Why You Should be an Intersectional Feminist

Many women consider themselves feminists, meaning we believe in creating a society where women have equal opportunity to men. However, this is too simple of a definition; it is very limiting because all women are not on an equal playing field. White women have (obvious) white privilege which makes their lives a lot easier than women of color and LGBTQ women. I will never have to face the kind of oppression a woman of color may face because I’m a white woman. Women of color and LGBTQ women face a cocktail of discrimination: a mix of sexism, racism, trans phobia, and lots of other hateful beliefs. For example, according to Vox, on average, black women had to work 20 months to match what a white man made in 12. Women of color represent about half of the low-wage workforce and are underrepresented in leadership positions, taking away their ability to advocate for themselves. Trans women also experience higher rates of violence and sexual assault.

White feminism is a serious issue that allows white women and men to take advantage of their privilege and suppress minorities. Just so everyone is on the same page, white women have a very active role in suppression of minorities and we see it happen all the time. I wrote this article for that reason exactly. Recently, we had the midterm elections, and in Texas 59% of white women voted for Ted Cruz, who couldn't care less about women’s equality. White women must stop empowering white men who are oppressing women and minorities. In contrast, 95% of black women and 66% Latino women voted for Beto O’Rourke. Women of color are leading the charge for progressive change in the United States with women like Staci Abrams, Michelle Obama, Rachel Cargile, Laverne Cox, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and so many more. White women should be thanking these women of color because they are the people who are not only fighting for their rights but for white women's as well. White women, myself included, must stop undermining the moment of progress and start contributing. 

We all know the t shirt with the quote “we should all be feminists.” Instead, it should say "we should all be intersectional feminists" because they are the type of feminists who are creating change and actually want to achieve equality for women. In order to do this, all white women have to acknowledge their white privilege. We must become advocates for all women, meaning help combat racism and fighting LGBTQ rights. That can be in the form of voting, participating in protest, or just not allowing people you know to say offensive statement about others. Most importantly you must listen to other women and acknowledge people’s different experiences.