White feminism is different from the challenges Asian woman face since centuries


Hyderabad: 26 November 2021: Another factor at play in this ranking of feminists is the myth of 'relatability' - the language of personal preference used to legitimize the narrowness of white empathy, the rigidity of the white imagination. The academic departments, publishing houses, newsrooms, international NGO boards and civil rights agencies of the Western world are filled with white, middle-class women. In order to be welcomed into these spaces of power, I need to be 'relatable' to those who fill them, to 'fit' into the spaces of power...
On a superficial level, I can demonstrate kinship with middle class white women via mentions of fervent feminist awakenings in college, dating mishaps on various apps, curated details of an afflu ent urban life and a diligent skincare routine. I can also demonstrate it by not mentioning the kinds of experiences white people believe do not apply to them.
Sitting at the wine bar, I am aware of all of this. And I can feel my rising anger at having to 'keep it light' and accommodate the expectations of people unfamiliar with all the things that can and do go wrong for women like me. But a voice deep inside me insists, "You've come so far. I know precisely what that means: I want to have a voice in a way women like me- single mothers, immigrant brides, abuse survivors, women without safety nets or connections or fancy college degrees - rarely get to have. And I almost have it, I tell myself. I'm so nearly there. It's just the difference between being proud of my truth and censoring it.
Tonight, I choose the latter. 'Oh, I was married young and went to college in the US,' I say breezily. 'He was a jerk.' I roll my eyes. 'So I divorced him and never looked back."
It is just the right amount of information. 'Good for you!' one of them gasps. 'Wow, I haven't even been married once and you've already been divorced,' laughs another from the end of the table. The conversation moves seamlessly on. When the bill comes for the three pitchers of sangria, it is divided equally among us all. I pay a full share, even though I have nursed a single Diet Coke. Nobody cares to notice.
An excerpt from Rafia Zakaria's Against White Feminism

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