I’ve had the term “western feminist” rolling around in my brain for the past few weeks. A young woman I follow on twitter was expressing disgust at a white man she knew who was a complete racist being in a relationship with another woman of color. She expressed wanting to shake the woman and ask her what the fuck she was thinking dating a man who fetishes and disrespects women of her race (a reasonable desire I think) but knew it was just her “western feminist” self getting the better of her. I questioned her about this but her answers didn’t seem that meaty. She talked of it being wrong for women to want to “save” one another. So in order to not come across like she knew better than this woman she would remain silent and feel bad about even having the thoughts she did.
Now I get the part about not wanting to come across as a “western savior”. That white liberal complex is destructive and has no basis in real life struggle but I can’t agree that the anger she felt was wrong. Feminism names the oppression of women as wrong. Feminism makes bold statements about the rights of women. It sees misogyny and it interrogates it, denounces it and works to abolish it. There is no nuance when it comes to things which harm women. We stand against it. Regardless of where we are from. If you don’t believe that the position of women worldwide being secondary and subservient to that of men is wrong you are not a feminist.
What I can make out is that what is thought of as “western feminism” is that feminism which makes definite declarations about women’s oppression being wrong. Western feminists exist in every nation trying to pick up the pieces of all the fucked up things men do. You too might be a western feminist.
Have we really come to the point where we’re unable to name things as inherently bad from a feminist lens without being derided as just oppressive first worlders? Everywhere on earth women are dealing with the same rotten patriarchal deal. There is nowhere where women have achieved any sort of equality with men that is tangible. We’re all still subjected to their rule, their violence and their hatred.
Its time we all take a stand boldly against it.
Its time we stopped viewing each other as “other” or “exotic” or being afraid of telling the truth about what men do to us. Feminism offends sensibilities. It isn’t polite dinner conversation and it isn’t trendy. Its a movement for complete and total world revolution. You’re going to offend people. Might as well be the biggest most obnoxious know-it-all you can be.