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Blackish Asked it Best: Do Men Treat Feminism like White People Treat Racism?

Quick spoilers ahead. Blackish for those who are unaware is a popular ABC show that follows The Johnson Family, a successful suburban Black family in California.  On the Latest episode of Blackish The Johnson Family tackled the feminist movement, and the correlation between African Americans and the movement as a whole. The episode highlighted the complexity of some women having to choose between being a woman and being a minority. In Which Beau, (The Mother) explained, “We do not have the privilege to choose between being a woman and being a minority.” This highlighted the discrepancies between women’s rights and the specific more unique issues that minority women face as well. For example, women in general make on average $0.77 to the $1 dollar compared to men. This is an obvious issue that is being tackled in the courts every single day.  However, African American women in contrast make on average $0.66 to $1 dollar, and Latinx women make even less than that. These discrepancies have always been a large issue for minorities, and are sometimes overlooked, and underdiscussed when discussing women’s rights.

In another profound scene in the episode. Dre (The Father) discovered that to his surprise he is not as woke as a feminist as he thought. Dre preaches his constant annoyance with his white co-workers and their disregard for black issues, and how they still have all the power. When issues get uncomfortable for some white people, they tend to just tune it out. The show then explains that this is just like how men treat gender issues. Regardless of race men in general still whole all the power, and when they also get uncomfortable when discussing feminism, they also tend to tune it out. Some also tend to play the victim, going as far treating the feminist movement like a danger to all men. (It is just fight for equality btw). The show then definitively asks: So, are men the White people of gender? The comparison between racial issues and gender issues have been a volatile discussion for decades, and all though they are obvious incomparable differences between the two. Including, centuries of slavery, segregation, and other unsurmountable differences. We can all agree that when gender or racial issues are brought up to those in a position of power it is quickly disregarded as fiction and is stonewalled just the same. The comparison in some smaller cases isn’t as crazy as it first may seem.

The episode’s conclusion is something I believe we should all take to heart. As men we must stop “White-guying” women and be willing to truly listen, learn, and grow the fuck up. In contrast White women, must when discussing women’s rights and issues, must include minorities in the discussion because, the issues that you face is not the same issues that other minority women face. All issues must be discussed with the same level or urgency. Finally, allies are always important for the fight for true equality however, you may also have to create your own safe space for you and others like you to truly feel safe and be heard.

Remember feminism by the definition is the just the belief that men and women are equal and deserve the same rights, and who doesn’t want that.