A feminist reaction to the ‘Why I’m Not a Feminist’ Video

[Katie Noble | Entertainment Editor]

DISCLAIMER: This article is brief and does not claim to cover all experiences for all women. Please do your own research. These opinions are my own and are not necessarily those of Trident Media or Hertfordshire Students’ Union.

So you may have seen it. There is a (relatively old) video currently making the rounds on Facebook that features a young women denouncing her need for feminism. The video has become a viral success despite it’s lack of substantiated facts and general naivety. Here it is:

Now I may not be the most qualified person to be writing the post. I am a white, cis (I identify with the gender that I was assigned at birth), able, working class female and I am undoubtedly privileged. However, this does not cloud my ability to see that wider society does still NEED feminism.

Here’s the deal

The woman in the video is also white. She is also privileged (even though she seems to think white privilege is a myth).  She may feel like she – as an individual – has equality with our male counterparts. However, her video – rather than focusing on herself – states that society as a whole does not need feminism. This is a ridiculous statement to make. She is likely referring to what we like to call ‘white feminism’ (modern feminism spearheaded by, and focusing on the issues of, mostly middle-class white women).

We Can Do It - Pixabay

Image: PixaBay

I am generalising, but the majority of white middle-class women have now, gained a great deal of equality and have come along leaps and bounds since the days of male-only voting.

Obviously there is still much progress to be made in terms of equal pay, rape culture, etc. but that is a whole other argument. Long story short, the argument in the video is greatly reductionist. It is ignoring and belittling the plight of women that do not fit into the ‘white, middle class’ bracket. Who is she to announce that these individuals are liberated?

Specifically, we only have to look at recent news to see that black women are still oppressed by our STILL patriarchal, capitalist, white-supremacist society. A prime (and depressing) example is that of Sandra Bland. Haven’t heard of her? Well that’s our supposedly colourblind, equal society at work.

#SandraBland #SayHerName

Sandra was pulled over by a police officer for not signalling during a lane change, ended up being arrested, and later died in custody. Of course, if this had been a white male (or even a white woman), this would have been all over the news. However, black women are affected by both systematic racism and systematic sexism.

It is also argued by many that black women are ‘triple-oppressed’ due to the fact that society attributes them to be ‘lower class’ due to their race.  And unfortunately, Sandra Bland is not a localised incident. More statistics about police deaths can be found here.

This problem extends into representation. Women of colour are still extremely under represented in outlets such as the government, entertainment and media. Until black women and other women of colour are treated and represented on par with white women, we still need feminism. In fact, this is a more pressing issue with modern white feminism that often ignores the plight of women of colour. This is something that we are working on.

“If I get to see myself on screen, then I know that I exist.”-Gabby Sidibe, star of Precious

Gender is still a spectrum

Ilustration - Olaf Hajek

Image: Olaf Hajek

The woman in the video states that the sexes are equal. So what about non-binary individuals that do not fit into one of our wonderful catch-all genders? What about people who are trans or intersex? Gender is a s