Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption

Norton. Aug. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9781324006619. $23.95. SOC SCI
Zakaria’s (The Upstairs Wife) new book is based on a simple premise: that Western (white) feminism does not serve the needs of all women and is not the ideal to which other feminisms should aspire. She makes the case that white feminism is based on guarding power and speaking on behalf of “powerless” women instead of valuing non-white voices. Zakaria effectively shows that white feminists often focus on bringing feminism and enlightenment to marginalized people instead of examining the ways in which these marginalized people already practice feminism within their own lives and experiences. In examining the pitfalls of white feminism, Zakaria also explores related issues, such as the cult of relatability, the dichotomy between expertise and experience, virtue signaling, and sexual liberation as a core pillar of white feminism. She provides perspective on U.S. events such as the Women’s March in 2017 and the failure to acknowledge the role of white supremacy in the 2016 presidential election.
VERDICT While Zakaria’s argument is not the only one of its kind, her examination of current examples from politics and pop culture furnishes crucial evidence of the continued colonization of feminism by white women, and she helps to bring this conversation into mainstream view.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing