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Karachi

Feminism is not the problem , it is the solution to the Patriarchic problem

Karachi: 13 October 2021: By and large, the women who are paid to write about feminism, lead feminist organizations and make feminist policy in the Western world are white and middle-class. These are our pundits, our ‘experts’, who know or at least claim to know what feminism means and how it works. On the other side are Black and Brown women, working-class women, immigrants, minorities, indigenous women, trans women and shelter-dwellers, many of whom live feminist lives but rarely get to speak or write about them.
In the rudimentary sense there is an assumption that the really strong women – the ‘real’ feminists, reared by other white feminists – do not end up in abusive situations. In reality they do. But their disproportionate access to resources such as money, job security and established social networks means that they end up in shelters or in need of public resources such as Medicaid, food stamps and subsidized housing far less frequently than women of colour in the same position do. Conversely, women of colour – who are more often likely to be immigrant and poor – do have to take help from strangers and the state; they are the visibly needy and the obviously victimized. This imbalance is one of the factors that fosters and maintains women of colour as a passive source of cautionary tales.
White women need help too, and they seek it as well, but the cultural attitudes that paint people of colour as freeloaders use any instances of women of colour seeking help as a means to confirm that prejudice. There is also the powerful – sometimes voiced and sometimes implicit –assumption that non-white women suffering trauma is the ‘usual’ state of affairs, because their victimhood stems from their unfeminist cultures; while abused white women are portrayed as an aberration, a glitch, and not a reflection of wider trends or values in white culture. This is a prime example of the double standard by which whiteness, and the feminism that has sprung from it, asserts itself as inherently superior.

-Rafia Zakaria, Against White Feminism

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