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Hood Feminism
Cover of Hood Feminism
Hood Feminism
Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “One of the most important books of the current moment.”—Time   “A rousing call to action... It should be required reading for...
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “One of the most important books of the current moment.”—Time   “A rousing call to action... It should be required reading for...
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  • A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
    “One of the most important books of the current moment.”—Time

     
    “A rousing call to action... It should be required reading for everyone.”—Gabrielle Union, author of We’re Going to Need More Wine
     
    “A brutally candid and unobstructed portrait of mainstream white feminism.” —Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist

    A potent and electrifying critique of today’s feminist movement announcing a fresh new voice in black feminism

    Today's feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. That feminists refuse to prioritize these issues has only exacerbated the age-old problem of both internecine discord and women who rebuff at carrying the title. Moreover, prominent white feminists broadly suffer from their own myopia with regard to how things like race, class, sexual orientation, and ability intersect with gender. How can we stand in solidarity as a movement, Kendall asks, when there is the distinct likelihood that some women are oppressing others?
    In her searing collection of essays, Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement, arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women. Drawing on her own experiences with hunger, violence, and hypersexualization, along with incisive commentary on politics, pop culture, the stigma of mental health, and more, Hood Feminism delivers an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux. An unforgettable debut, Kendall has written a ferocious clarion call to all would-be feminists to live out the true mandate of the movement in thought and in deed.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover Solidarity Is Still for White Women

    As debates over last names, body hair, and the best way to be a CEO have taken center stage in the discourse surrounding modern feminism, it's not difficult to see why some would be questioning the legitimacy of a women's movement that serves only the narrow interests of middle- and upper-class white women. While the problems facing marginalized women have only increased in intensity, somehow food insecurity, education, and health care-beyond the most basic of reproductive needs-are rarely touted as feminist issues. It is past time to make the conversation a nuanced, inclusive, and intersectional one that reflects the concerns of all women, not just a privileged few.



    In 2013, when I started #solidarityisforwhitewomen, by which I meant mainstream feminist calls for solidarity centered on not only the concerns but the comfort of white middle-class women at the expense of other women, many white feminists claimed it was divisive and called it infighting, instead of recognizing that the problem was real and could not solve itself. They argued that the way to fix feminism wasn't by airing its proverbial dirty laundry in public. Yet, since its inception, mainstream feminism has been insisting that some women have to wait longer for equality, that once one group (usually white women) achieves equality then that opens the way for all other women. But when it comes right down to it, mainstream white feminism often fails to show up for women of color. While white feminism can lean in, can prioritize the CEO level at work, it fails to show up when Black women are not being hired because of their names or fired for hairstyles. It's silent when schools discriminate against girls of color. Whether it is the centering of white women even when women of color are most likely to be at risk, or the complete erasure of issues most likely to impact those who are not white, white feminism tends to forget that a movement that claims to be for all women has to engage with the obstacles women who are not white face.



    Trans women are often derided or erased, while prominent feminist voices parrot the words of conservative bigots, framing womanhood as biological and determined at birth instead of as a fluid and often arbitrary social construct. Trans women of color, who are among the most likely targets of violence, see statistics that reflect their reality co-opted to bolster the idea that all women are facing the same level of danger. Yet support from mainstream white feminists for the issues that directly impact trans women has been at best minimal, and often nonexistent. From things as basic as access to public bathrooms to job protection, there's a dearth of mainstream white feminist voices speaking out against trans-exclusionary policies and laws. A one-size-fits-all approach to feminism is damaging, because it alienates the very people it is supposed to serve, without ever managing to support them. For women of color, the expectation that we prioritize gender over race, that we treat the patriarchy as something that gives all men the same power, leaves many of us feeling isolated.



    When the obstacles you face vary by race and class, then so too do your priorities. After all, for women who are struggling to keep themselves housed, fed, and clothed, it's not a question of working hard enough. They are leaning in, but not in search of equal pay or "having it all"; their quest for equal pay starts with equal access to education and opportunity. They need feminism to recognize that everything that affects women is a feminist issue, whether it be food insecurity or access to transit, schools, or a living wage. Does...

About the Author-

  • Mikki Kendall is a New York Times bestselling writer, speaker, and blogger whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, TIME, Salon, Ebony, Essence, and elsewhere. An accomplished public speaker, she has discussed race, feminism, violence in Chicago, tech, pop culture, and social media on The Daily Show, MSNBC, NPR, Al Jazeera's The Listening Post, BBC's Women's Hour, and Huffington Post Live, as well as at universities across the country. In 2017, she was awarded Best Food Essay from the Association of Food Journalists for her essay on hot sauce, Jim Crow, and Beyoncé. She is also the author of Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight for Their Rights and a co-editor of the Locus-nominated anthology Hidden Youth, as well as a part of the Hugo-nominated team of editors at Fireside Magazine. A veteran, she lives in Chicago with her family.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Mikki Kendall is a sober-voiced author turned narrator who brings us a discussion of the dilemmas facing contemporary feminism. She convincingly presents the limitations of the Women's Movement, which has historically focused on the needs of upper-middle-class white women. Kendall is passionate about her topic, both from her lived experience as well as her research. Her confident approach unflinchingly tackles meaty issues like socioeconomic need, violence, and stereotypes. Listeners who are interested in gender studies will have a lot to consider in these chapters. For others, particularly anyone who might be considering the interchange of race, class, and sexuality for the first time, the material may be sensitive. Kendall adamantly exhorts us to confront these issues head-on. M.R. � AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine

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Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot
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