9/30 A New Vision Of Feminism That De-Centers Whiteness w/ Rafia Zakaria

September 30, 2021

Emma hosts Rafia Zakaria, weekly columnist at The Baffler, to discuss her recent book Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption, on how feminist thought has been by the ideology of whiteness, allowing a feminism to surface that reinforces capitalism and the exploitation of women of color. Particularly focusing on the late 20th Century brand of girl boss and “lean in” feminism, Emma and Rafia dive into how “trickle-down feminism” acts to center platforms, policies, and ideas generated by and for white women, while silencing women of color as the white saviors know best. Rafia then dives into the important tradition of feminist critiques of race in the US, from Audre Lorde to Kimberle Crenshaw, that helped build the space for feminisms like hers, that critique whiteness and capitalism, also exploring what the absence of this space looks like, as we see in the UK’s feminist tradition. They move onto a discussion of how the coverage and response to the withdrawal from Afghanistan have emphasized the problems of white feminism, as Zakaria reflects on the US’ first (supposedly) “feminist” war and the divide between the wishes of the feminist leaders in the ear of the White House and the women actually on the ground in Afghanistan, and how this “feminist” war served to reinforce and inflame the gender apartheid in the region and drastically impact the well being and livelihood of countless women. After touching on the historical elements of white feminism, working back to the suffrage movement in the early 20th Century and the frequent attempts to exclude women of color from both the fight and the rights, she and Emma look at the state of white feminism today, and how it works to undermine, silence, and condescend to women of color while bolstering the savior complexes of white folks, and why the development of feminisms such as Black feminism and Islamic feminism serve to strengthen feminism and help it grow in strength and numbers. Emma also continues her coverage of Biden’s crumbling agenda as the bipartisan vote looms with Pelosi and Schumer backing all the way down to a “public declaration” on reconciliation from Manchin, after months of him double backing on his previous public statements.

And in the Fun Half: Brandon and Emma join Matt as he reflects on his debate with Michael Tracey and what his base gives away about him, while Hayden from Dallas brings his own perspective on Tracey’s chat, and they admire the CBS Original “United States of Al” as it carries Aaron Sorkin’s torch of “the white savior’s wet-dream” political programming. Dave Rubin and Mayor Bronson of Anchorage remind us of the true morals of the Holocaust, from Greta “Adolf” Thunberg the authoritarian threat to taking “never again” to heart when it comes to masks, Jack from Birmingham talks about the international spread of US radical right culture and polarization, and Candace Owens and Greg Gutfeld take on the left’s lack of compassion in wanting to house the houseless, plus, your calls and IMs!

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Past Episodes

It’s Casual Friday! Sam and Emma speak with Jeet Heer, national affairs correspondent for The Nation, to round up the week in news. First, they run through updates on the ICJ’s order to halt Israel’s invasion of Rafah (and Israel’s subsequent escalation), South Carolina’s congressional maps, ...
It’s an EmMajority Report Thursday! She speaks with Daniel J. Galvin, professor of political science at Northwestern University, to discuss his recent book Alt-Labor and the New Politics of Workers’ Rights. Then, she's joined by Richard Beck, senior writer at n+1 Magazine, to discuss his recent ...
It's Hump Day! Sam speaks with Sarah Jaffe, fellow at the Type Media Center  based in New Orleans, to discuss her recent piece for In These Times entitled “In Tough Loss, the High-Profile UAW Campaign at Mercedes-Benz in Alabama Falls Short.” Then, Sam checks in on some news stories he’s been ...