The student news site of Morton East High School

Pony Express News

The student news site of Morton East High School

Pony Express News

The student news site of Morton East High School

Pony Express News

White Feminism: How it’s Harmful to Women of Color

Alexandra Pantoja
IS THIS THING ON? (Clockwise from left) Students, seniors, Melissa Rendon, Giselle Espino, Mariah Hernandez and junior Oscar Espino at Morton East talking about the Barbie movies Critics Choice Awards nominations. On Sunday January 14, 2024, America Ferrera was nominated for a SeeHer Award, while many people were happy about this, others were mad that Margot Robbie hadn’t gotten nominated, but Rayon Gosling did. Ignoring that Ferrera won an award.

White feminism has been seen throughout history, from the women’s suffrage movement all the way to today with “girl bosses,” A term used to for women who are high-ranking in a company or who are financially stable.

But what is “white feminism” and how has it excluded women of color all throughout our history?

When it comes to feminism, white women have had an upper hand compared to women of color. This is when we see an imbalance of privilege, not because of gender but because of race.

“Furthermore, the subject is extremely difficult to talk about because many white people don’t feel powerful or as if they have privileges others do not,” Francis E. Kendall wrote on Understanding White Privilege. “For those who have privileges based on race or gender or class or physical ability or sexual orientation, or age, it just is- it’s normal.”

Privilege is an advantage that white people have, even people who aren’t white but have light compaction have some privilege because they have lighter skin than others in their community.

“One of the primary privileges is that of having greater access to power and resources than people of color do,” Kendall wrote.

The U.S. Congress ratified the 15th amendment stating everyone can vote regardless of race, up until the 19th amendment where women can’t be denied the right to vote, were black women able to vote. The U.S. needing to pass two different constitutional amendments so that black women can vote shows how both gender and race mater when it comes to women of color.

“The most disrespected person in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America, is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman,” Malcom X said in his Speech to women in 1964.

“White women are discriminated [against] because of their gender not because of their skin tone, while women of color are discriminated [against] because of their skin and their gender.”  Senior Christopher Sandoval said.

Not only is white feminism a thing in the U.S. but it’s all over the world. We can see that right now with what’s happening in Palestine. Women are suffering, but feminist originations are saying nothing.

Bisan Owda, a 25-year-old woman living in Gaza has been documenting her life throughout the genocide, she says in a video posed on her Instagram, “We’re suffering from being hungry, from being thirsty, from being bombed. We’re suffering from being displaced. Now, we’re suffering also because there’s no pads. It’s just a new suffering.”

“I feel like feminist in America only talk about things that pertain to them and not about women in general, and that’s what it means to be a feminist, to talk about all women,” Collage student, Natalia Pantoja said.

Mainstream media has also had an impact on white feminism, and it shows when people start talking about the music industry. An example of this is singer song-writer Taylor Swift and her fandom, Swifties.

“Her fans put her on such a pedestal, and she is seen an such an icon and huge impact for women in music. But a lot of women of color in the music industry also have such a big impact [like] Beyoncé,” Senior, Melissa Rendon said. “They pinned them against each other instead of celebrating both their accomplishments and impacts.”

Another example of white feminism in mainstream media is what happened at the 2024 Critics Choice Awards with the Barbie movie.

“[A] lot of different celebrities and even a politician were speaking about how [Margot Robbie] and the director should have gotten nominated and not [Rayan Gosling],” Rendon said. “Yet America Ferrera was nominated for [a Critics Choice Award], but no one was celebrating about that, instead [people] were mad that the white woman didn’t get nominated when I would argue America Ferrera had a bigger impact on the movie because of the monologue she had.”


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Pony Express News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *