White Feminism Is Killing the Arrowverse


White feminism: a form of feminism that focuses primarily on the struggles of white women while ignoring the struggles of women of colour and/or women who do not have the same privileges as straight, able-bodied white women. Defining empowerment in terms of western ideals, especially those which empower white women, as opposed to minority women all over the world. The class that Lena Dunham teaches in her spare time.

Not white feminism: feminism practiced by a person who is Caucasian.

Ah, white feminism, the plague of minority women everywhere.

Susan B. Anthony was a pioneer in women’s suffrage, and a leading abolitionist. She was also a white feminist.

White feminism has been the phrase on everyone’s tongue for a couple of years, manifesting in discussions of everything from Emma Watson to pink pussy hats. However, while the rise of social media has made it appear more prominent, it’s not a new concept. White feminism has been a thing since Susan B. Anthony refused to campaign for Black, Asian, and Native American women to get the vote alongside white women. But it isn’t limited to race. White feminism is also about sexuality, class, physical and mental disabilities, religion, and wealth. White feminism has been working against minority women for centuries. And it is killing the Arrowverse.

The Arrowverse’s problems with writing women have been well-documented, but once you study the minority women, it becomes all the more troubling. Even though it prides itself on its diversity, the Arrowverse, enjoyable as it is, is suffering from white feminism, which can be broken down into three categories:

  • Type I – Who Run the World? Not All the Girls – minority women aren’t cast, are ignored when they are, or they’re whitewashed/changed.
  • Type II – R.E.S.P.E.C.T., Find Out How to Write For Me – minority women and stories that involve them are grossly disrespected.
  • Type III – White Knights For White Girls – white women are coddled while women of colour are not.

This article will go through Supergirl, Arrow, and The Flash, breaking down how their writing choices

Each of the shows discussed have their own problems with white feminism.

fail minority women, before talking about why and how the Arrowverse should seek treatment for this problem.

N.B – while Legends of Tomorrow has problems of their own, the treatment of their minority women is not in the same category as the other three. And frankly, it was hard enough getting these three in with a word count that wouldn’t make my editor want to cry.

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