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Publisher's Summary

A radically inclusive, intersectional, and transnational approach to the fight for women’s rights.

Upper-middle-class White women have long been heralded as “experts” on feminism. They have presided over multinational feminist organizations and written much of what we consider the feminist canon, espousing sexual liberation and satisfaction, LGBTQ inclusion, and racial solidarity, all while branding the language of the movement itself in whiteness and speaking over Black and Brown women in an effort to uphold privilege and perceived cultural superiority. An American Muslim woman, attorney, and political philosopher, Rafia Zakaria champions a reconstruction of feminism in Against White Feminism, centering women of color in this transformative overview and counter-manifesto to White feminism’s global, long-standing affinity with colonial, patriarchal, and white supremacist ideals.

Covering such ground as the legacy of the British feminist imperialist savior complex and “the colonial thesis that all reform comes from the West” to the condescension of the White-feminist-led “aid industrial complex” and the conflation of sexual liberation as the “sum total of empowerment", Zakaria follows in the tradition of intersectional feminist forebears Kimberlé Crenshaw, Adrienne Rich, and Audre Lorde. Zakaria ultimately refutes and reimagines the apolitical aspirations of White feminist empowerment in this staggering, radical critique, with Black and Brown feminist thought at the forefront.

©2021 Rafia Zakaria (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Rafia Zakaria’s Against White Feminism is the book I have been waiting for. This landmark work will forever change how we view the feminist movement and our place in it." (Sonia Faleiro, author of Beautiful Thing)

"Zakaria’s Against White Feminism is a brilliant, bracing, and deeply necessary text. Showing how feminism had systematically centered white women’s voices, and excluded others’, this is a polemic that couldn’t be more urgent in improving feminism as a movement." (Kate Manne, author of Down Girl

"This necessary book is a critique of how whiteness (not white women) has infiltrated feminism and how it should be razor-bladed out of the current form.... Zakaria is a warmhearted and sharp-eyed writer who brings compassion, intelligence, and a steady drumbeat of change to redefining term—feminism—a word that is old and soggy and full of white ladies yelling about things. This book is going to light fires everywhere, so if you are prone to combust, get right the hell out of the way." (Kerri Arsenault, Literary Hub

What listeners say about Against White Feminism

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  • 05-28-22

What a rollercoaster. A must read

My fellow white women,

I have a confession to make: it took me months to get through this, because I saw myself described in it and I didn’t feel good about that. And I noticed that and picked this back up intentionally to face that discomfort and am glad I did. I see myself, and I don’t like it. And-there can be absolutely no equity without facing what is reality.

I found as I continued on, my own white feminist life flashing before my eyes. Then, some comfort. If you are of a certain age and grew up disappointed in the white feminist toxicity of “Sex and the City” and felt despair at the “leaning in” of pink pussy hats, then you will be comforted by the fact that you are not alone. You’re just in a white feminist bubble. Sad.

This book should be required reading for every American. Especially right now. *Gestures broadly*. We aren’t going to stop fascism with pink pussy hats.

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  • 09-12-21

We need more of this

Loved her no BS style, straight forward head to head comparisons & calling out hypocrisy!
Thanks for voicing out all the things I have wanted to scream since unwillingly embarking on my feminist journey!
I will sure relisten! I binged it all in one shot! It had a really nice balance that it didn't shy away from the atrocities committed against WOC, without leaving me feeling too triggered & exhausted, like other books in the genre. It even left me on a hopeful note

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Amazing!

This book was incredibly informative. Rafia Zakaria breaks down very important issues with white feminism while also presenting ways in which we can move towards a more intersectional approach within every area of feminism. I was taking notes the entire time. I finished it in under a week. This book taught me so much that I wanted to listen to it again as soon as I finished it.

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A View into What We Endure for the Sake of “Sisterhood”

This book is right on time and I recommended it to all my friends! I listened to it says after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, when every news network ran a piece about hijab and the loss of women’s freedoms in Afghanistan, while simultaneously ignoring the threat to Muslim women’s freedoms posed by hijab bans in Europe. Rafia Zakaria’s explanation of how feminism in the service of nationalism and white supremacy only works to buttress well-worn systems of oppression. With every chapter of this book, she explained the everyday slights, microaggressions, condescensions, and betrayals to feminist sisterhood women of color face at interpersonal and systemic levels.