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Zakaria: 'White Feminism' Perpetuates Systemic Oppression, Undermines The Fight For Gender Equity

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There needs to be more diversity in feminism, writes Lindsey Yoo. (And, apparently, in stock photos, too.)
There needs to be more diversity in feminism, writes Lindsey Yoo. (And, apparently, in stock photos, too.)

In her new book, author Rafia Zakaria champions a reconstruction of feminism with women of color at the forefront of a movement that she argues has been historically steeped in white privilege and perceived cultural superiority.

In what ways have the language and priorities of the feminist movement been branded in whiteness? How does Zakaria equate white feminism with a "global, long-standing affinity with colonial, patriarchal, and white supremacist ideals"?

How have white feminists used the movement to their advantage by refusing to acknowledge the role of structural racism? How has “white feminism” played a part in the workplace, pop culture, the media, politics and even international policy?

How can society unlearn and dismantle White feminist thinking on both global and personal levels? What are Zakaria's suggestions for how to revamp the movement to achieve fair treatment in areas including healthcare, child care and the workforce?

Has the feminist movement failed women of color and nonbinary people? Is it time to reconstruct feminism to prioritize their empowerment?

Guest: Rafia Zakaria, weekly columnist at The Baffler Magazine and author of "Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption"

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*This interview was recorded on Monday, August 16.