Sunday, July 03, 2016

Hillary Clinton and White Feminism
By Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez
Published 1 July 2016

Just accept that the Hillary Clinton nomination is important for YOUR white cis upper middle class feminist movement.

Mainstream feminism in the USA is white. We get that. Since its inception in the USA, feminists rallied together to get to vote because if black people were going to rally to get to vote they were not going to be left behind. WHITE women were not going to allow that to become the reality and essentially the suffragettes got together to ensure that they were treated with the respect that their race afforded them yet their gender did not.

Feminism in the USA, when talking about body positivity, differently abled, and trans women’s rights, is generally given a white face, which results in access. Race, in the conversations around Caitlyn Jenner are a HUGE reason Caitlyn Jenner gets a lot of press and a lot of attention, in addition to her class.

Feminists in the USA are using feminism to rally around Hillary Clinton, mostly White feminists. To have a female president would mean a lot to many White feminists, yet the lack of intersectionality around Hillary’s feminist supporters just further proves that feminism is a white woman’s plight, especially an upper middle class white woman.

I think because I am female, and because Trump is truly the only other option, AND voting privilege is assumed by almost everyone, I am expected to support Hillary. I am expected to get on that bandwagon, including celebrities and even some of my favorite podcast personalities, have found themselves between a rock and a hard place. Everyone is justifying their choice for Hillary by saying that her gender is something worth supporting, as if her class and her race had nothing to do with why someone of her gender would even be found in a position like the one she finds herself in today.

I have stayed relatively silent during the preliminary conversations around our presidential candidates, because I am a non-citizen and quite frankly it felt disingenuous as someone who is believed to have so little at stake, even if that belief is wrong. I did however feel that it was not my place, and also as someone who adamantly believes that liberation will not come at the polls. So MAYBE it is time I speak up.

I saw my first female president at a young age, in Nicaragua. In my country, I could imagine that as my trajectory at a really young age because I did not have a television and I also was extremely poor which meant I could only see the insular scope of what was within my proximity. Seeing Violeta Chamorro had a tremendous impact on my young formation, I know this. With that said, I do not think YOUR daughter needs Hillary for that sentiment, because A LOT of countries have had female presidents – A LOT. Furthermore, it is very American (and I say that with all the negative connotation of a non-American) to think that ONLY when a white American female becomes president that suddenly your little girls will begin to re-imagine themselves through a different lens. It is very American to center the feminist movement around white American female’s proximity to power. Please note that we are living in a digital age, and if your little girl has no idea that there are important women in power now, it is on YOU. Yes, sexism is real, and yes there are very real obstacles, but if you’re supporting Hillary simply because of what she means for your feminist movement: your feminism movement lacks intersectionality and it is embarrassing, so stop saying that.

I live in this world, in this country, and there is a lot at stake during this presidential election, for everyone.

I am realizing that I have so much more at stake than anyone realizes because I will face a lot of direct consequences by whomever ends up in office. As a third-world Latina living in the USA I have more family outside the USA than in the USA, and I know that the international policies and immigration policies that have been enacted since Reagan have almost only been violent toward people who look and sound like me.

I am not offering a solution; I am offering you better language for talking about this presidential candidate. Stop saying that she is important for the feminist movement, and just accept that her nomination is important for YOUR white cis upper middle class feminist movement. But do not slap this brown immigrant Latina in the face with your "the feminist movement is pro-Hillary" shit because I am not having it.

Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez is founder of Latina Rebels.

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