Solidarity For Whom?
Fractures in Feminism
Feminism. The word evokes the sense that those involved in such a movement (namely females) are united as one and stand as a force against the egregious sexism swirling about. Them, over there. They are feminists. Linked arm in arm, at least ideologically, sometimes literally, against their foe. Whomever the foe may be.
In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was passed:
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Women had finally won the right to vote. The suffragists’ tireless campaigning on the part of female citizens to gain access to that special privilege had held, and a new day dawned. Equality at the ballot box, allowing women to vote, was finally approved.
Throw in another world war, the civil rights movement, and the sexual revolution, etc., and the women’s movement has becoming something quite different than obtaining the vote and securing the equality it originally sought. The modern day feminist movement has morphed into something overstepping the bounds of “equality” and “fairness” which it touts as the hallmarks of its existence. In a December 31, 2013 article on thewire.com, Arit John exclaimed of the year 2013,
“...a debate raged within feminism over whether mainstream (white) feminists care about the issues plaguing feminists of color, or only upper middle class, straight, white women problems.”
It strikes me as very odd that a movement supposedly dedicated to the rights of all women would have such a fracture in their midst. I submit, however, that they’ve always been quite fractured for their foundation is based on the idea of privilege. The privilege of being a female. But, instead of celebrating it, they’ve long since used it to crutch themselves up, point to others and say, “See! I’m handicapped because of my gender. It’s unfair, and I need you to recognize that. If not, you are sexist and against me flourishing in any way.” This mindset is wholly ridiculous and stuffed with liberal nonsense.
Enter Twitter, that strange sphere where so much debate (and Bieber love, uh...nevermind) happens. A hashtag that appeared? #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen. Black blogger Mikki Kendall started said hashtag because, as she explained,
“I thought it would largely be a discussion between people impacted by the latest bout of problematic behavior from mainstream white feminists.”
In a group that is all about equality, this very public rift between races, sexual orientations, and those who are and who are not in mainstream feminist circles, puzzles one. Part of the issue involved Hugo Schwyzer, a (male) feminist, blogger, and gender studies professor. An August 2013 BuzzFeed article,
“Feminists often criticized Schwyzer for focusing largely on the plight of the straight white man. He spoke often of ‘male weakness.’ ”
“While deconstructing masculinity is critical to feminist discourse, Schwyzer was criticized for ignoring those truly marginalized. There are reports of him stalking and targeting women of color who have criticized him online…”
Wow. Apparently there is a bunch of confusion in the ranks when a male feminist who teaches about feminism does things like only see women as objects, targets those of another race, and, as a self described feminist, focuses largely on male aspects relating to feminism. Are the waters of feminism terribly muddied, or is it just me? Enter the previously mentioned hashtag which sought to bring about a discussion stemming from Schwyzer’s antics.
The...problem is, they link arm in arm, and twitter handle to twitter handle, in a fight against...what? Is it against themselves? It surely isn’t for equality, because that’s already been won. This equality is one that affords men and women the same opportunities. Not the equality that would magically make men and women the same, which is what they truly desire. So, the fight isn’t for equality. Then what? Frankly, I don’t think the feminists know. They’ve been revved up to believe in a world where feminism must exist for the playing field to be level. In the midst of trying to level society, one of their own, a male feminist (uh...ok), preys on exactly what they stand in defense of. Objectification and discrimination. If they can’t teach their own what they preach, then how can they expect to share their message with mainstream society who believes their cause is a fringe (or at least anger filled) one to begin with? It amazes me. The hashtagging will continue. It doesn’t get them anywhere, really, except further into confusion as to why they exist, how they can achieve, and who can and will lead.
My question is, who are truly the oppressed ones then?