Include others in your feminism

Diversity without inclusivity is useless.         

By definition feminism is the equality of genders, but at times it feels as though people forget about the importance of being intersectional.

Feminism should work to help all affected by the patriarchy, including people of color and people of the LGBTQ+ community.

When I attended the Women’s March in San Francisco following the Inauguration, in the midst of a diverse and passionate crowd of people, I couldn’t help but feel proud.

With all of the injustices going on in the world and the fear of the Trump Administration, it felt comforting knowing there were people willing to stand up for what they felt was right.

However, the more I looked around, the more I started noticing it — all the signs focused on “Pussy Power” and other versions of that phrase.

It’s strange, as excited as I was to see steps taken toward the fight for justice before my eyes, it was clear to me what still lacked — inclusivity.

Although reproductive rights are an important issue, it should be recognized that women are more than just their ability to conceive or not. Fighting at a Women’s March using solely phrases that reference a woman’s power coming from her vagina only perpetuates the idea that you have to have a vagina to be a woman.

Doing so neglects the experience of the transgender community and only reduces people to their reproductive organs, which is one of the things feminism actively works against.

While we live in a patriarchal society that tries to teach people that a woman’s only place in this world relies solely on having a vagina, the best course of action when fighting for equality should be to not to objectify women in the same way misogynists have.

Within feminism, there are the people who misrepresent what the term means and taint the social connotation of the word. It can be frustrating to deal with anti-feminists who get the wrong idea that feminism is either misandry or just meant for certain people.

It’s celebrities like Taylor Swift who like to preach about how wrong it is when they, a white privileged artist, are personally affected by the patriarchy, but stay silent when it comes to issues affecting others.

Being a feminist isn’t about fighting for equality only when it affects you. It’s about standing up and fighting for others, especially when they don’t have a voice.

This isn’t to invalidate Swift’s issues. She does face misogyny and slut-shaming in the industry, but as supportive and empowering as she can be for other white women, I can’t relate when the only issues she fights for relate to her and her struggles all while she plays the victim and disregards her privilege in society.

Meanwhile in an open letter to Trump written by Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui she recognized the privileges of being a white passing Latina and has used her platform to speak up on a multitude of social issues.

It is important to recognize one’s own privileges despite your struggles. As a bisexual woman of color, I know I have struggle in this world, but as someone who is white passing, and who has had the ability to pass as straight through omission, I am privileged.

In turn it is my job to make sure the voices of all are heard in addition to my own.

Inclusivity isn’t about having one voice speak for all issues, but to give all their opportunity to have their voice heard.