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White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind

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Written “with passion and insight about the knotted history of racism within women’s movements and feminist culture” (Rebecca Traister, New York Times bestselling author), this whip-smart, timely, and impassioned call for change is perfect for fans of Good and Mad and Hood Feminism. Addressing today’s conversation about race, empowerment, and inclusion in America, Koa Beck, Written “with passion and insight about the knotted history of racism within women’s movements and feminist culture” (Rebecca Traister, New York Times bestselling author), this whip-smart, timely, and impassioned call for change is perfect for fans of Good and Mad and Hood Feminism. Addressing today’s conversation about race, empowerment, and inclusion in America, Koa Beck, writer and former editor-in-chief of Jezebel, boldly examines the history of feminism, from the true mission of the suffragists to the rise of corporate feminism with clear-eyed scrutiny and meticulous detail. She also examines overlooked communities—including Native American, Muslim, transgender, and more—and their ongoing struggles for social change. With “intellectually smart and emotionally intelligent” (Patrisse Cullors, New York Times bestselling author and Black Lives Matter cofounder) writing, Beck meticulously documents how elitism and racial prejudice have driven the narrative of feminist discourse. Blending pop culture, primary historical research, and first-hand storytelling, she shows us how we have shut women out of the movement, and what we can do to correct our course for a new generation. Combining a scholar’s understanding with hard data and razor-sharp cultural commentary, White Feminism “is a rousing blueprint for a more inclusive ‘new era of feminism’” (The Boston Globe).


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Written “with passion and insight about the knotted history of racism within women’s movements and feminist culture” (Rebecca Traister, New York Times bestselling author), this whip-smart, timely, and impassioned call for change is perfect for fans of Good and Mad and Hood Feminism. Addressing today’s conversation about race, empowerment, and inclusion in America, Koa Beck, Written “with passion and insight about the knotted history of racism within women’s movements and feminist culture” (Rebecca Traister, New York Times bestselling author), this whip-smart, timely, and impassioned call for change is perfect for fans of Good and Mad and Hood Feminism. Addressing today’s conversation about race, empowerment, and inclusion in America, Koa Beck, writer and former editor-in-chief of Jezebel, boldly examines the history of feminism, from the true mission of the suffragists to the rise of corporate feminism with clear-eyed scrutiny and meticulous detail. She also examines overlooked communities—including Native American, Muslim, transgender, and more—and their ongoing struggles for social change. With “intellectually smart and emotionally intelligent” (Patrisse Cullors, New York Times bestselling author and Black Lives Matter cofounder) writing, Beck meticulously documents how elitism and racial prejudice have driven the narrative of feminist discourse. Blending pop culture, primary historical research, and first-hand storytelling, she shows us how we have shut women out of the movement, and what we can do to correct our course for a new generation. Combining a scholar’s understanding with hard data and razor-sharp cultural commentary, White Feminism “is a rousing blueprint for a more inclusive ‘new era of feminism’” (The Boston Globe).

30 review for White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    I keep seeing the most amazing feminist books coming out in our year 2021. Less pop-culture focused, more intersectional. I think that's great. I keep seeing the most amazing feminist books coming out in our year 2021. Less pop-culture focused, more intersectional. I think that's great.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Darya

    Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for sending me a copy of White Feminism by Koa Beck. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This book to me is truly a book every person needs to read and absorb truly. I am a woman of colour and for the longest time have felt so scared to bring up my issues, my women of colour issues because for so long I've been surrounded by white feminists. (For those of you new to the club, I don't mean being white and being a feminist i mean the ideology of "fe Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for sending me a copy of White Feminism by Koa Beck. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This book to me is truly a book every person needs to read and absorb truly. I am a woman of colour and for the longest time have felt so scared to bring up my issues, my women of colour issues because for so long I've been surrounded by white feminists. (For those of you new to the club, I don't mean being white and being a feminist i mean the ideology of "feminism" rooted purely in white women's issues and not in minorities). I felt like my voice didn't matter and that my opinions weren't valid. Along with statistical backing and first-hand experience, Beck is able to weave us through an intricate yet simple look at our past, present and hopes for the future. I have always been on the front lines rooting for intersectional feminism but it wasn't until this book that I truly realized how subconsciously even in everyday occurrences, there were instances I was really conforming to the needs and wants of white feminists or non-feminists and I had no idea. I silenced myself in conversations about racial injustice in feminism because it makes people "uncomfortable", I let others dictate what I wrote about, even the kinds of books I reviewed. I've always been socially aware and conscious but now I feel open to the realization that I do not have to keep making myself smaller or conforming just to fit someone else's idea of who I am supposed to be as a woman, a brown woman, a young woman, a plus-sized woman and as a person. My e-copy of this book is filled with highlights, annotations and various notes where I just wrote "YES!!" because there was finally an explanation to what I was seeing, feeling and doing. This was not only informative but fascinating in teaching and learning just as the title suggests, about the suffragettes all the way to the 21st-century icons and who was left behind. A beautiful and deeply inspiring book by a truly inspiring authour.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    The reviews by folks asking "so what do we DO" missed the entire point of this necessary book on feminism. We break down systems as a whole, as opposed to believing our individual "doing" makes a difference. Beck's outstanding work breaks down what white feminism is specifically: a consumerist-driven, individualist belief in bettering oneself and how that is the means forward. The reality is it's not; it plays into the same systems of oppression that have always held down anyone who is without p The reviews by folks asking "so what do we DO" missed the entire point of this necessary book on feminism. We break down systems as a whole, as opposed to believing our individual "doing" makes a difference. Beck's outstanding work breaks down what white feminism is specifically: a consumerist-driven, individualist belief in bettering oneself and how that is the means forward. The reality is it's not; it plays into the same systems of oppression that have always held down anyone who is without power. This is a book about how intersectionality gets included in the discourse but isn't acted upon. About how privileged women use that label to excuse behaviors or actions without ever considering or acknowledging the work needing to be done on a broad, systemic level to create meaningful change for disadvantaged genders, people of color, folks who aren't middle or upper class, disabled, or otherwise marginalized. Pair this with Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot, ESPECIALLY if you're a white woman who proudly calls herself a feminist. It's much, much, much more than your belief in individual choice and the rights to exercise that choice; that's where we fail over and over.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Nixon

    As a Historical account of the feminist movement, particularly the involvement of white woman in this history, this book is exceptional. I’m glad it’s written. It is a history book. (Summary: well-meaning white women dropped the ball, a lot.) My disappointment is common for this genre. I leave feeling sad without actionable things or examples to follow. 😐

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Q. Rada

    NetGalley provided me with an Advanced Readers Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ATTENTION WHITE WOMEN: CONSIDER THIS YOUR ASSIGNED READING FOR 2021. THANK YOU. This book struck home for me on so many levels. The question of feminism is a tricky one for many women, and I myself have struggled with it throughout my life, going from complete ignorance (thanks Christian school) to rejection (ew Mom I'm not a feminist that's against God!) followed by this weird quasi-feministic stat NetGalley provided me with an Advanced Readers Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ATTENTION WHITE WOMEN: CONSIDER THIS YOUR ASSIGNED READING FOR 2021. THANK YOU. This book struck home for me on so many levels. The question of feminism is a tricky one for many women, and I myself have struggled with it throughout my life, going from complete ignorance (thanks Christian school) to rejection (ew Mom I'm not a feminist that's against God!) followed by this weird quasi-feministic state of confusion for a while there that I can now identify as a state of peak white feminism. When I finally un-ostriched myself (that's a whole other story in itself) and started to come into my political self, I knew the feminism that I was encountering was different than what I had experienced all my life, but I couldn't quite explicate how. Enter Koa Beck. This beautifully written, engaging, heart-rending, and intensively researched book is THE primer on white feminism and its insidious harm to and exclusion of communities of color and other marginalized genders. Instantly skyrocketing to the top of my All Time Faves list, White Feminism is an essential read for our time, an incisive critique of white feminism's support of systemic failure all the way up through the COVID-19 pandemic.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica McSweeney

    This book is 100% required reading for anyone who's ever called themselves a feminist, specifically white women and people who've ever asserted their own privilege or a view of feminism as reaching some metaphorical corporate peak. I've already seen some reviews on here about the use of the word "white" and I'm like . . . that's the whole point. If you've ever considered intersectionality within feminism "divisive," you need this book and it will change your life. I took a ton of notes reading th This book is 100% required reading for anyone who's ever called themselves a feminist, specifically white women and people who've ever asserted their own privilege or a view of feminism as reaching some metaphorical corporate peak. I've already seen some reviews on here about the use of the word "white" and I'm like . . . that's the whole point. If you've ever considered intersectionality within feminism "divisive," you need this book and it will change your life. I took a ton of notes reading this, and my biggest takeaways were around the problems of white feminism as: - An individual pursuit rather than a collective one (ascending within the existing capitalist power structure and gaining access to resources, rather than examining what basic resources and human rights aren't afforded to marginalized groups). - A product to be sold in a capitalist structure (selling #TheFutureIsFemale gear but again, ignoring systemic issues) - Performative - what does "smash the patriarchy" really mean if we are measuring our success by patriarchal standards of wealth and power? Why do we assume any one single female CEO is automatically feminist? Why is one token hire "enough"? Beck explored those points (and SO many others!) with tons of historical research, case studies, and pop cultural examples via contemporary articles. There's also a lot of practical advice about how communal organizing is the key to a more impactful and inclusive feminism. My favorite piece came in a later section of the book about how the things that were once radical are now commonplace, and how that alters our view of change as being possible within the status quo of this company or this structure. In reality, change comes from "things that will get you in trouble." I could not recommend this book more - it's excellently researched, uncomfortable, and damning. I barely touched on all of the gems within and hope you'll pick it up! I will also note I'm not a huge nonfiction reader but really loved this.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    Journalist Koa Beck has really done something special with White Feminism; what an incredibly thorough and powerful book. There's no doubt this was probably a challenging and daunting project given how expansive the topic is and how many different threads Beck weaves together (both historically as well as theoretically and practically), but it's an absolutely thought-provoking read and one that I hope more people will prioritize this year. The takeaways in here are endless, and I have a number of Journalist Koa Beck has really done something special with White Feminism; what an incredibly thorough and powerful book. There's no doubt this was probably a challenging and daunting project given how expansive the topic is and how many different threads Beck weaves together (both historically as well as theoretically and practically), but it's an absolutely thought-provoking read and one that I hope more people will prioritize this year. The takeaways in here are endless, and I have a number of sticky notes for passages I want to go back to, not to mention the numerous books, articles, and sources Beck cites that I'm checking out. I also recommend reading this book in tandem with Mikki Kendall's Hood Feminism. They really complement one another in terms of subject matter.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa of Troy

    Wow! This book flipped my life upside down. First of all, this book is filled with FACTS and research. This is what I wanted What Would Frida Do? A Guide to Living Boldly to be. Second, it should get 25 stars. It should be required reading in high school. Back in 2008, I declared myself a feminist. At that time, this was the test 1) Do you believe that women are oppressed? 2) Do you believe that oppression should end? If you answered yes to both questions, you were a feminist. The author in this bo Wow! This book flipped my life upside down. First of all, this book is filled with FACTS and research. This is what I wanted What Would Frida Do? A Guide to Living Boldly to be. Second, it should get 25 stars. It should be required reading in high school. Back in 2008, I declared myself a feminist. At that time, this was the test 1) Do you believe that women are oppressed? 2) Do you believe that oppression should end? If you answered yes to both questions, you were a feminist. The author in this book has asked an important question: What does it mean to be a feminist today and what are its aims? If you march in a woman's parade, what exactly are you marching for? Are you marching for advancement in a white collar job, to shatter the glass ceiling? Are you marching for paid maternity leave and protection? Are you marching so that elderly women will be provided Social Security in their mature years? Are you marching for access to birth control options? Are you marching to close the gender pay gap? Are you marching because women have little to no legal protections in cases of an abusive partner? Are you marching because some women are missing or are murdered and the police and media have not cared? If we make it this far, the women look at each other and say, "Well, no. Guess I can't be bothered! See ya!" This is an inherent problem in today's society which places so much attention on the individual. There are so many people who see others suffering and can't bother themselves because it doesn't involve them personally so don't get involved, don't waste your time. I want to be clear. Not all people are like this. When I was at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2010, I was in a program for non-traditional students with classes held at 6 pm during the weekdays or during the weekends. At times, women (including women of color) would show up to class with their children. It is impossible to find a high-quality daycare after 6 pm on weekdays and on weekends especially on the budget of a student. The school finally sent around an email stating that no children could be in class after a white male student decided to take his "child" who was 15-16 years old to class. At this time, I had no children, but I walked down to the student council and formally put forth an official proposal to have on-site daycare. This country and this world needs more leaders. We see other people suffering. You have a moral obligation to speak up. What good is having a first amendment right if we are just hitting like buttons and talking to ourselves? In this book, the author also talks about COVID-19 and how it has disproportionately impacted minorities and the poor. The Latinx and black communities have been the hardest hit. The author spoke that many of the jobs performed by the workers in these communities could not be performed from home (someone has to drive the bus or work first shift at the bakery or deliver packages). The government also said that the first line of defense is to wash your hands. However, the government took it for granted that that would assume that all people have access to clean water. That got me curious about something. Although I have never been on food stamps, my understanding is that you can only purchase certain items (fruits, vegetables, canned tuna, rice, bread, etc.). So I started looking up what you can get if you have SNAP or WIC. Guess what? You cannot buy hand soap! That's right. If you are poor and disadvantaged and fighting starvation, you are not entitled to the first line of defense against coronavirus which is hand soap. If you are reading this, I STRONGLY encourage you to stop liking and hashtagging garbage and contact the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) who is responsible for these programs to care enough about our vulnerable populations (which includes the poor) and provide them with access to hand soap. This is their Twitter handle: @USDANutrition The author also spoke about the media. Before this book, I had no idea that so many Native American women went murdered or missing. Beck raised an excellent point--The media filters what we see. Society as a whole doesn't have a real clue what is going on because the media isn't reporting on important societal issues. This is especially important today with less and less people having traditional cable TV and rely on internet outlets for their news. Where are we supposed to be finding out about these atrocities? My takeaway is question. Question everything. Question what you know. Question what you are seeing on the news. Find out what is going on. Ignorance isn't power. It is suffering. The author also touched on how publicly traded businesses would refuse to fire people with numerous complaints against them because they were "too important to the company." Corporations (by the way) are really great at lying. What "too important to the company" means is that upper management is comfortable with the offender. They don't know the accuser. The accuser is expendable. If the corporation actually gets caught, they have canned answers. The author is incredibly brave. She goes after big companies and big names. She will name names. She has opened my eyes. Open yours too! Please I'm begging you to read this book. Change your life. Change your society. Change the future. There is so much more to this book, and it is all backed up with facts including citations. But I will talk about 2 more points before I sign off: 1) The author talks about "the pipeline defense" which I am SO glad that she did. This is also canned corporate speak (aka polished lies) where a corporation says we can't fill that position because there just aren't any qualified women. If there isn't a single qualified female, why? Why hasn't this institution supported them? Why hasn't this institution made it a priority to retain them? What is the plan to correct this? "Some day" or "We are working on it" is not an answer. 2) The author had a section in the book about privilege, that this term is kind of just thrown around as an excuse. Personally, I don't see this term as a problem because this is how I view that term: There are many people who think gender and/or race aren't a problem. In fact, there are many people who think that women and minorities are unfairly protected and given unfair preferences. If I say that I acknowledge privilege, I am acknowledging that there is a problem which is step one. I acknowledge that there are people in the world and in the United States who do not have the same experiences as other people in the United States. I am not going to criticize someone for taking a knee during the national anthem because no one has racially profiled me, stopped me for no reason, forcibly removed me from my land, or frisked me without a warrant. I know there is a problem in the US. My eyes are open. For me, step one is complete. I acknowledge there is a problem. Step 2. Do something about it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shomeret

    Beck reveals in her book that she is a light skinned person of color who has passed for white. She charges white feminists with being self-centered in their approach to feminism. They also don't challenge societal institutions, but treat them as a given. Their priority is achieving success in the political and economic context that men have established. They benefit from the pervasive racism and classism, and don't question them. It doesn't even occur to them that women of color have other needs Beck reveals in her book that she is a light skinned person of color who has passed for white. She charges white feminists with being self-centered in their approach to feminism. They also don't challenge societal institutions, but treat them as a given. Their priority is achieving success in the political and economic context that men have established. They benefit from the pervasive racism and classism, and don't question them. It doesn't even occur to them that women of color have other needs and priorities. It is often said that exceptions prove the rule. So even though there may be a contemporary white feminist who is eager to be a genuine ally with lower class women and women of color, the majority of white feminists probably are as Beck depicts them. White Feminism is a tongue lashing that its targets richly deserve. For my complete review see https://shomeretmasked.blogspot.com/2...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sally Buckley

    remember kids, misogyny is ok as long as you put "white" in front of it! :) remember kids, misogyny is ok as long as you put "white" in front of it! :)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dani Pham

    Imagine being so obsessed with skin color that you contribute nothing to gender equality, then get butthurt when you're not gifted primacy in a movement that you don't identify with and don't participate in. Cry me a river. This is just the new anti-feminism. It contributes nothing but racism and division. Imagine being so obsessed with skin color that you contribute nothing to gender equality, then get butthurt when you're not gifted primacy in a movement that you don't identify with and don't participate in. Cry me a river. This is just the new anti-feminism. It contributes nothing but racism and division.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kalyn

    While this was a very uncomfortable read for me as a well-off white woman, it was also very necessary. I had had a vague idea that the early feminist and suffragette movements weren't inclusive in their endeavors, but I had no idea the extent of this exclusivity. It was jarring to read about how women of color and people who didn't fit the rigid gender binary were are still are systematically shut out of the spaces and rights that elite white women claimed for themselves in the name of feminism. While this was a very uncomfortable read for me as a well-off white woman, it was also very necessary. I had had a vague idea that the early feminist and suffragette movements weren't inclusive in their endeavors, but I had no idea the extent of this exclusivity. It was jarring to read about how women of color and people who didn't fit the rigid gender binary were are still are systematically shut out of the spaces and rights that elite white women claimed for themselves in the name of feminism. There were many stories to illustrate that what we view as "feminism" is actually just the agenda of already privileged white women, and it ignores the specific issues faced by Native women, other women of color, poor women, LGBT women. The interweaving of American history and the author's personal history was engaging and really drew me in to the book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christine Comito

    We all know white men are at the top of the list for BAD. Next up? White women This book is full of research following suffragist moves and how they've excluded people who don't fit from early America and right to the present day. She details how many more injustices have been perpetrated against lesbians, trans, nonbinary, women of color etc, far more than against white women, who primarily fought for rights of upper class women to have access to the same thing as men. She also spends a lot of t We all know white men are at the top of the list for BAD. Next up? White women This book is full of research following suffragist moves and how they've excluded people who don't fit from early America and right to the present day. She details how many more injustices have been perpetrated against lesbians, trans, nonbinary, women of color etc, far more than against white women, who primarily fought for rights of upper class women to have access to the same thing as men. She also spends a lot of time pointing out the shortcomings of capitalism without suggesting a better way. There are a couple places where Beck mentions what a reader can do to address this, but only in a "here's what I did for my assistant who was much too smart to be just an assistant, but this won't work for everyone" way, as well as denigrating a white woman who wanted to be part of the pussy marches for her own feminist reasoning while not understanding feminism for all women/nonbinary. This book would have been well served by an appendix listing ways to advocate to improve instead of basically telling white women to stay out of the way because they don't understand, and one single person cannot change things.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve Trono

    White Feminism by Koa Beck took me a while to get through because it is quite dense, but it is also a very powerful and timely read. I always appreciate when you can tell an author has done her research, and this was clearly evident while reading White Feminism. Intersectional feminism has been something that has been on my mind, especially during the past year. I enjoyed learning more about how we need to be inclusive when fighting for women's rights, which hasn't been something I have always b White Feminism by Koa Beck took me a while to get through because it is quite dense, but it is also a very powerful and timely read. I always appreciate when you can tell an author has done her research, and this was clearly evident while reading White Feminism. Intersectional feminism has been something that has been on my mind, especially during the past year. I enjoyed learning more about how we need to be inclusive when fighting for women's rights, which hasn't been something I have always been that aware of. Much of this book was eye-opening for me as a white woman and allowed me to truly see who was being left behind and who still is today. The more we know the more we can grow and push for change. This book is one that will stick with me for a long time and I appreciate having the opportunity to read and review it. {Thank you to Atria Books for my gifted copy.}

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shari Suarez

    This is a book that everyone needs to read. It gave me so much to think about. Koa Beck walks you through all the intricacies of white feminism and how it hasn't included women of color or queer and trans women over the years. She gives you concrete examples (hello, Sheryl Sandberg) and gives ways to combat it. This is a book that everyone needs to read. It gave me so much to think about. Koa Beck walks you through all the intricacies of white feminism and how it hasn't included women of color or queer and trans women over the years. She gives you concrete examples (hello, Sheryl Sandberg) and gives ways to combat it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This was very well sourced, full of facts to the point that it read like a wikipedia page at points. She definitely brought up a lot of points that I had not considered when it comes to what feminism means to various people, past and present. However, as a white millennial living in New England, I was very intrigued to see what she would say we can do in the last chapter after dragging through so many issues that our country needs to fix. I was a little let down that the suggestions were to use This was very well sourced, full of facts to the point that it read like a wikipedia page at points. She definitely brought up a lot of points that I had not considered when it comes to what feminism means to various people, past and present. However, as a white millennial living in New England, I was very intrigued to see what she would say we can do in the last chapter after dragging through so many issues that our country needs to fix. I was a little let down that the suggestions were to use public places and have the desire to learn from one another. Those are great things, but it is hard to accept that change will be slow. It is true that there are so many issues that need fixing, but it seems like the preferred course of action is to focus on them one at a time, going with the saying "All Lives can't matter until Black Lives Matter."

  17. 4 out of 5

    TEELOCK Mithilesh

    Journalist Koa Beck—a veteran of Jezebel, Vogue, and Marie Claire—examines, with clear-eyed scrutiny and in meticulous detail, the history of feminism, from the true mission of the suffragettes to the rise of corporate feminism. Throughout these pages, she documents how elitism and racial prejudice have driven the narrative of feminist discourse. She blends pop culture, primary historical research, and firsthand storytelling to show how women of colour have been sidelined from the wider movement Journalist Koa Beck—a veteran of Jezebel, Vogue, and Marie Claire—examines, with clear-eyed scrutiny and in meticulous detail, the history of feminism, from the true mission of the suffragettes to the rise of corporate feminism. Throughout these pages, she documents how elitism and racial prejudice have driven the narrative of feminist discourse. She blends pop culture, primary historical research, and firsthand storytelling to show how women of colour have been sidelined from the wider movement and what white women must do to course-correct for a new generation.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Thai Dang

    White feminism, with facets of performative feminism, consumerist feminism, capitalist feminism, underwear and keychain and t-shirt feminism, social media feminism, is, after all, another way for whiteness and its insidious claws of biases/prejudices and systemic injustice to demonstrate its face in a more favourable light. Beck brings up an interesting point about how white feminism, with its focus on individual gains, individual getting-ahead, individual success, essentially annihilates what's White feminism, with facets of performative feminism, consumerist feminism, capitalist feminism, underwear and keychain and t-shirt feminism, social media feminism, is, after all, another way for whiteness and its insidious claws of biases/prejudices and systemic injustice to demonstrate its face in a more favourable light. Beck brings up an interesting point about how white feminism, with its focus on individual gains, individual getting-ahead, individual success, essentially annihilates what's on its way and exploits other women. She, rightly, attributes this shallow and exploitative narrative of capitalist feminism on the system that breeds this monster. Her dissecting of capitalism, however, is neither original nor thought-provoking (capitalism wants more money). Because nobody dares to actually denounce capitalism and advocate for true socialism/communism anymore, the analysis falls short. Because, truly, what is left out there to replace capitalism and all its variations? Some chapters are well-written and impassioned. Some are clunky and a chore to read. Some are cut short and repetitive. But this book is, overall, a good starting point if one wants to unpack the packaged #girlboss white feminism shoved down our throat for the past decade.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    An examination of why mainstream feminism is exclusionary by necessity: it is a fight to gain privileges within the existing system rather than redefine the system itself. A successful feminist within this framework looks pretty much like a successful white male: wealthy, self-made, corporate, personal value attached to productivity. This model is inaccessible to most marginalized groups, which Beck elaborates on in the first part of the book. I most appreciated her inclusion of queer and gender An examination of why mainstream feminism is exclusionary by necessity: it is a fight to gain privileges within the existing system rather than redefine the system itself. A successful feminist within this framework looks pretty much like a successful white male: wealthy, self-made, corporate, personal value attached to productivity. This model is inaccessible to most marginalized groups, which Beck elaborates on in the first part of the book. I most appreciated her inclusion of queer and gender non-conforming people and how they fit into the feminist movement, both as it exists now and how it could exist with if it was truly inclusive. Her discussion of the value and invisibility of women's (domestic) work, especially women of color and working-class women amidst the COVID pandemic, was especially important, and something I wish I could get everyone to read. Listened on audio via Libro.fm.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Kissling

    I like this book. It's well written, well organized; cites enough data to be persuasive and uses enough anecdotes and personal experience to be compelling. It almost goes without saying how important the topic is for feminist thought today. If I were still teaching I'd probably use it in one of my Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies classes. However, I have one critique that I know most readers will find extremely nit-picky but it irked me every time I saw it. The US campaigners for women's suff I like this book. It's well written, well organized; cites enough data to be persuasive and uses enough anecdotes and personal experience to be compelling. It almost goes without saying how important the topic is for feminist thought today. If I were still teaching I'd probably use it in one of my Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies classes. However, I have one critique that I know most readers will find extremely nit-picky but it irked me every time I saw it. The US campaigners for women's suffrage never referred to themselves as suffragettes but as suffragists.* The -ette or -ess ending in English is a diminutive form, often used to mock or belittle someone or something, as in 'bachelorette', 'poetess', or when Gloria Steinem said most men want their wives to have a jobette (rather than a job). Beck should have known this, as her cited sources for suffrage history used the term suffragist, not suffragette. *Yes, I am aware that British suffrage activists did use suffragette for themselves. Britain and the US are two different countries, two different contexts.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tori Thompson

    Just excellent. This was insightful and unflinchingly honest. The author regularly gives personal anecdotal evidence that exemplifies the sort of behavior and ideas being examined by the text--lending a helpful emotional context, balancing out an otherwise-rigorous sequence of facts and figures and quotes--without falling into self-aggrandizement or losing sight of the bigger picture. This covers an incredibly expansive breadth of history and topics with remarkable precision, somehow always mana Just excellent. This was insightful and unflinchingly honest. The author regularly gives personal anecdotal evidence that exemplifies the sort of behavior and ideas being examined by the text--lending a helpful emotional context, balancing out an otherwise-rigorous sequence of facts and figures and quotes--without falling into self-aggrandizement or losing sight of the bigger picture. This covers an incredibly expansive breadth of history and topics with remarkable precision, somehow always managing to stay focused. I listened to the audiobook which is read by the author, and she does a spectacular job. I don't even want to say that I recommend this book--if anything, it should be required. Do yourself a favor, and read this as soon as you can.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alli

    I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book by is an excellent historical and modern look at American feminism over the last hundred years or so. Written from the perspective of a woman of color, this well-researched, poignant, and timely book brings to light issues that are quite frequently overlooked within the American feminist movement: that feminism and equality and the needs of women cannot be framed solely from the perspective of middle and upper-class, I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book by is an excellent historical and modern look at American feminism over the last hundred years or so. Written from the perspective of a woman of color, this well-researched, poignant, and timely book brings to light issues that are quite frequently overlooked within the American feminist movement: that feminism and equality and the needs of women cannot be framed solely from the perspective of middle and upper-class, white collar women. Her writing forces the reader to reckon with the fact that, when we (I speak now as a white woman) talk about the women's rights movement here in the US, a few names come immediately to mind: Susan B Anthony. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. But where are the Frances Harpers? Where are the Audre Lordes? Throughout the chapters of this book, we are introduced to the women who, by virtue of ethnic, religious, or racial backgrounds, are left out of the histories of the women's rights movement in the US. We are also introduced to the systemic, institutional, and intentional ways those marginalizations happen, and how even supposedly feminist acts, such as the MeToo movement and Lean In, still manage to leave behind those that do not easily fit into "white feminism." The writing here is very clear, well-articulated, a joy to read, and uncomfortable. As it should be. Readers will learn, and they will think.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    An informative recollection of history and of the complexities of feminist theory through a progressive and capitalist critical lens. I appreciated the readability of this piece of non-fiction as well as the authors self-proclamation of queerness and call to action. Throw away your Brene Brown bullshit and let's actually talk about the roles we play in keeping white supremacy prevalent in our society. An informative recollection of history and of the complexities of feminist theory through a progressive and capitalist critical lens. I appreciated the readability of this piece of non-fiction as well as the authors self-proclamation of queerness and call to action. Throw away your Brene Brown bullshit and let's actually talk about the roles we play in keeping white supremacy prevalent in our society.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Powerful look at intersectionality and achieving equality for all. No surprises here on what the barriers are- institutional racism and capitalism.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sikna Bazzi

    I don’t have to many notes to add here. This is just an overall fantastic read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Larissa Granato

    An absolutely essencial read for white women and a step in the direction of not becoming to other women what our fathers and husbands have been to us. Also a great reminder that the world doesn't revolve around you and neoliberalism sucks! An absolutely essencial read for white women and a step in the direction of not becoming to other women what our fathers and husbands have been to us. Also a great reminder that the world doesn't revolve around you and neoliberalism sucks!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Moorea

    An excellent listen. Absolutely should be required reading.

  28. 5 out of 5

    EmpowerPuffGurl

    What I loved about "White Feminism: From The Suffragettes To Influencers and Who They Leave Behind” by Koa Beck:⁣ ⁣ - Oooouph this one was GOOD and is a great primer for anyone new to intersectional feminism. This book should be mandatory reading for any intro to women’s studies class.⁣ ⁣ - This book sums up why it’s so problematic that white women came out in the masses for the Women’s March but haven’t been seen at any Black Lives Matter protest or fighting for any of the recent Indigenous issues. What I loved about "White Feminism: From The Suffragettes To Influencers and Who They Leave Behind” by Koa Beck:⁣ ⁣ - Oooouph this one was GOOD and is a great primer for anyone new to intersectional feminism. This book should be mandatory reading for any intro to women’s studies class.⁣ ⁣ - This book sums up why it’s so problematic that white women came out in the masses for the Women’s March but haven’t been seen at any Black Lives Matter protest or fighting for any of the recent Indigenous issues. Beck dissects why so many white women have been quick to buy the “Feminist” mug while turning a blind eye to the issues that so many BIPOC people deal with daily.⁣ ⁣ - I really loved Beck’s analysis of the effect Covid has had on this issue as well and how easy it is to say “stay home and stay safe” when essential workers are, for the most part, women of color. Covid itself has been a huge intersectional feminist issue and needs to be recognized as such. ⁣ ⁣ Huge thank you to @SimonSchusterCa for sending me this one! White Feminism hits shelves on January 5th - make sure to preorder this one!⁣ ⁣ #WhiteFeminism #KoaBeck #AtriaBooks #SimonAndSchuster #reading #booklover #booknerd #read #feminist #feministreads #instabooks #bookstagram #empowerpuffgurl

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ally

    Searing, incisive look at the systems we uphold, to the detriment of women of color, queer women and nb people, and other marginalized groups. Also heavily and well-researched. Dang.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

    "The politics of assimilation are vast and thorny. And for many disenfranchised groups in the United States, taking on the rules and parameters of the oppressor have sometimes been a means to basic survival. You will live another day if you speak this language, if you dress like this, if you marry in this capacity, if you pray to this god, if you conduct yourself in this way." "White femiinism is a state of mind. It's a type of feminism that takes up the politics of power without questioning them "The politics of assimilation are vast and thorny. And for many disenfranchised groups in the United States, taking on the rules and parameters of the oppressor have sometimes been a means to basic survival. You will live another day if you speak this language, if you dress like this, if you marry in this capacity, if you pray to this god, if you conduct yourself in this way." "White femiinism is a state of mind. It's a type of feminism that takes up the politics of power without questioning them-by replicating pattersns of white supremacy, capitalistic greed, corporate ascension, inhumane labor practices, and exploitation, and deeming it empowering for women to practice these tenets as men always have. The mindset is seductive, as it positions the singular you as the agent of change, making your individual needs the touchpoint for all revolutionary disruption." "But, darker still, the whole Feminism is everywhere now! narrative has an almost gaslighting effect on women of color, in which we're being told by broader mainstream dialogues that our lives are so much better when we're actually just an asterick in a wage gap statistic. Because when you remove white, economically comfortable women from the gender landscape, feminism isn't quite everywhere. Change in gender politics hasn't come fast. For many women, it hasn't come at all." "We need a movement that addresses the reality of women's lives rather than the aspiration of what they hope to be." "Since the beginning of organized women's rights in the United States, white feminism has lurked, adapted, and endured-rebranding and reincarnating alongside the revolution of its day." "Rehardless of what an enterprise tells you about their mission, why you're needed, and the work you can accomplish together, history and lived experience have revealed that when it comes time to actually implement these changes, the gatekeepers become more tight-fisted over retaining tradition. The reason they do this is because actually integrating the changes and perspectives that often come with these communities compromises the power structure that has either anointed them or facilitated their ascension. Any threat to that, whether they recognize it directly or not, is met with fear, suspicion, dismissal, or resistance." "This is how institutionalized racism develops-there's what the individual people believe, and then there is how the orginization functions." "The dangerous practice of controlling a body of land, oppressing already existing communities, and mining the resources for economic gain is the tradition that has caused intergenerational trauma among people all over the world. Along with that trauma has come a raft of enduring economic devastation, abuse, assault, addiction, dependency, and violence that these communities are often blamed for their oppressors." "Far too many white women think that having worn a white pant suit to vote for Hillary abstains them from being destructive to other women. In reality, however, it proves that they place their rights above those of indugenous and other marginalized women...The violence Native People face is not new-and it didn't take Trump to make us woke and fight back. We've been fighting for the right of all women since 1492. However, the same can't be said for white women." "Once again, white feminist ambition-even the way they communicate that ambition to each other-carries on the brutal tradition of exploiting, suppressing, and dominating others for personal or strategic gain. Whether it's for themselves, their companies, their business enterprises, or their families, white feminism's willingness to adopt a "conqueror" understanding of their rights and power, specifically unconsciously, underscores the vast ideological space between white feminist ideology and what Native women and two-spirit people have been organizing against for centuries." "Much like the consumer activism of the twentieth century, white supremacy has traditionally relied on women on the ground to carry out its bidding, particularly in the form of grassroots movements, newsletters, PTA meetings, bake sales, and community efforts. Southern white women stepping away from this order, and this performance of fender, threatens the very economy of institutionalized racism and, on some level, white supremacists know this." "It's the "selfish" women through history who have afforded us a canon of work that speaks to experiences outside being white and cismale." "With the absence of subsidized childcare, paid federal parental leave, and rampant pregnancy discrimination, young women who have had a healthy amount of class advantages are left to ask themselves if they want to effectively lose them-because that's what parenthood in the United Stated will ultimately entail: If they want to partake in a different kind of labor that will offer them fewer legal protections, limited pay, increased hours, increased personal financial burdens, and with zero support from the institutions to which they have dedicated expanding days and increased workloads." "That's how power works; no one has to tell you directly because it's implied along the contours of every interaction you have. You can read it along people's voices and within the tempo of the emails that appear without a professional signatures. It's mirrored back in colleague's inflections and you can detect it in glances to phones that, at first, seem unprompted." "The fact that so much of the media landscape has referred to these findings to dictate women's value says a lot about how our industry is ultimately framing this conversation: capitalism." "Capitalism, a system in which a country's industries are privately owned and subject to private interests, prejudices, and biases in the name of profits, was just as lethal as racism or sexism-in that it had the capacity to incentivize racists and sexists." "The fact that Lean In encouraged women to work more as an overarching solution to being paid less, discriminated against, and stealthily fired for having children effectively shirked responsibility for these injustices to women while also scoring underpaid additional labor for these companies for which women were leaning in. A majore objective for white feminism is that power is maintained as is, particularly where money is concerned." "But this is where I've encountered capitalism to be at its most damaging: it provides an all-encompassing language to code racism, heterosexism, and classism as something else-to establish distance between these deeply coursing prejudices and the unavoidable realities of running a business. This distance insulates. It establishes an alternative reality in which testimonials, diversity reports, investigations, and data analysis on representation don't resonate because making money is the ultimate objective above all else." "It's true that some Muslim-identifying Americans have financial security: as of 2017, about 24 percent have a household income of $100,000 or more. But 40 percent make less that $30,000 a year and very few occupy the financial space between. What this means is that many Muslim Americans are existing on extreme opposites of the financial landscape, more so than Americans overall." "Job performace is determined more so by how likeable you are within this very culture-specific social hierarchy rather than an up-to-date job description with specific performance goals." "To that end, white feminism isn't just built on a foundation of white supremacy, meritocracy, and money. It's also erected by a fundamental lack of imagination." "Coming to the defense of powerful institutions when said power is challenged by abuse allegations is a cornerstone of white feminism, as the alligiance is ultimately to profits, power, and prestige over abuse." "Gender rights have always been propelled by deeply radical people who were raging against the status quo. But the consistently and truly impressive breadth of progress is that what was deemed radical then always has the capacity to feel commonplace now. And downplaying how critical transgressive activism has been to securing gender rights presents another hologram: that you can achieve them within the status quo." "If power is how we have traditionally understood the path to equality, we need to address that our current framework will not facilitate power broadly toward the most disenfranchised." "And with the intersection of social justice and capitalism, white feminism is right there to sell you everything from co-working spaces to lingerie with activist imagery from the past and present." "It's moments like these, in real time, in strategy, in execution, that white feminism relies on their honored currency of niceties to maintain racist and heterosexist practices. And it's the legacy they've inherited firectly from white supremacy, their ability and culturally sanctioned way of basically saying that they don't care about Latinas or Black women or Asian women and still managing to sound sweet while they do it." "Essentially, women of color go virtually unseen in the professional world-until they do something wrong." "Utilizing female labor in this way is not only consistent with patriarchy and capitalism, but also neoliberalism, in which the importance of optimizing the self and personal resources eclipse structural responsibility." "It doesn't mean I didn't "work hard"-a weird space that I often find privileged people think is what privilege eradicates. But it does mean that I had the opportunity to work hard in the first place. To be let in the room. To be given the confidence and trust from my employers and other institutional guardians that I could accomplish these tasks and objectives exceedingly well. Any many people who have intense work ethics and brilliant assessments of culture, politics, and policy don't get these opportunities because they don't look or speak like I do." "Going hungry because of structural and systemic racist misogyny is not cited within white feminism as a prominent risk factor. But poverty endures as one of the longest-running symptoms of patriarchy." "With children transitioning to remote learning, professional tasks looming, homes that were being lived in 24/7, and food that needed to be prepared to constantly feed everyone, it became clear that "women" was still the economists' jar we had assigned infinite labor and nurturing to-and without any government support." "But unlike a more standardized news cycle, in which the culprit could be an industry that systemically disadvantages women, or a powerful leader refusing to hire them, or an influential predator who endangers them, the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated that it was all these shoddy systems that were to blame: healthcare, lack of affordable housing, lack of childcare and paid leave, prison conditions, and protections for essential workers. There was no isolated field that was making the health crisis untenable and, at its worst, fatal. It was the elaborate avenues to basic living that we had constructed, voted on, lobbied for, abd culturally sancitioned. And it always has been." "If you actually want to make impactful changes for others like you or others explicity not like you, you're better equipped to orient yourself against systems rather than individual people. Think in terms of policies, not managers. Think in terms of assembling and establishing a group with other colleagues rather than going up against leadership by yourself. Think in terms of precedents that you can formally set for the people coming up after you and that would be virtually unthinkable to the people who came up before you." "White feminism is good at this game, shifting narratives and shirking responsibility to excuse allegiances that compromise feminist branding or positioning."

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