Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Is it racism or feminism?

One of the most striking, truthful and almost farfetched statements I have ever heard was “I think we need to end racism before we achieve feminism.” Just let that sink in for a moment. Now I know that so many people will have different opinions about this, but when I heard my friend say this, I couldn’t think of a better way to describe my opinions on certain things. 

For example you could argue that the main objective of feminism is gender equality, and that is without a doubt 100% true. However within the feminist movement there are historical and social constructs that segregate us into races, giving one race more privilege than the other. That race happens to be the white race. It’s just little things that have huge effects on female lives starting from a surprisingly young age. The epitome of beauty in the media has always been European or white. Images of white women dominate the media, especially roles or depictions featuring desirable or beautiful women. The media often praises these privileged, white women for speaking the need to end gender inequality, and improving the lives of young girls of colour – without realising that they are standing on the shoulders of giants. I find it uncomfortable to be encouraged to look up to women who speak about lives that bear no resemblance to women of colour.
So is it racism that should be overcome first, or feminism? Taking account the fact that some women have fewer rights than other women within the movement because of their ethnicity, lifestyle or stability of their countries economy.
Written by Zoe Thompson.


  1. I feel like the main problems arise because White women don't (and honestly can't) fully understand what it means to have to deal with both sexism AND racism. It seems like such a simple idea (especially for people who already suffer from oppression), it's difficult to grasp if you've never really had to deal with it. And there's also the thing where women of color aren't even recognized for their feminism. I think it's a really complex subject, and your opinions on it are interesting.

    // kani


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