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Feminism and Whites

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cross-posted from The Blog and the Bullet.

Ashley blogs on Linda Hirshman’s article in the Washington Post:

Part of what we do, when we struggle to take an intersectional approach, is try to challenge the automatic “normalcy” that our culture has given those in dominant groups. By locating middle-class white women at the center of her vision of what constitutes “women,” Hirshman is utterly missing the point of intersectionality. Including (or making central) people who are not white, middle-class women in our vision of what constitutes an end to patriarchy is not the same as excluding white, middle-class women from our vision. It is simply moving them from the place of automatic privilege and centrality our culture has given them in relation to other groups of women, which allows us to understand oppression in a more realistic way. Even if we’re willing to grant Hirshman the point that feminism should only worry about those women who constitute a “majority” of women, white, middle-class women are NOT THE MAJORITY OF WOMEN.

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4 Comments
  1. Tuesday, June 10, 2008 6:24 pm

    That is another example of why feminism is esentially a bourgeoise movement.

    In the US feminism went to the graveyard of social movements, the Democratic Party.

  2. Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:10 am

    Apt point. Although the radical Marxist women of color feminism hasn’t (of course).

  3. Friday, June 13, 2008 1:18 am

    No Renegade, feminism is not “in essence” a bourgeois movement any more than anti-racist mobilisations are. But as Marxists, should we really be surprised that those with the greatest resources and social power are able to occupy advantageous positions within them?

    On the article itself, I find it incredible this argument is still live – the assimilation of ‘woman’ to white middle class norms has long been pointed out – see bell hooks ‘Ain’t I a Woman?’ – a polemic that’s nearly 30 years old!

  4. Saturday, June 14, 2008 2:58 am

    Thanks for the comment avps, you put it much better than I did in my comment. ;-)

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