I hate to break it to you, but they just might be.
For decades, the feminist movement has prioritised the problems of the middle-class white woman and scapegoated the problems faced by minorities. It has failed to address the experiences faced by the less-abled, non-white, non-cisgendered women.
Here’s a personal example.
Despite being born in London and living a very similar life to my white peers, as a Pakistani I could not identify with the feminist movement the way they could. Being Pakistani meant the problems I faced as a young woman were not the same as my friend’s. I was living in a Western society, whilst also living in a household following Pakistani culture and honour systems.
I couldn’t identify with the feminist movement.
Racial scapegoating is not the only problem with mainstream feminism. A woman’s economic standing, sexuality, gender preference or even the class structure she lives in, can influence how they are treated.
The bottom line is, the feminist bandwagon we all jumped on, is fundamentally flawed.
How do we fix this?
We need a new brand of feminism which is inclusive to all women. We need to remove the cleavages between race, gender, sexuality and recognise that all these facets are going to impact how a women is treated and identified.
By recognising that there are multiple elements, which together mould a woman’s experiences, we can open up the umbrella of mainstream feminism to cover millions of marginalised women.
Feminism doesn’t need to be a privilege for the white, middle-class, able-bodied woman.
We, as women with many labels, can start to educate on what defines our struggles and what needs to be done about it. We need to address the difficulties of living in honour systems, oppressive cultures and dualist societies.
Once we bring forward our struggles, the feminist movement can be rebuilt to fight for everyone.
Let’s get building.