Womxn vs Womxn: What are the dividing lines within feminism?

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by Megon Venter

What are the dividing lines within feminism?

Feminism has become something of an umbrella under which all feminine struggles seem to find shelter but, as this concept grows in both definition and scope, a different battle takes place: the battle to be heard.

While some might still believe that gender is binary or that there is no such thing as white-feminism, there are groups of womxn who feel the abrasive nature of mainstream feminism. These womxn find it difficult to relate to the struggles of others who do not experience their rights as womxn being directly impacted by other socio-economic factors.

Certain celebrities tear each other down for their specific brands of feminism but it is more complicated than a matter of opinion when it comes to race and class. There is a certain term for a white womxn who projects problematic behaviour towards other womxn, races or simply fails to understand intersectionality as a whole – a “Becky”. This term was popularised by Beyoncé’s album Lemonade where in one of her songs she mentions “Becky with the good hair” – a jab at Western values as well as the womxn who lay claim to certain aspects of black culture but take no responsibility for social change.

The term may seem trivial to some but it has put a name to the kind of womxn who stands in the way of progress, of true feminism and intersectional awareness. As was the goal with Lemonade, many womxn are still striving to express a feminism that has been oppressed and silenced for generations. Therefore, if we are to understand why womxn seem to be pitted against one another, we first have to look at history. Who is doing all the talking? And what voices have we failed to listen to?

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