Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Op-Ed: Capitalism has embraced feminist iconography at a huge cost - THINK PROGRESS

by Cameron Glover
Originally published: May 29, 2017
Publisher: ThinkProgress.org

On a recent trip to the mall, I found myself surrounded by a variety of products that seemed to cater to feminism. “Girl Power” t-shirts, pink cat-earred beanies that were made to emulate the now-notorious “pink p*ssy” hats of the Women’s March in January, and other forms of clothing and accessories that loudly proclaimed “femme,” “womanhood,” or “girl” to the world.

Seeing these blatantly feminist products gave me a sense of pride at first. As a Black feminist, I had hope that the visibility of feminism in mainstream merchandise would create some much-needed momentum to the movement, particularly for causes that centered on marginalized communities. But as time went on, and the popularity of feminist-labeled items grew in fashion and consumerism as a whole, I began to wonder what role capitalism would play for the movement.

The momentum of the Women’s March has cooled, leaving behind more questions than answers. For many of us, the Women’s March and other mainstream feminist actions have risen the question of who is allowed to be involved — cis, able-bodied, white womanhood is still centered above all others and has the most social capital. And these are the same people who gain the most by allowing capitalism to enter feminism.