What makes a feminist in 2020?
We asked feminists all over the world to share their views on what we think are some of the crucial questions that we should be debating right now. The feminist movement is broad, diverse and sometimes divided. Is that a good or a bad thing? Please, share your opinion with us and your fellow feminists.
CAN YOU BE A FEMINIST AND NOT SEE COLOUR?
I am not sure if I understand this one right. Like be colourblind? Or is it about the lgbt+ community? 1. yes. 2. no.
No, because it ignores the different forms of discrimination and oppression of women of colour and in particular black women, how race and gender intersect and how white supremacy and patriarchy reinforce each other. People do see colour even if they claim not to. Claiming to ignore it means that the ways in which white women can both be oppressed by patriarchy and contribute to the oppression of women of colour is left unchallenged.
Yes, because feminism is about gender and not race or colour.
In an alternate universe, where there was some track of history where colonialism and imperialism had never happened, then we could perhaps say that colour didn’t exist. But in this world, we have to accept that that is how our current world is programmed and that our institutions have been built upon colourism. To see colour does not necessarily mean to be racist or prejudiced. To see colour and see how people are affected negatively or act negatively because of colour, and then to act to change that negativity, is better than to claim to be colour-blind and allow damaging institutional colourism to go unchecked.
No, pretty sure that’s just white feminism, which is a branch of feminism that should be left in the past. Racial prejudices tend to feed into prejudices about gender, so it is in no feminist’s benefit ‘not to see colour’. In fact, ‘not seeing colour’ is code for ‘choosing not to see social inequalities and discrimination’, which is exactly the perspective that feminism tries to battle.
Yes. While the feminist movement seems to be changing it seems to have lost the original remit to fight for equal pay for equal jobs; equal recognition for equal labour with men. I feel strongly that feminism should be not bandwagoned by issues of colour.
Not seeing colour is a privilege reserved for white people. Whether or not you ‘see’ colour is a non-issue. We need to listen to people of colour and let them talk about their experiences, and learn what we need to do to dismantle institutional racism. Feminism has to be for everyone; if it’s not, what is it worth?
“I don’t see colour” doesn’t mean that you’re not racist. It means that you cannot see racism. It means that you refuse to put yourself in certain women’s shoes. It means that you reject the responsibility to fight for equality for all.
Illustrations by Svenja Heutelbeck