The Hypocrisy and Betrayal of White Feminism

It’s time for the hypocrisy of White feminism to be unpacked. Feminism isn’t color-blind as it proclaims to be. Just look at the reaction of by feminist to Dr. Christina Ford’s testimony in comparison to the reaction of feminist to Black and Brown trauma.

The Hypocrisy and Betrayal of White Feminism
Photo by Javier Ramos on Unsplash

Over the last two weeks, the hypocrisy of feminism, in particular White feminism, has been exposed (again). Dr. Christina Blasey Ford’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the after-effects have been quite interesting to watch. As a Black woman, it has been a lot to digest.

The hypocrisy of White feminism has been too astounding to overlook. It needs unpacking.

As always, when White women talk about their pain, the world stops.

We were all glued to the television awaiting the tears and all the impassioned dramatics only White women are allowed to display. No tears fell, but the moment was all we expected and more. As a survivor of sexual assault, I could identify with her fear. But I began to think about how many women of color are not given the opportunity to show our fragility when we endure trauma. Our prescription is always behavior modification in the face of disrespect, racism, bias, and even violence.

The unpacking begins now…

Just a few weeks ago, Serena Williams was degraded by women and men because of how she was perceived and treated by a man of Spanish descent. And while a few White feminists came to her defense, many others talked about how Serena should have “controlled” her emotions. She was out of line they said. She should have been more “respectful,” White women lamented.

Black women can’t show their emotions, especially when we believe we’re wronged because no one is coming to our rescue. We must always keep our shit together.

Black women already know the feminist movement ain’t got no time for Black and Brown pain and Black and Brown trauma. Feminism isn’t for all women. It’s an exclusive club.

Meanwhile, the police are dragging Black women disrespectfully in Waffle Houses, and somehow managing to murder us in jail after a damn turn signal violation turns into an arrest. Each time Black and Brown women are abused by our systems and White men( like Muslim women having their hijabs removed), the White feminist movement is silent. We are always living duress.

We’re not at a party drunk. We’re not getting high at a friend’s house. We aren’t at our Ivy League colleges under duress. We are simply living. We’re going to the grocery store, taking our kids to school, driving in our cars, having lunch with friends, or walking to/from our place of employment. We are trying to stay alive today…and there are no feminists coming to our rescue.

The hypocrisy of it all unbearable. The betrayal of White feminism hurts like a bee sting.

Seeing Dr. Blasey Ford give her testimony, watching law enforcement not work on her behalf, and seeing how wealthy White men found creative ways to ignore her wounds, in addition to seeing our oppressive government work against a White woman, in the same manner, it works against Muslim and other women of color was quite shocking and quite savage.

White privileged men have rolled up their welcome mats ladies. The same welcome mats that were pulled from under displaced Haitians, Africans from shit hole countries, Mexicans fleeing drugs, crime, and human trafficking, and other unwelcome immigrant groups they took away from White women.

Feminists were astonished. That shit is supposed to happen to anyone except a White woman. Not like this. Pride comes before the fall. Feminists have been too braggadocios and too prideful for too long.

Well, it’s your turn now. If you had been really paying close attention, you would have already known you were up next! The White men are some superpower trip now. They are throwing everyone and anyone under the bus standing in their way.

I’m happy to see you protesting the criminal injustice system, but where were you White feminist for Native American police injustice? How about when families of the mentally disabled are screaming police injustice? Where are you White women when Black people are crying police injustice? I saw a few sprinklings here and there, but nothing like the massive show of support given in support of Dr. Ford.

My infatuation with feminism is over.

White feminism, and feminism in general, has me rethinking how I see the world and the entire women’s suffrage movement. There is no safety for all women underneath the label. I suffer with you ladies, and I suffer without you. It’s your movement, so I’m giving it back to you.

Our motivations are clearly different.

Kaepernick Protest vs. Dr. Blasey Ford’s Protest: What’s the Difference?

Collin Kaepernick is protesting police injustice and asking for criminal justice reform. Kneeling and a fist in the air was his protest method of choice. As he worked hard to fight injustice, Kaepernick was countered with the newly minted White mantra to support the law enforcement community, “All Lives Matter.” All Lives Matter gave law enforcement (consisting of primarily White men across the nation) a license to dismiss Black petitions for justice.

The slick movement gave cover and unflinching supports to White patriarchy. White women led that movement. Too many White people had no stomach for Black and Brown calls for justice.

Until a precious White life no longer mattered that is.

Suddenly Dr. Christina Blasey Ford, a White woman, is slighted by the FBI and a male-dominated governmental system. Now, White people can see the light. Per the White feminist, all women must now condemn the system, seek criminal justice reforms, and protest injustice. Well some of us were already out here in the streets fighting. Feminists simply didn’t care or didn’t get injustice until the system was unjust to a White woman on national television. Now you can see!

It doesn’t feel good to be ignored and not believed now, does it? People of color already know that feeling.

So, can we please get on one accord and stop dismissing Black and Brown allegations of injustice while prioritizing White ones, especially petitions made by White women? It’s old. It’s tired. And everyone sees the hypocrisy.

Women of color aren’t falling for the fake inclusiveness of feminism anymore. We know including women of color in the feminist movement is nothing more than blatant tokenism.

We need to get rid of the feminism label. Feminism, a movement started by privileged White women, allows too many White women to hide behind their White privilege which in my opinion is one step below White Male Privilege. Feminism is kind of like the segregated VFWs (Veterans of Foreign Wars). You all fight in the same war, but when you go home, you join the White VFW or the Black one. Rarely do the veterans co-mingle.

That’s what feminism and the feminist movement are like to me.

Feminism is a mask, rather a different level of White privilege. It’s a mask that needs to be called out and removed. Feminism is simply another label for White women to hide behind.

Moving Forward…Get Rid of Your Labels

It’s so easy to get caught up in a label. Labels like you’re a liberal, you’re a conservative, or you’re a woman/man/trans whatever. You’re poor, you’re rich, you’re an elitist, you’re a redneck hillbilly. You’re a cracker or you’re a nigger. Maybe you’re taking pride in being one of America’s made-up races or social constructs like Black, White, Spanish, Latina, Latinx, instead of being Americans fighting specific issues. We have been trained since this nation’s inception we need to be divided by using labels.

Fighting against child sexual abuse and rape cultures shouldn’t be labeled a “feminist” issue. This fight shouldn’t exclude men. These are human issues, and we all need to work together to protect innocent children, to protect potential victims of rape, and to support survivors of assaults, rape, and intimate partner violence.

Women, we need to start picking problems and addressing them. Toss the labels, as they only divide us.

A fiscally conservative man can be an advocate for women’s and children’s issues. A feminist can care about police brutality and care about police. Young people can care about gun violence, even if they can’t purchase a gun.

A Democrat can hold religious beliefs which would prevent him/her from supporting abortion rights. Being a man doesn’t mean you can’t support women's issues. A conservative gay person can support liberal hetero issues. Being a woman doesn’t mean you can’t support ex-offender reentry or gun rights. A White man can care about Black women being killed at the hands of the police, and he can still care about the law enforcement community.

White people can support and stand up for Black and Brown lives, and Black people can stand up for White lives…if it weren’t for labels and how those labels back us into corners. Likewise, a White man can date and have sex with Black women and still be racists (another story for another day). You can be a woman and care about issues that impact boys and men.

I can be a Black free-thinking, a non-political party affiliated fiscal conservative, anti-racist, pro-small government, semi anti-globalization, kind of anti-capitalism, pro-abortion, anti-religion, kind of socialist government-friendly, pro-criminal justice, and pro-offender reentry. Why must I align myself with only one category, and why must I wear a label when it’s the idea or the issue that falls under the label that’s the most important thing?

Damned stupid labels! Their purposes for this essay are to demonstrate how easy they divide us.

The thing that stops us from getting anything solved is these types of labels. I add feminism to the pile of dead terms. Labels determine whether we work together or if we fight each other.

In Closing

Either all lives matter or they don’t, and I don’t mean the all lives matter which entails supporting law enforcement unconditionally, nor am I referring to all lives which entail White male dominance, White male privilege, authority, or any mantra which puts one group as a priority while disregarding or devaluing another group.

All lives matter, all of the time. When you lose your job, I hurt. If you lose your healthcare, I am impacted. It means my brothers and sisters and walking around ill, with no one to care about him or her. If you can’t afford a nursing home for your ill parents or child care for your infants to return to work, I care.

If your son is wrongly accused of a crime, I care. If your daughter or son was raped, I care equally. If a man is making more money than me just because the human resource officer has old-fashioned mindsets about how men and women should be paid for doing the same job, I care…and I won't change. I care if your child or spouse is killed by a criminal or overzealous cop, regardless of your child’s color, race, or ethnicity. I care if Muslims are accused of crimes they didn’t commit, over-policed, harassed, or killed. I need them, and they need me.

I care because I’m a decent human being. I’m not perfect, but I practice being decent. My care and compassion don’t change with the color of the person the problem belongs to. Human beings matter first, and my caring doesn’t come with labels.

I don’t have time for fickle or tokenism caring. And I don’t have time for fair-weather, fake color-blinded, racial-based advocacy. Either you’re down for a cause or not. You can’t be 38-hot when it’s your kids being jacked up by the law, and then believe other kids deserve similar treatment because in your heart you believe you’re superior.

That’s what feminism is like, and that’s some bullshit. That’s why I don’t want any part of it.

You’re either an ally ladies or an enemy to women of color, it’s just that simple. You can’t be an ally sometimes and then an enemy when it protects your privileges or households. That’s the issue with feminism and White feminism, and it's why women of color have a hard time coming to the aid of White women in the era of #MeToo. Your movement can’t truly see women of color.

White feminist expects us to care about their pain, when they can’t see, acknowledge or believe our pain. When you do see us, we can’t have our pain addressed without you trying to steal the limelight. Our relationship is not collegial or sisterly, it’s competitive and adversarial.

It’s not right. It means your allyship is conditional. White feminists need to get it all the time or don’t be bothered any of the time.

As givers of life, all women should understand (if they have a healthy brain) the importance of love and the value of life. Think of it like this, every man born on this earth came from a woman.

They know nothing about giving life outside of doing the fun part, putting their penises inside of a vagina.

Giving life to something is hard. Grooming little people to become decent big people is hard work too. All life is important. All lives are important, so let’s do a better job of recognizing it.

We all need love. We all need to be protected. We all need to be treated with dignity and respect.

Women don’t need a feminist label to fight for what’s right. We just need to do it. Doing anything otherwise is a betrayal to your sisters. Failing to stand for all women, regardless of color, ethnicity, address, or socioeconomic status is hypocrisy. We should really be standing for right vs. wrong for all people.

Simply put, it’s time for feminism to die. The last two weeks have shown women across the globe just how little America has progressed. Besides, feminism is just one more thing that divides us. I’m no longer disillusioned about my place in America. It takes all of us working together to solve big problems. We don’t need a leader, we need

Anyone saying anything otherwise likely has dark motives (and perhaps a touch of mental illness).

We all need love, and we all want to be loved. But we will never get it as long as we’re blinded by divisions stemming from privilege.

Marley K., 2018