Recently, Emma Watson addressed her shortcomings as a white feminist, leaving many white feminists wondering: what is white feminism?
I don’t pretend to be an activist. Most of the time I find Issues to be far more complex than saying, yes, that’s good or no, that’s bad [insert Only a Sith deals in absolutes.gif].
As I began to research white feminism and intersectional feminism, I finally found my absolute: Body positivity, feminism and any kind of equality-seeking movement must be intersectional.
If it isn’t, then we won’t get equality. Ever. We will only see size 12 “plus-size” models who are white. The wealthy will be the only ones able to get help with mental health. Self-care will continue the stereotype that a bubble bath and candles will fix all of your problems.
When we’re dealing with body positivity and sexual positivity, we have to consider every form of body positivity and every form of sexual positivity. Our bodies don’t have to look a certain way to love them. They don’t have to fit one shape, color, size or even sex.
If you don’t identify with your sex, you still deserve to love your body. If you don’t identify as straight, you still deserve to love your body. If you don’t identify as white, you still deserve to love your body.
If you don’t want to show your naked body, you still deserve sexual positivity. If you don’t want to show your hair, you still deserve sexual positivity. If you don’t want to have sex ever, at all, you still deserve sexual positivity.
You deserve to be represented as you are, and that’s why intersectionality is necessary in this movement – in body positivity, in sexual awakenings, in feminism and in real life.
Once we get out of the ether of politics and ethics, we have to start looking at real-world solutions for our issues. We have to look at how we’re going to solve problems.
And I think that means we have to love ourselves, but also one another.
We have to support minority-owned businesses. We have to welcome women of all ethnicities. We have to reach out and actively crush anyone who gets in the way of our ladies. We need to build each other up.
We have to say, I’m a white feminist, and this is how I’m going to change that. Then, we have to act. We have to listen to women of color, women of a lower socioeconomic status, non-cisgender women, women with disabilities – the list goes on. We have to listen to what women need.