Intersectionality and the lecture: Unpacking White Feminism

“White feminism is white supremacy.”

Rachel Cargle

This is from an AMAZING lecture called Unpacking White Feminism, by academic, writer and lecturer Rachel Cargle.

I watched it earlier this week and it was phenomenal.

(I cannot thank Leonie Dawson enough for purchasing my ticket as part of my professional development. Especially since it’s not just “professional development”. It’s personal growth).

You need to go into it with an open mind, and an understanding that as white person you will feel uncomfortable. It will not baby you or hold your hand. It’s time we take responsibility for our own ignorance, racism, education and growth.

Another EXCELLENT point from Unpacking White Feminism was: if your feminism does not include women of colour, trans women, disabled women, queer women, fat women and poor women, then it’s not feminism. Because how on earth could it be? You cannot exclude certain women from equal rights.

These are the types of resources I should consistently be seeking out to learn about my own white privilege, ignorance and the racist attitudes, beliefs and stereotypes I may hold.

I’m not going to go into specifics about what the lecture covered because I think it’s more important people listen to it directly. Hear and pay, Rachel Cargle, a Black woman of colour to educate and inform.

Instead, here are some of the biggest things I personally learnt from Unpacking White Feminism:

  • Understand that as white people we are not the leaders of the Feminist movement. We are not the leaders Black Lives Matter or the civil rights movement. Our voices should be lending support to and shining the spotlight on BIPOC.
  • We shouldn’t be expecting our BIPOC friends to engage in the emotional labour of answering our questions and educating us. Google is our friend. There are peope, like Rachel, whom you can financially support in exchange for education and resources.
  • White feminism is white supremacy.

Unpacking White Feminism encouraged me to look at my own privilege:

  • I’m disabled, I’m bisexual and I identify as a woman. I have experienced ableism, sexism and homophobia.
  • I’m also white and cis. Which means I experience the intense privilege that comes with that.
  • No matter how much I shouldn’t have to, I have the ability to hide my sexuality. You can’t hide skin colour.
  • My disability is also considered “invisible”. Many disabled individuals can’t hide their disabilities.

Intersectionality is something I’m not a stranger to, but I learnt so, SO much from that lecture.

It’s so important to recognise the privilege we have, and to understand that it doesn’t take away from our struggles as individuals.

I have grown up in a society that was built on a bedrock of systemic violence and racism towards BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour), and I have benefitted from that my whole life.

One brilliant lecture is not enough to undo that. My education on intersectionality and racism is something that I will need to develop for the rest of my life.

I am committed to calling out racism when I see and hear it.

I am committed to holding myself accountable for my complicity in benefiting from racism.

I am committed to learning about my privilege and how I benefit from it.

I am committed to unlearning racist, sexist, transphobic and homophobic beliefs.

I am committed to listening to and amplifying the voices most important to be heard.

I am taking responsibility for my words, my actions and my ignorance.

I will do these things for the rest of my life.

Because it’s not enough to be “not racist”.

We have to be anti-racist.

Image credit: Rachel Cargle – https://www.rachelcargle.com/

blog intersectionality

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