Rafia ZakariaJul 27, 2021
Against White Feminism
Notes on Disruption
W. W. Norton 2021
Elite white women have branded feminism, promising an apolitical individual empowerment along with sexual liberation and satisfaction, LGBTQ inclusion, and racial solidarity. As Rafia Zakaria expertly argues in Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption (W. W. Norton, 2021), those promises have been proven empty and white feminists have leant on their racial privilege and sense of cultural superiority. Drawing on her own experiences as an American Muslim woman, as well as an attorney working on behalf of immigrant women, Zakaria champions a reconstruction of feminism that forges true solidarity by bringing Black and brown voices and goals to the fore.
Ranging from the savior complex of British feminist imperialists to the condescension of the white feminist-led "development industrial complex" and the conflation of sexual liberation as the "sum total of empowerment," Zakaria presents an eye-opening indictment of how whiteness has contributed to a feminist movement that solely serves the interests of upper middle-class white women.