Men cannot properly use the term “white feminism.”

I never let a white man pass when he’s accusing a white woman of white feminism because I recognize immediately that he’s using that term because he thinks he’s exempt.

The term in this usage adopts a sexist dynamic that targets BIWoC and ww and non-binary people. After all, why would a white man choose that term? BIWoC use it to speak against those who have undeserved privilege against us. White feminism is imperialism, so why wouldn’t a white man who is genuinely critiquing imperialism just use the term “imperialism”?

Because by choosing instead to identify imperialism as “white feminism,” he dodges accountability and responsibility. He is specifically detracting attention away from himself as an imperialist in order to appeal to the stereotype that classically feminine traits are manipulative and dangerous. He wants to exempt himself from critique while reinforcing his opinion that our femininity, the femininity of BIWoC, is dangerous.

We must recognize these inclinations at every angle. Watch out for this kind of sexism because it will turn on you. WoC can accuse white women of white feminism. A white man doing it wants to make a getaway.

One could make a case that he is using the term specifically to refer to the unique ways in which BIWoC are targeted as victims to be saved by the very people who make them victims. But that is not how this term is used; otherwise, we would frequently refer to MoC as white feminists. And there are certain WoC who cannot bear to ever hear MoC criticized. They will call actual WoC “white feminists” before they ever dare to say it to a man.

The default state of a man of color is white feminist. He wants to tell us how to free us.

I’m always side-eying Muslim men of color criticizing white women’s approach to “freeing” us as if they don’t do the same damn thing. If she says it, it’s because she’s trying to colonize me because I can think for myself. But if I say it, it’s because I’ve been colonized and can’t think for myself. It makes no sense to me that I would criticize only white women for their savior complex and ignore the man wearing her face just because he happens to appear to agree with me in that moment to serve his own purpose. I will legitimately criticize a dishonest man for “defending” me. I am no one’s shield.

I know there’s something off when we critique ww for helping us all wrong or interfering in discussions, but not moc.

3 thoughts on “Men cannot properly use the term “white feminism.”

    1. In a matter of oppression regarding whom? Against men of color? Yes. If a white man is using patriarchal constructs against him, that is the correct use of the term.

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