Mainstream Feminism Excludes Women of Color, Others Who Don’t Fit Specific ‘Criteria’

Mirembe Zabasajja February 09, 2015


Over the last year or so, feminism has become a huge topic of discussion in U.S. mainstream media. Movements, such as “Free the Nipple” and Emma Watson’s “He for She,” have become topics of conversation.

SEE ALSO: New War and Old Judgement: The Study of Political Violence in Africa, Part 3

And while everyone is congratulating Watson for being named “Feminist of the Year” or congratulating the women participating in the Free the Nipple movement, there’s a lot of other conversations that need to be had about the flaws of mainstream feminism.

Mainstream feminism tends to exclude women of color. It excludes women who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. It also excludes disabled women and more.

You can’t claim to be a feminist and then shame Beyoncé (pictured), Nicki Minaj, or Rihanna for being comfortable with their bodies. The same women who claim that they are “too sexual” are the same ones congratulating other women who participate in the Free the Nipple movement.

Mainstream feminism aids in the hypersexualization of Black bodies: Why does mainstream feminism hate Beyonce? She’s a woman who’s owning a male-dominated business. She is one of the richest and most powerful women on Earth with a career spanning more than 18 years. She is the co-founder of Chime for Change, a charity that helps empower women by providing them with health care, justice, and education.

So why is Beyonce any less of a feminist than Emma Watson?

Mainstream feminism believes that women practicing their culture or religion is oppressive. Pulling off someone’s hijab is not feminist and you are not saving them. A woman wearing traditional wear belonging to her culture is also not oppressive. Let women embrace their culture or their religion. You can’t be a feminist if you’re transphobic or queerphobic.

To be a feminist, you need to be here for all women.

Be here for housewives, sex workers, trans women, queer women, overweight women, and women of color.

Marginalized women are tired of being used as scapegoats when it comes to mainstream feminism.

Do I identify as a feminist? Of course.

I think every woman should identify as a feminist; however, I don’t support feminism that excludes women who don’t fit their criteria.

SEE ALSO: The Misappropriation of Ethnic Female Bodies 

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: February 9, 2015


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