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A radically inclusive, intersectional, and transnational approach to the fight for women’s rights.
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, 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.
About the Author: Rafia Zakaria is author of The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan, Veil, and many essays for the Guardian, CNN, and the New York Times Book Review. She is a regular columnist for Dawn in Pakistan and the Baffler in the United States.
"This necessary book is a critique of how whiteness (not white women) has infiltrated feminism and how it should be razor-bladed out of the current form...Zakaria is a warm-hearted and sharp-eyed writer that brings compassion, intelligence, and a steady drumbeat of change to redefining term—feminism—a word that is old and soggy and full of white ladies yelling about things. This book is going to light fires everywhere, so if you are prone to combust, get right the hell out of the way." - Kerri Arsenault, Literary Hub