For Women’s History Month, Jezebel and The Root are partnering for JezeRoot, a series that focuses on women of color, domestic workers and sex workers.
The textbook definition of feminism is a movement or a set of ideas that champion equal rights for women. However, feminist activists over the last 50 years have struggled to make the definition more encompassing of a broader range of women’s struggles and inclusive of the growing description of what it means to be a woman.
If we’re being honest, feminism is supposed to be for everyone, but the way we’ve seen it displayed historically and in hashtags and marches, feminism supports white women. Susan B. Anthony had no intention of including women of color in the movement. She’s famously quoted as saying, “I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman.”
Women of color who are also activists are seeking to change this rigid and limiting display of feminism. Barbara Winslow, professor emerita at Brooklyn College in New York City and historian of women’s activism (and the founder and director emerita of the Shirley Chisholm Project), says: “Feminism has to be more than just equal rights. It has to be a movement that champions a society in which all are respected.”
With that said, The Root invited women and men of all backgrounds, races and orientations to our studio to share what feminism is to them and who they believe feminism is for. Check out the video above.