Feminist issues are not and never will be “one size fits all”. What is important to the masses cannot be defined by the few of a common identity; the current hegemony of white feminists leading the movement has resulted in a cause solely concentrated on the challenges they find pressing. Minority feminist groups have contributed to the progression of feminism (specifically the Second Wave in the 70’s being the most notable), but often go undocumented for building a premise of racially tolerant political action groups.
The phase “multiracial feminism” is defined as feminism based on the examination of dominance through understanding social constructs of race, ethnicity, tradition, and culture. Moreover, each person experiences gender, class, sexuality, and race unique to their environment. The ultimate goal for the new generation of multiracial feminists is to increase awareness of commonalities and differences women of all races experience.
Furthermore, multiracial feminists must work to heighten the significance of comparative cross-culture studies of the aforementioned. Issues with gender equality are relative to the environment of the oppressed. For example, an African-American woman faces a completely different set of challenges than an Asian-American woman; while both women’s fears are equal in significance to the progression toward equality, our movement fails to acknowledge the diversity of hardships and their necessity for flexible, viable solutions.
The opposition argues that feminism is exclusive to women’s issues; race does not play a role in a feminist’s conquest for equality and, in turn, is completely unrelated to the cause at hand. However, racial issues become integrated unintentionally due to the diversity of conflict feminists face within their respective communities.
As a young Iranian-American woman, the adversity I face in my attempts to level the field with my older, male peers is relative to my culture’s perception of inherit respect. Since the Iranian culture treats women as second-class citizens, the uphill battle for equal opportunity is daunting. Comparing all minority groups, the way patriarchy is practiced varies from culture to culture. The movement will benefit in having a well-rounded purpose connecting all feminists when we can identify the importance of heterogenity of struggle of racism and sexism, rather than allowing the few to represent the many.