Against White Feminism
An essential, comprehensive account of what white feminism is, and an empowering manifesto for revolution
For readers of Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Caroline Criado Perez’s Invisible Women and Florence Given’s Women Don’t Owe You Pretty
‘Make room beside Audre Lorde and Angela Davis on your shelves’ Chicago Review of Books
‘A book to make you stop and think’ Mishal Husain, national broadcaster
‘Necessary, warm-hearted and sharp-eyed… This book is going to light fires everywhere, so if you are prone to combust, get right the hell out of the way’ Lit Hub, Most Anticipated Books of 2021
Feminism is supposed to be the fight for the freedom and equality of women. And in the past 200 years it has made incredible gains: paving the way for women to advance economically, handing them back control of their own bodies, and advocating for their needs and their experiences.
But not for all women.
Since its very beginning, mainstream feminism has catered to a particular group of women: middle class, cis-gendered, Western, and above all, white. And the exclusion of everyone outside this narrow category is not merely an oversight, a coincidence, a slip. It is baked into the way feminism works.
This must change. White supremacy is killing feminism. Until all of us are free and equal in society, none of us are.
The power to transform it lies with each one of us. It starts with understanding how we got here in the first place.
Eye-opening, timely and impossible to ignore, Against White Feminism traces the connections between feminism and white supremacy from the earliest stirrings of the women’s suffrage movement to the ‘fourth wave’ we see today, demonstrating how an idea based on equality has been corrupted by prejudice and exploitation from the start. Rafia Zakaria issues a powerful call to arms to every reader to build a new kind of feminism which will light the path to true emancipation for all.
Bracing and compassionate... Make room beside Audre Lorde and Angela Davis on your shelves * Chicago Review of Books * Against White Feminism is the book I have been waiting for. This landmark work will forever change how we view the feminist movement and our place in it -- Sonia Faleiro, author of 'The Good Girls' What does feminism look like when it centers on Black and Brown women? And when it doesn't hold hands with colonialism? Rafia Zakaria makes a clear case for intersectional feminism that puts power in a different place * Washington Post * Zakaria is a warm-hearted and sharp-eyed writer who brings compassion, intelligence and a steady drumbeat of change to redefining feminism... This book is going to light fires everywhere, so if you are prone to combust, get right the hell out of the way * Lit Hub - Most Anticipated Books of 2021 * A brilliant, bracing, and deeply necessary text. Showing how feminism had systematically centred white women's voices, and excluded others', this is a polemic that couldn't be more urgent in improving feminism as a movement -- Kate Manne, author of 'Down Girl' Lucid and persuasive... Tackling complex philosophical ideas with clarity and insight, Zakaria builds an impeccable case for the need to rebuild feminism from the ground up. Readers will want to heed this clarion call for change * Publishers Weekly * In this searing takedown, Rafia Zakaria expertly puts into words what so many women of colour feel and endure. An exhilarating and brilliantly researched read that doubles up as a long overdue call to action. Unputdownable, required reading for people of all genders, generations and races -- Zahra Hankir, editor of 'Our Women on the Ground' Zakaria eloquently reveals the smug assumptions behind white western feminism [and] demonstrates quite brilliantly the hypocrisy of middle and upper class white feminists who conveniently ignore and exploit the power advantages traceable to centuries of imperialism. This book is a wake-up call for white feminists -- Remi Adekoya, author of 'Biracial Britain' An exploration of the divisive effects of whiteness on feminism and a strong argument for transforming long-standing power structures... Demanding anti-capitalist empowerment, political solidarity, and intersectional redistributive change, the author eviscerates white-centred feminism, the tokenization of women of colour, the aid industrial complex, and more... A worthy contribution to feminist and activist studies * Kirkus * A total reconstruction of feminism... Her powerful exploration of the movement's past, which has traditionally been shaped by white women, aims to inform readers, while also illustrating why it is past time to centre Black and brown voices as feminism moves forward * Pop Sugar * Zakaria lays out the case for the harm caused by the movement escaping acknowledgment of its privilege and how it monopolizes networks and opportunities, shutting out women of colour and nonbinary individuals... A reckoning and a wake-up call * Boston.com * Against White Feminism is full of harsh, painful truths about how one kind of feminism can dominate and silence woman outside of its focus. It's strong and powerfully persuasive, and accords with much that I have experienced. It's a fantastic book -- Nadifa Mohamed, author of 'The Fortune Men' While reading Rafia Zakaria's ambitious, elegant and brilliantly argued polemic, my head never stopped nodding in agreement. Zakaria doesn't just tell us that white supremacy must be excised from feminism: she shows us how it harms Black and brown women and offers a different politics and system of relations in its place. I am grateful to Zakaria for her inventory of white feminism's many problems, including hypocrisy, condescension and cowardice. I am grateful to her for this book -- Myriam Gurba, author of 'Mean' [A] societal paradigm-buster... * Daily Kos *
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