Holy shit… this is one of the best books on feminism and social injustices I’ve read this year and I can’t tell you enough how important it is that we all read this, especially for women who are open to learning how to become more inclusive feminists and better allies. This book definitely hit hard for me, and there are so many things in here that I wish didn’t even have to be written about in the first place.
Hood Feminism is a collection of essays that explore the many ways that the mainstream feminist movement has failed to address the needs of all women, and instead, focuses on increasing the privilege of a few (A.K.A. white women). Mainstream feminists do not address, nor prioritize, basic needs for all women such as having access to quality education, medical care, food, living wages and safe neighborhoods due to the simple fact that they’re portrayed as race or class issues instead of feminist issues. Instead, we tend to solely focus on the issues that directly impact white women so that we may pave the way for other types of women to potentially live better lives (eventually). Mikki Kendall touches on topics such as poverty, politics, eating disorders, gun violence, hunger, sexual harassment, education, housing, reproductive justice and much more.
I want to share a few quotes from this book that stood out to me:
“Main stream, white-centered feminism hasn’t just failed women of color, it has failed white women. It’s not making them any safer, any more powerful, or even any wiser. It supports the goals of white supremacy so often and so uncritically that 53% of white women voted not just for the idea of a president who has a legacy of disrespecting and abusing women, but for the system that supports him. Conditions aren’t getting better for white women; in fact these patterns reflect a return to a paradigm where the only difference is that their cage is gilded, while others are entrapped in less decorative confines.”– Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism
“It isn’t just Kavanaugh or the other judges like him—the ones with a history that clouds their ability to render anything like justice—that’s the problem. It isn’t just the mothers willing to render their daughters as disposable to protect the sons of the privileged. It is all the ways that the problem is either ignored or poorly addressed until it is a public crisis because white women often choose race over gender based on fear stoked by bigotry. It’s the harm that this fearful mind-set can do across communities. Fear of Black people. Fear of immigrants. Fear of the Other. It’s an endless cycle that hinges on the willingness of white women to ignore their own power to effect positive change.”– Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism
“Too often white women decide that when they feel uncomfortable, upset, or threatened, they can turn to the patriarchy for protection. Because they don’t want to lose that protection (dubious as it is), they stand by it when it’s convenient, and challenge it only when it directly threatens them. Yet, they know they benefit from it being challenged, and thus rely on others to do the heaviest lifting. They fail to recognize that the conflicted relationship they have with the patriarchy includes a certain cowardice around challenging not only it, but other women who have embraced it.”– Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism
“Feminism that comes from a place of fear, that prioritizes not being afraid of not being uncomfortable over being effective, is dangerous. It allows no room for considering the impact of some “feminist” choices that include increasing surveillance or inviting the state into spaces in ways that render those spaces fundamentally unsafe for some. The fear of alienating other white women by refusing to challenge them or deny them support as a consequence for their racism is fundamentally damaging to any concept of feminism as a place that can create safety for all.”– Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism
You guys. Please just fucking read this book. Thank you 💛
BEER RECOMMENDATION: Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall is best paired with Grapefruit by Downeast Cider House. This deliciously sweet cider is infused with fresh grapefruit, producing an approachable grapefruit flavor that isn’t too tart 🍻