Wednesday, November 18, 2015

This is Shitty Feminism

I would say "this is not feminism" but pretending that racism and colonialism hasn't long been a substantial part of feminism and its history is refusal to accept responsibility for the problems in the movement. And ignoring shit does not tend to make it go away.

Two things. First of all, feminists in France are making things worse for French Muslims.

Feminists are failing Muslim women by supporting racist French laws

Even before the 2004 law meant scarf-wearing teenagers would be excluded from schools – thus violating their fundamental right to education – France’s established feminist groups did not accept scarf-wearing women in their meetings. 
They decided early on these women could not be feminist, indeed must be against everything that feminism stands for, that the hijab was a symbol of oppression. It has taken the few of us who are opposed to this discriminatory law to start discussing whether high heels, lipstick and multiple signals of femininity might just as well be labelled symbols of oppression.

A lot of mainstream feminists and generally uneducated feminists feel the same way about women who wear head coverings for religious reasons. But holding up ancient societal racism and Islamophobia is not radical. White feminism paternalistically telling women of color that what they're wearing is not feminist enough and is oppressing them is, well, ugh. Why would anyone want to do that? So gross. Yet white feminists do it all the time.

The fact is that Muslim women are perfectly capable of analyzing their own religion and making their own decisions on how they want to follow it and deciding what they want to wear. Stop treating women like little girls. It's shitty feminism.

Then there's this:

Women Making $70 Feminist Shirts in Factory Paid Under a Dollar an Hour

God damnit.

In a new investigative report published at the Mail on Sunday, a reporter discovered that women in Mauritius who were hired to make shirts that read "This is what a feminist looks like" have been paid roughly a dollar an hour to do so and sleep in dormitories that house 16 women at a time. 
The shirts, which are sold in conjunction with Fawcett Society (whose slogan is "Working for women's rights since 1886") and have been worn by everyone from Simon Pegg to Nick Clegg to British politician Harriet Harman, are made by migrant women who make a quarter of the average monthly salary in Mauritius.

Now THAT is white, Western feminism.

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