower socioeconomic class because planned parenthood does wonders for women without health care or with shitty health care. But really, the pro-life movement is pretty generally oppressive. If you have a vagina, you don’t deserve to make choices about your body. You are a vessel, and hardly much more.
While I understand that there can be a hierarchy of issues that need to be addressed in a political movement, labeling something as a white girl issues seems extremely ignorant and, to a degree, devalue the feminist movement as a whole.
Needless to say I was frustrated.
Personal Plug: For those of you who attend Wooster (or any Ohio college, really) Planned Parenthood is holding a rally this Saturday! Get in touch with me if you need a ride!