You may recognize Rowan Blanchard's face if you've ever seen the Disney show (and series sequel) Girl Meets World, where Blanchard stars as the daughter of Cory and Topanga Matthews of Boy Meets World. But she's making another name for herself as not just as actress, but a women's advocate.
And she's only 13.
She's Instagrammed her support for feminist initiatives before, but two days ago she unleashed a whole load of feminist *mic drop* knowledge as part of an answer to a Tumblr question someone asked her.
They wanted to know her opinion on "white feminism," which has come into the limelight lately due to police brutality involving women of color, the rise of transgender conversation, as well as the short but epic feud between Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj.
In short, "white feminism" is feminism that fails to acknowledge the struggles of non-cis, white, straight women simply because those other issues aren't in their purview.
Blanchard addressed all that and then some in three badass Instagram posts:
First, she explains what the term means.
"Hi! This is such an important thing to be discussing. I have made a very big point at making sure my personal feminism includes everyone- and educating myself and discussing these topics have really helped.
Issues that are commonly thought of as feminist issues include sexual assault, rape, abortion, Planned Parenthood, domestic violence, equal education, and the wage gap.
Feminists have also adopted marriage equality and gay/lesbian rights as their issue which is wonderful.However, with as many issues as feminists have succeeded in adopting, many of us seem to have not accepted the fact that police brutality and race issues are our issues too."
Then she drops some truth bombs about how easily it is to be a "white feminist."
"White feminism" forgets all about intersectional feminism. The way a black woman experiences sexism and inequality is different from the way a white woman experiences sexism and inequality. Likewise with trans-women and Hispanic women. While white women are making 78 cents to the dollar, Native American women are making 65 cents, black women are making 64 cents, and Hispanic women are making 54 cents. Kimberlé Crenshaw said it perfectly in 1989 when she said "The view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society. Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, and ethnicity." This includes trans women especially, who have been robbed of their souls when they are told they are not "real women" It is SO important to protect trans women and trans youth as they are incredibly at risk when it comes to sexual assault and hate crimes. People also seem to forget that black women are victims of police violence too- from Sandra Bland to India Clarke- a trans woman who was beaten to death in Florida just a month ago.
Then she asks for a call to action.
The fact that when Amandla Stenberg wrote this beautiful and truthful piecehttp://instagram.com/p/5D-u1Vm1c8/ she was automatically labeled the "angry black girl" says enough. We are so quick to applaud white women for commenting on race issues/discussions like #BlackLivesMatter, and #SayHerName, but when a black girl comments on it- she is told she is overreacting or being angry.Comments like the ones you mentioned in your question drive me insane. I have personally seen men get called gay/ f**/ pu*** for wearing anything even remotely feminine. Gay is simply not an insult. Also, let's not forget that black men cannot wear hoods without being stereotyped as thugs.To only acknowledge feminism from a one sided view when the literal DEFINITION is the equality of the sexes is not feminism at all. We need to be talking about this more. Discussion leads to change. Xo, Row
Everyone makes mistakes, but Blanchard showed that a little knowledge can go a long way. Women of color and transgender women have been saying this for years (another problem of white feminism), but it's nice to see someone stand up for them in the public eye.
She even got praise from feminist advocate and actress Emma Watson.
Amazing work, Rowan.