Koa Beck, writer and former editor-in-chief of Jezebel, examines the history of feminism, from the true mission of the suffragettes to the rise of corporate feminism. She also examines overlooked communities—including Native American, Muslim, transgender, and more—and their difficult and ongoing struggles for social change. She blends pop culture, primary historical research, and first-hand storytelling to show us how we have shut women out of the movement, and what we can do to course correct for a new generation.
A former editor at Jezebel, Vogue, and Marie-claire.com, Beck illuminates how prejudice and elitism suffuse mainstream feminist thinking ... As a biracial and queer woman, Beck knows what it means to be excluded from this narrative. But because she’s 'light skinned and very conventionally feminine' — and often mistaken for white and straight — she has also experienced its privileges. Her status as both an outsider and insider to white feminism’s default identity gives her a prime vantage point from which to critique its mechanisms ... What’s 'feminist about oppressing other women within the shadow of slavery so you can have a corner office and be profiled in The Cut?' Beck rightly asks. Beck artfully traces how these contradictions have been baked into the feminist movement from its beginnings ... Beck is a perceptive cultural critic, but even more importantly, she’s a visionary. Her book ends with a rousing blueprint for a more inclusive 'new era of feminism' ... powerful and inspiring.
Beck names and identifies white feminism in the hope of replacing it with a 'more holistic, ambitious approach to inequality.' Beck’s book teems with examples of how white feminism has always been an exclusive club ... A section on the COVID-19 era brings into sharp relief the failings of white feminism, as poor and minority women have disproportionately suffered ... A former editor in chief of Jezebel and executive editor at Vogue, Beck interweaves tales of how white feminism would rear its head while working on the front lines of women’s media ... The project of extensively defining white feminism suggests the book’s audience is primarily white feminists; these are truths people of color, queer women and nonbinary people know from their experiences and histories. The book spends less time on solutions, but here, the author lands on the places white feminism overlooks.
Just in time for the hundredth anniversary of white women’s suffrage comes this masterful outlining of the progress and flaws of the feminist movement. Journalist, critic, and fiction writer Beck skillfully challenges the centralizing of white feminism ... Beck’s clearly laid-out examination and interrogation of white feminism will change the way readers think on a daily level. This new history is a timely call to action, and earns its place as required reading for anyone who claims to care about the future of feminism.