‘Girl Meets World’ Star Explains ‘Intersectional Feminism’ To Fans
Girl Meets World star Rowan Blanchard introduced the concept of "intersectional feminism" to a younger generation with a single blog post, and it gives us hope for the future.
The actress recently responded to a question posed to her by a fan on Tumblr, asking for her opinion on "white feminism," a term given to mainstream feminism in which the ongoing struggles of minorities are consistently overlooked or ignored.
Blanchard proved wise beyond her years, and far more knowledgable about feminist politics than many of her peers, when she responded with an incredibly thoughtful post. She noted that it's vital to truly consider the needs and struggles of all women when it comes to feminism, as the fight for equal rights goes well beyond correcting the pay-wage gap.
She wrote, in part:
'White feminism' forgets all about intersectional feminism. The way a black woman experiences sexism and inequality is different from the way a white woman experiences sexism and inequality. Likewise with trans-women and Hispanic women. While white women are making 78 cents to the dollar, Native American women are making 65 cents, black women are making 64 cents, and Hispanic women are making 54 cents. Kimberlé Crenshaw said it perfectly in 1989 when she said 'The view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society. Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, and ethnicity.' This includes trans women especially, who have been robbed of their souls when they are told they are not “real women” It is SO important to protect trans women and trans youth as they are incredibly at risk when it comes to sexual assault and hate crimes. People also seem to forget that black women are victims of police violence too- from Sandra Bland to India Clarke- a trans woman who was beaten to death in Florida just a month ago.
Blanchard continued, noting the discrepancy between the way Amandla Stenberg's recent Instagram post about white women co-opting black features and culture was received, versus the way white feminists are often heralded for doing the same thing. She wrote, "[That Amandla] was automatically labeled the 'angry black girl' says enough. We are so quick to applaud white women for commenting on race issues/discussions like #BlackLivesMatter, and #SayHerName, but when a black girl comments on it- she is told she is overreacting or being angry."
Ending her post with a call to further discussion, Blanchard wrote, "To only acknowledge feminism from a one sided view when the literal DEFINITION is the equality of the sexes is not feminism at all. We need to be talking about this more. Discussion leads to change."
The Internet took notice of Blanchard's points, and actress Emma Watson co-signed her post with a tweet.
You can (and should) read Blanchard's thoughts on the concept of intersectional feminism in their entirety over on her Tumblr page.
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