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For white women only?

#Solidarityisforwhitewomen is a hashtag that has been recently trending on Twitter. Some are calling it a Twitter fight among feminists and others see it as an opportunity for debate and discussion about race, gender and priviledge, intersectionality  and inclusion of non-white women in feminism.

How did it start?

Mikki Kendall @Karnythia first came up with the hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen  in a Twitter debate about Hugo Schwyzer (@hugoschwyzer). Schwyzer is an author, speaker and professor who claims to be shattering gender myths. He recently retired from the post of Professor of History and Gender studies from the Pasadena City College. He blogged about an attempt to try to kill his girlfriend under the influence of alcohol and drugs and this particular post became very controversial. According to a report in BuzzFeed, Schwyzer was also exposed for exchanging dirty texts with a porn star. Schwyzer was known to target women of color on Twitter. He championed white feminism and gained the support of white feminists.

Many white women were offended. However, the hashtag continues to trend and feminists are bringing important issues of race to light.

What is the main objective of the hashtag?

The hashtag brings to the forefront the problems of feminists who feel that their ‘white’ colleagues have sidelined them from the discussion on feminism. The women are not united globally as should have been the case. As Chastity (@cvandee_) puts it, the purpose of the hashtag is not to shame white women for being white but to bring issues of non-white women to the forefont.

Taking a slice out of the discussion to highlight the problems of non-white women, in this particular case, many Muslim women who wear Hijab as a sign of respect towards their religion don’t necessarily need “freedom” or “rescuing.” Many Muslim women writers have written about how they don’t need the idea of liberation and #Western imperialism that is forced upon them by the activists’ group Femen.

Muslim feminists are fighting to make their voice heard against actions of ‘White’ feminists that portray the religion of Islam in poor light. They believe their modesty does not compromise their feminism.

Many feminists have tweeted their experiences of discrimination towards them in the global debate of feminism.

There are huge gaps among feminists and the debate about gender equality falls short when the gender is discriminated on grounds of race.

So, go ahead and join the debate. And make your non-white voice heard! As Ashley Kellem says:

Compilation: Roma Rajpal

Roma is an Indian journalist and blogger based in Bonn. She can followed @romarajpal.


21.08.2013 | 12:00