White Feminism Is Toxic To The Actual Feminist Movement

White Feminism Is Toxic To The Actual Feminist Movement

There seems to be a very mixed opinion about feminism, this might be why.
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Have you heard the term "white feminism" being used lately? Maybe you have heard it being used when people describe celebrities like Taylor Swift, Amy Schumer or Lena Dunham. White feminism is dividing the whole feminist movement and actually making the movement have a bad image. Here is why:

What is White Feminism?

White feminism is used to describe the feminist movement that only focuses on white, cis-gendered, straight women. Their fight usually focuses on rape culture, equal pay and diminishing patriarchy. Although these are great objectives for the movement, it is still problematic that they ignore the issues that plague women of color, women with disabilities and LGBTQ+ women. Although the feminist movement is trying to close the wage gap between men and women, it does not recognize that Latina and Black women make even less than white women do. Ideally women in the movement would also bring these facts up, but they fail to do so. This happens especially when it comes to some women who are given a platform. So, the media gives the spotlight to white feminists like Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lawrence, and takes it away from feminists who don't fill the category of being a white, cis-gendered, straight woman. This type of movement takes a "one size fits all" approach, meaning that that typically mostly-middle class white females can fit the mold. This only allows the movement to be seen through one perspective.

The goal for feminism is for it be intersectional. Meaning that it should be inclusive to other female minorities. The ideal look for the movement would be them bringing up issues not just based on sex, but also including race and sexuality. An example of using intersectional feminism would be acknowledging that an African American Woman not only faces sexism in her day-to-day life, but also faces racism. In an ideal world, intersectional feminism would not need to be a separate movement from feminism. This might be a reason that people feel so confused about the movement. There are people who feel good about it and people who think they have the wrong idea of what it is. Either way, feminism, in my opinion needs to start being inclusive to everyone in order to progress .

What Part does the Media Play in this?

It is actually not a very complex role the media plays into white feminism. Almost all media plays into white feminism, instead it just calls it feminism. We see examples of this through shows like HBO's hit Girls or Comedy Central's Broad City. Both Shows about females in their mid 20's who are unapologetic about their sexual lives and their bodies. There is little to no inclusivity though when it comes to race. The situation only gets worse when they add an obvious token minority (when a minority is added to a series with no backstory, they are one of the only minorities added to a series.) The great thing about media is that it still has a chance to progress with issues. For example, in an episode of Broad City from the past season, one of the main characters, Ilana, was called out on cultural appropriation. This is not much, but it still gives me hope that shows that are known to be feminist can begin or continue to be more inclusive.

Cover Image Credit: Mic Identities

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Sociolinguistics Series: Part 50

Language is a powerful tool.

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It's part 50--halfway to 100! I'm so glad to still be here writing! In this section, we will talk about Dr. Shikaki's findings on how Palestinians view the state of Israel.

25 years ago, 85% of Palestinians supported a two-state solution. 10 years ago, this number decreased to 70%. Dr. Shikaki believes this was due to an increase in the prominence of Islamism in Palestinian society during the second intifada; Islamists were opposed to the two-state solution. In the most recent survey, the December 2018 one, only 43% of Palestinians supported the two state solution.

In 2000, American President Bill Clinton met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat at the Camp David Summit to come up with a solution to the conflict. It ended without an agreement, but in December of 2000, Clinton once again proposed a resolution: the Clinton Parameters.

The content of the Parameters basically allowed Israel to annex settlements while Palestine to take 94-96% of the West Bank, as well as Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. There were other guidelines regarding territory, refugees, security, and the end of the conflict. Essentially, the West Bank would have been split up by Israeli roads and settlements--which is kind of the reality today.

Both the Israeli government and Arafat accepted the terms with reservations, and Arafat wrote to Clinton a letter asking for clarifications on the terms. Clinton and Dennis Ross, an envoy of the Parameters, publicized that Arafat had refused to accept the terms; they painted Palestinians in a negative light, saying that Israel wanted to accept the peace negotiations but Palestine did not.

American Lawyer Robert Malley was at the Camp David Summit and oversaw parts of the Clinton Parameters. In 2001, he said that three myths had come out of the failure of both negotiations, and that these three myths were dangerous to any future peace processes if people kept believing in them.

These myths are as follows: "Camp David was an ideal test of Mr. Arafat's intentions," "Israel's offer met most if not all of the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations," and "The Palestinians made no concession of their own."

He said that these three statements were not true but very heavily publicized by America and Israel after the negotiations failed; rather, there is more nuance to each of these issues, and America and Israel have just as much responsibility in the failure of the Summit and Parameters as Palestine did. Malley wrote, "If peace is to be achieved, the parties cannot afford to tolerate the growing acceptance of these myths as reality."

Anyway, what does this have to do with Dr. Shikaki? He polled Palestinians not only on the their attitudes to the two-state solution, but the Clinton Parameters as well. 25 years ago, there was 60% support for the Clinton Parameters by Palestinians, but the June 2018 poll showed that the number had gone down to 37%.

The last ten years shows a significant decrease in public support for both the two-state solution and the Clinton Parameters, and it could be a result of disagreeing with specific parts of the proposals (such as how the Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock or Jerusalem is delegated).

I did some further digging when I got home, and I found this data from the UN Division for Palestinian Rights website:

"A 25 December [2000] published poll found that 48% of the 501 Israelis questioned were opposed to the proposals; 57% would object to Palestinian control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound; 72% were against even a limited return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. A 29 December published poll found that 56% of the Israelis would oppose a peace agreement reached on the basis of the Parameters."

This shows that though public media--especially Western media--may have painted the Palestinian government as the villain (and Israel and America as the "victims"), the proposals accepted by either government had varied support among its people.

The Israeli civilian population did not want to accept the Clinton Parameters because of the way certain things would be resolved; their reservations lie with the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa Mosque because the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in the world for Jews, would have been given to Palestine, while Jews would have control of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount (which is the status quo).

In addition, there was a section in the Clinton Parameters that dealt with the right of return for Palestinians, where there would be a certain number of Palestinian refugees who settled in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while other Palestinians either would become citizens of their host countries, move to a third-party country, or settle back into the land that is Israel Proper (with permission from the Israeli government, of course); many Israelis did not support this.

That was the public opinion years ago. Today, there is even less support for these proposals. Dr. Shikaki outlined three issues as reasons for a decrease in support of compromise, which we will cover in the next section. Stay tuned!

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