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Hood Feminism Review

Updated: Jan 6, 2021

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall

Too often, feminists think they are speaking for all women but ignore the issues that don’t affect the white middle class.


Social justice, memoir


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?


This book is short but important. It’s a wonderful overview of the importance of intersectionality and a critique of white feminism. The author shows how current feminist goals focus on the middle and upper classes, rather than the needs of the most vulnerable women. Poverty isn’t seen as a feminist issue, despite it severely impacting many women and leaving them vulnerable to violence.

Mainstream feminism doesn’t focus on fighting poverty, or the prison system, or any other lower class problems. These are viewed as separate issues from women’s rights, as if Black, poor, trans, queer, and other marginalized women aren’t the priority or even truly a part of feminism’s “all women.”

Most white feminists don’t mean to be this way, but their narrow worldview has dire consequences for the women left behind by feminism. This book presents a new view of feminism as intersectional, and calls for feminists to place greater emphasis on the needs of women most at risk in society.

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