What 'white feminism' is and why calling it out isn't the end of the world

"My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullsh*t." — Terri Lee Flavia Dzodan

Comic strips originally published on Everyday Feminism.

Feminism benefits everyone. "White feminism," not so much.

What is "white feminism"?


GIF from "Parks and Recreation."

There are a lot of long answers from feminists more qualified to break it down than me (like this one involving pizza), but the short version is that it shies away from acknowledging different people experience different oppressions based on what and how many marginalized groups they belong to.

Why does that matter? If you've experienced one kind of oppression, isn't it like all others?

Actually, no. And it's not a competition about who has experienced more or worse oppressions — it's just the ability to acknowledge that growing up as a white, affluent, straight girl is going to come with a different set of crappy experiences than growing up as, for example, a low-income white girl or a middle-class, black, queer girl.

It's a charged topic, to be sure. Here's where the communication meltdowns usually go wrong.

1. People who have "white feminist" tendencies pointed out to them don't often say: "Hey, thanks for pointing out my blind spot. I'll do some reading about this and try to do better." Instead, it's usually more along the lines of: "It's really hurtful that you don't acknowledge my place in this struggle with you, and you should be nicer to me. We're on the same side."

2. Intersectional feminists (feminists who experience other types of societal ick, like racism or homophobia) are often exhausted with having to coach such things both internally with feminists and externally with non-feminists, so sometimes they don't really have the patience to "be nice about it." That burden shouldn't be on them when a supposed ally is falling down on the job of being a complete ally. It's kind of maddening for people of multiple oppressed groups to be expected to repeatedly choke back their emotions about their plight to deliver guidance to a set of people who can't choke back their own emotion for a hot second to realize they're not being picked on when they're asked to do better.

3. The whole time this is going on, feminism's critics are misunderstanding this crucial moment in feminism's advancement, hoping it's a fatal crack in the movement.

Well, it's not. Sorry to disappoint you, misogynists.

GIF from "30 Rock."

What it is is a painful and messy but necessary process that's moving feminism on to its next level — which is being a tool to wrest back agency for everybody.

So, this whole "white feminism" thing is not an easy conversation to have. Luckily, the brilliant cartoonist Alli Kirkham from Everyday Feminism figured out how to show some important parallels in an easy way.

Like how some feminists totally get how to explain their own struggle but forget how that feels when they're being told they're playing the role of oppressor.

Comics by Alli Kirkham/Everyday Feminism, used with permission.

And how the same silencing techniques that are hurtful to them are hurtful to others, too.

You can read the rest of the spot-on comic here.

What can a feminist do when they have "white feminist" tendencies pointed out to them?

Here's a simple plan of action you can bookmark and share with friends.

It's not complicated. Pause, breathe, recognize it's not an attack but a request to do better, and say:

"Hey, thanks for pointing out my blind spot. I'll do some reading about this and try to do better."

And then actually do it. We're gonna get there, fabulous feminists. Together!

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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