TW: Mentions of rape, racism
Let’s learn something right off the bat- liberal feminism is a termite. Liberal feminism does to resistance movements what termites do to your house- threaten the structural integrity without you even noticing! The worst that can happen to a solid, well-organized feminist movement built and led by women is a liberal infestation. Liberals are like wedding crashers- they take your tables, eat your food, and blend in until their stomachs are full or they get made. But there’s one difference- wedding crashers do not impede or obstruct or slow down the weddings. The same cannot be said for liberal feminists and here’s why.
The pushback against Fair And Lovely led to a name change but these racist skin brightening creams still dominate the market.
Liberal feminists throw in a bunch of liberal demands into the mix. What follows is the shift from original demands to asking for the bare minimum. And capitalism is more than happy to throw them a bone. And the bone has so many takers that people wouldn’t dare to question the pay-off to the movement. In less than a week, we read a five-slide essay on Instagram by a liberal feminist (who brought their camera to film the parade because that’s what they do) on how corporations are forced to fall in line when all women band together.
But it’s far from the truth- most people take the bait, the movement doesn’t achieve any of the actual intended goals, and those who built the movement from scratch watch it gasp for air. That is why Fair & Lovely is now Glow & Lovely, and racism is alive and fairness creams are still a thing. That is why predators get their own comedy special because women can always choose not to watch it. That is why Johnny Depp is the victim. That is why a woman wearing a bikini by choice seems more empowered than a woman wearing a burqa by choice.
Liberal feminism is not a threat to either patriarchy or capitalism. It hardly even acknowledges capitalism as the parent of all problems. Liberal feminism aspires to thrive within the capitalist system and not dismantle it. It doesn’t push for anything that matters, and if it does, it doesn’t push enough. If more women can become CEOs, get on magazine covers, join the army, run a successful all-women porn company, become spoken word artists, and get equal prize money as male footballers, liberal feminism has achieved almost all of its goals.
And if that is more or less everything that liberal feminists advocate, women should be scared. Liberal feminism wants you to believe that Harry Styles and Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres are more than what they are- Western celebrities. Hollywood would rather remake white movies with black characters than write a movie for black actors. In liberal feminism, there is no calling out sexist peers or calling for dismantling the system that protects molesters and gaslights victims. But at least there’s a lot of WAP and a lot of cultural appropriation and a lot of sex with women on top. What’s more empowering than the aforementioned things, right?
Liberal feminism supports Hillary Clinton despite the fact that she supports all the tools of the oppressing class.
Liberal feminism puts women in politics, businesses, and Hollywood on a pedestal, and wants you to picture them when you think of empowered women. You see them on television, magazine covers, billboards, and Instagram, so much that you can’t even name five feminists that are not movie stars or white.
You are made to feel guilty for not supporting Hillary (who could have been the first female president of the United States), conveniently ignoring that she represents everything women are fighting against- war, violence, compliance with status quo, privilege, and inequality. Women supporting women is a good campaign name for the papers as long as it is everyone supporting privileged women and not the other way around. This feels like a nice segue to argue that liberal feminism isn’t intersectional at all.
Liberal feminism works for white people in rich countries and rich people in poor countries. It is designed to serve the middle and upper class. It gives us weak struggles to care for. It keeps us too distracted and less-informed to choose our battles based on our oppression. More women in politics mean nothing if they do not care for women everywhere and their rights. More women in the military mean nothing if men in the military get away with raping women in Afghanistan and Iraq. More LGBTQ representation means nothing if it dismisses the struggles of queer Muslims who practice their faith.
This is what liberal feminism fails to take into account, and therefore ends up doing more harm than good for women around the world. Women everywhere face domestic abuse, poor working conditions, and sexual harassment. But if you’re not white or rich, getting justice becomes more challenging.
If you’re a woman from a minority religion, it is twice as hard for you to fight back or get help from the police or the government. If you are poor and not an upper-caste woman in India, you are A. killed for drinking water from a public lake or eating in front of upper-caste men or B. raped in front of your kids because your husband refused to cut a tree at the rapist’s farm. Why doesn’t liberal feminism talk about these women when it talks about the liberation of women around the world? The answer is very simple. It cannot.
We cannot expect racist and violent police forces to keep us safe or hold their officers accountable, book them for countless fake encounters, and kill black teens, and raping women in custody. They need to be defunded and eventually abolished. Similarly, liberal feminism needs to die. However, termites do not go away on their own. If they are allowed to, they will destroy your house from the inside until it is too late.
If feminism is not intersectional, then it is anything but feminism. Working women of the world must unite to put an end to the plague of liberal feminism. It’s time for women to realize that liberal feminism has been holding them back, offering them breadcrumbs when the loaf is for the taking.