*Feminism is a failure. Sorry, white feminism. All white women are the Devil. They are a faceless mass governed by the same racist principles, beliefs and dogmas that dictate their every action, thought, and word.*
There are many important topics in this book, albeit not much new that hasn’t already been said & written about. I liked the critical analysis when it comes to the issues faced by African American people—these points must be drilled into every (white) U.S. citizen & not only.
The book is titled “Notes from the Women,” however, it’s written by one woman & primarily describes her own personal experiences. Nothing wrong with that, of course, that is until she names ALL white women as the culprit of everything that’s going wrong with this country (& not only.)
For example, she writes “there’s the problem of theoretically feminist white women who think “sexy Pocahontas” is an empowering look instead of a lingering fetishization of the rape of a child. The same imagery they claim to find sexually empowering is rooted in the myth of white women’s purity and every other woman’s sexual availability.” (p. 56)
To paraphrase, a white woman dresses up as Pocahontas for Halloween, posts her dumb drunken photos on Facebook and that act propels a man in Alaska to rape an Indigenous woman. Right? Just because it rains in Kansas City doesn’t mean it’s going to be sunny in Brooklyn. And if it is, that can’t mean the two are related, can it?
There’s so much wrong with the above quote that I don’t even have the energy to begin unpacking how wrong it is to blame “white women” for rape and sexual objectification of women from other backgrounds. First of all, thousands of white women are raped and murdered every year. Second, are women really to blame for the sickness of men? Really? Or wait, is it just the white women? That seems to be the main trend of this book. Well, here’s what the author did not consider—how about Eastern European women? They are white and they are just as stigmatized (hello, Mail Order Brides) and objectified (sexually available/promiscuous) as women from other cultural backgrounds. I speak from experience & the right cultural background (EE) & my own horrible experiences can take volumes to describe.
Furthermore, in chapter titled “Fear and Feminism” the author goes on to basically state that all white women are the “racist problem” because they are “not doing anything to educate their aunts/parents/friends/etc”. Wow. This author must have the insight of God Almighty, because she knows the life/thoughts/words of every white woman, right?
Here’s the real problem with this country.
Since the time white settlers arrived on this continent, there was always this one (or more) group of people, scapegoat if you will, that was cool to hate. Indigenous people, Black people, various immigrant groups, and lately it’s the “white women.” When will everyone understand that bringing down one group of people is not going to lift another one up?
We must fight for equality, anti-racism, equal opportunity and treatment for all, and marginalized groups in particular. Books and movies are essential to our understanding of the lives and struggles of others, especially those who do not share our cultural/economic/perhaps even political backgrounds.
White feminism has a number of issues that must be brought out to light and called out, yet blaming all white women as a faceless/ homogeneous mass for all the ills of this country is wrong at best, stupid at worst.
Furthermore, the book is highly repetitive and as you can already see from above—it blends two topics (highlighting the struggles of African-American people and disparaging all white “feminists” i.e. women) into one and I’m not so sure it’s the right mix. Perhaps, it would have worked best if it focused on one of the two topics in more detail rather than blending them together and using one as the causation of the other. There were many other problematic examples and statistics, but I don’t have the energy/time/or drive to go through them all.