Although Jessica Valenti’s book is about feminism – and when it’s published I’m sure it will spark an interesting debate – the only thing we have to go on so far is the cover. And the cover Valenti and her publishers chose was one that raised various concerns among some feminist bloggers.
As I mentioned in the post, some of these concerns had to do with the use of a naked, conventional female torso, arguably perpetuating our culture’s body fascism. But others suggested that having a white woman on the cover suggested that feminism is for white women.
Feminism has a historical problem with engaging with non-white women. And in my experience, it is still an issue – for example, most feminist meetings I’ve been to have been mostly attended by white women. In that context, Valenti’s choice of cover seemed to me to be damaging in terms of the feminist community’s continued failure to deal with this problem, and so worth calling attention to.
While the sexism of this world is a big problem, it is not the only problem. When some of those other problems – such as race issues – directly affect the feminist community, I think it’s worth commenting on. I for one am not interested in a world where we eradicate sexism but let racism thrive, or where feminism is ok with shutting out non-white women.
Hope that explains my post a bit more!
Catherine, editor of The F-Word, replies
Most of this doesn’t deserve a response, but I wanted to point out that contrary to what Richard “I am the expert on feminists” Ford suggests, nowhere on this site does anyone claim that “all men are rapists”. Now, I must get back to my unhappy, unhealthy life and ask my boyfriend to pay for all my meals, as I am such a hypocrite after all. Gosh, Richard, you really got me figured out!