White Feminism: A Crisis for Minorities

Tessa Zink, Staff Writer

Living freely and equal is a right that everyone should have however the idea of white feminism significantly sets this equality back for feminists trying to create change.

White feminism is when primarily white women fight for issues that generally only concern white women, and once these smaller issues are solved they claim there is equality and, unaware, leave out women of color, women of cultural and religious minority groups, & LGBTQ+ women.

President Ana Marie Cauce of the University of Washington is an advocate for diversity and equity. She first came to the UW as an assistant professor of psychology and eventually became the president of UW. “I didn’t necessarily expect to stay forever! But I fell in love with Seattle, and Washington and this great public research university.”
After receiving tenure, President Cauce started taking administrative roles because she felt she could “do a good job and make a contribution.” Throughout her role as president, she has created a better place for all with the creation of the Husky Promise, a program that provides complete tuition for students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend the UW.

“To me it [feminism], implies a commitment to developing the kinds of relationships, in my personal and work lives, that are authentic, respectful, and empowering. It means appreciating the fact that human capital is our most important resource, and that you can’t build a healthy organization unless you have a work environment that prizes collaboration and personal growth” said Cauce.

White feminism is prominent today and people are having to examine more into what their actions and words do. Cauce added “Everyone, including white feminists, benefits from critically examining race and privilege and from listening actively to people who have been marginalized in order to understand their experiences.”

Although the idea of feminism was created to make a more equal world, white feminism can cause a setback in other feminist improvements because the goals idealized by white feminists are different than the ones for feminists. “Their perspectives and experiences haven’t been conducive toward their understanding that they should be helping or that there really is a problem with their view. That’s part of what’s limiting them. That is why I believe so strongly in the need for open communication and engagement with people who have had different experiences with a world that privileges whiteness” said Cauce.

To create change, people, specifically students need to continue to use their voice. Cauce added, “I am incredibly moved and encouraged by the level of action and engagement that I see from young people today – it fills me with hope.”

Students and adults need to continuously learn in order to accurately understand the issues confronting the world. “I encourage you to believe that you can make change, because you certainly can,” said Cauce.