Feminist ABCs

Feminist ABC’s – Why? 

When you are new to (certain aspects of) feminism, it can be a bit overwhelming. There is a lot of jargon and it takes time to understand what everyone is saying. Words turn out to have different meanings then the dictionary definition and that can be confusing. How can you make sense of it all? Asking fellow feminists can be a good way to start.

However, for people from marginalized groups, it can be very tiring to get the same questions over and over again. Having to engage in the same discussions on a weekly or daily basis causes people to feel frustrated, angry and tired. It is not the responsibility of the oppressed to educate the privileged.
In an in-depth discussion, it can disrupt the conversation when a novice feminist asks about the basics, and annoy the more seasoned participants. So asking someone else is not always appreciated.

But no one was born an intersectional feminist, and it is implausible that anyone’s first words were ‘gender is a social construct’ or ‘reverse racism doesn’t exist’. Education is needed, it is indispensable. In the comments on our Facebook group we often see remarks like: ‘Educate yourself! Everyone has google!’ But if you are a novice, how can you discern the good websites from the bad? Recent research shows that artificial intelligence can be racist. Google’s answer box used to show that white people have a higher IQ than black people. And for every feminist blogpost, there is a Men’s Rights Association page that claims the opposite. A great article on education can be found here.

Therefore, we have decided to make a list of good articles. These can be used to educate yourself, or to share with someone who needs education. Do you see someone making ignorant remarks on Facebook or Twitter? Save someone else the trouble of explaining, and share an article from this list.

We’ve categorized the articles, and have put the categories in alphabetical order. We hope that this will be useful for you.

If you have any suggestions on good articles or if you are missing an important topic, please let us know!

List of topics

Here’s the alphabetical list of topics:

(click on a letter to jump down to the links)

General pages

A
Ableism
Abortion
Anarchism
Allyship
Anti-racism
Asexuality & Aromantic

B
Benevolent sexism

C
Colour blindness
Cultural appropriation
Capitalism
Consumerism

D
Diversity

F
Fat-shaming

G
Gender

H
Humor

I
Imperialist feminism
Intersectionality
Islam / Islamophobia / Islamic Feminism

M
Mansplaining
Media representation
Mentalism
Micro agressions
Mis-gendering
Misogynoir

P
Patriarchy
Post colonial feminism
Privilege
Pronouns

R
Reverse oppression
Relationships

S
Sex work(ers)
Sexual preference
Slut-shaming
Socialist Feminism

T
Tone policing
Trans inclusion

V
Veganism

W
White feminism
White privilege
Work

Z
Zwarte Piet

Articles

General

To start, a few links to articles/websites that are very broad and that can be read as a great general introduction to contemporary intersectional feminism.

Social Justice Wiki – contains definitions of a lot words and concepts
So you want to be an intersectional feminist?
A list of academic texts from a Feminist Thoughts course

A

Ableism
40 Alternatives to These Ableist and Oppressive Words
What is Ableism? (Wiki)
6 Ways Your Social Justice Activism Might Be Ableist
Why ableist language matters
What is ableist privilege? 

Abortion
Learn about abortion through the work of Women on Waves
Why abortion is a Human Right
The Intersectionality of Abortion
Why trans people belong in the fight for abortion rights

Anarchism
Anarcha-feminism explained
Anarchist view on intersectional feminism

Allyship
9 Phrases Allies Can Say When Called Out Instead of Getting Defensive
How to be an Ally in your LGBT-Community
10 things all ‘allies’ need to know
Allies do not exist

Anti-Blackness
The myths of monoracial privilege and the black/white binary

Anti-Racism
An introduction to the anti-racism movement for (white) newbies

Asexuality & Aromantic
Everything asexual and aromantic

B

Benevolent Sexism
Benevolent sexism has insidious consequences

C

Colour blindness (and why it is wrong)
The colour blindness doctrine

Cultural appropriation
Why Defending Your Cultural Appropriation is Dangerous
7 Myths about Cultural Appropriation debunked! (video)
Cultural appropriation vs assimilation
Who can wear hoop earrings? Cultural appropriation explained

Capitalism
5 ways capitalism destroys the modern feminist movement

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

Calling out/apologizing
how to apologize and how not to

D

Decolonisation:
The museum will not be decolonised

Diversity
Diversity is for white people: The big lie behind a well-intended word

F

Fat shaming / Thin shaming
the differences between fat shaming and thin shaming

G

Gender
Sex biology redefined: Genes don’t indicate binary sexes
Yes, Non-Binary People Experience Gender Dysphoria

H


Humor 
(How) can feminists use humor in battling misogyny?
Laughing against Patriarchy
Guerrilla Girls
What is feminist humor anyway?

I

Imperialist feminism
Imperialist feminism: a historical overview (video)
Imperialist feminism and liberalism

Intersectionality
Intersectionality and being an ally (p.7-11)
Intersectional Feminism and Pizza
Fighting the kyriachy
Muslim Americans Are United by Trump—and Divided by Race

Islamophobia
Islamophobia is racism syllabus
Why We Need to Educate About History – Not Religion – To Stop Islamophobia
Why the Idea That Islam Promotes Intolerance of the LGBTQIA+ Community Is a Lie

Islam
On Pluralism, Intolerance, and the Quran
Introduction to Islam (Harvard, pdf)
Islam and culture: Don’t mix them up

Islamic Feminism
Feminist critique and Islamic feminism: the question of intersectionality
Islamic Feminism
The Middle Eastern Feminist (FB page)

M

Mansplaining
Definition and history of the term

Media representation 
“How the media failed Women in 2013” (video)
Representation and sexualisation of women (of colour)
Representation of men in ads (video)

Mentalism
What is mentalism?

Migration:
Racism plays a key role in migrants’ exclusion and violations of rights in the European Union
Combating Discrimination against Migrants
15 years of fortress europe

Microaggressions
How microaggressions are like mosquito bites (video)
What microaggressions are and why there are damaging

Mis-gendering
Mis-gendering trans people is an act of violence (includes video)

Misogynoir
The experience of misogyny for Women of Colour

P

Patriarchy
Understanding patriarchy 

Post colonial feminism
Combating colonial rhetoric in feminist theory
Introduction and core thinkers of colonial feminism

Privilege
The privileges of being straight
The privileges of being cis-gendered
Own, apologize, and repair: on becoming aware of your privilege

(see also: white privilege)

Pronouns
Why Asking Someone What Gender Pronoun They Use Is So Important
what you’re actually saying when you ignore someones gender pronouns
This Is Why Pronouns Matter for Trans People (video)
All About PRONOUNS! (video)

R

Reverse Oppression
Reverse Racism -Aamer Rahman (video)
Reverse oppression can not exist
7 reasons why reverse racism doesn’t exist.

(critical) race theory:
introduction to critical race theory(reading material from brown uni.)

Relationships (& dating)
To Raise A Feminist Son, Talk To Him About Aziz Ansari
Men aren’t entitled to women’s time or affection. But it’s a hard lesson to learn
dating while disabled
The Dangers Of Dating Faux-Feminist Men
The ethical slut chap 2-3
What is polyamory/non-monogamy? (video)
Comics on non-monogamy options
Sexual Racism (video)
White fetish (video)
Experiences growing up with polyamorous parents

S

Sexuality & experience
The female price of male pleasure (Cw for cissexism)

Sexual violence:
What does Hollywood’s reverence for child rapist Roman Polanski tell us?
understanding sexual violence against bisexual women
What Experts Know About Men Who Rape

Sex work(ers)
Female homicide rate dropped after Craigslist launched its erotic services platform
On decriminalisation of sex work, and how this is a feminist issue
A sex worker explains why sex work shouldn’t be illegal
myths about sex workers dispelled

Sexual identity
The invention of the heterosexual 
Sexual desire is a social construct

Slut-shaming
What is slut-shaming?

Socialist Feminism
What is Socialist Feminism?
Socialist Feminism—Definition and Comparisons

T

Tone policing
Commenting on the ‘tone of the discussion’ is a form of oppression.

Transinclusion / Transphobia
How to make the world transfriendlier 

V

Veganism 
5 reasons  why animal rights are a feminist issue
3 reasons black folks don’t join the animal rights movement
Veganism has a serious race problem
Why judging people for buying unhealthy food is classist 

W

White Feminism
the savior trope and the modern meaning of whiteness
 what White Feminism means 
‘I didn’t know that was racist!’ (video)
4 ways to navigate your whiteness in being a feminist
comic about white feminism
On the Women’s March and why the word ‘unity’ is being misused
Calling out feminists on their white feminism


White Privilege
White identities by Barnor Hesse, in an article by Gillian Schutte
Polite white supremacy

Work
The importance of diversity in the workplace

Wit vs ‘blank’
‘Waarom de witte mens niet blank is’

Z

Zwarte Piet (/Black Pete)
Some background on Zwarte Piet and Sinterklaas can be found in the following links 
Sinterklaas, Wikipedia
Zwarte Piet, Wikipedia
Sinterklaas, explained by the municipality of Amsterdam

Blog posts and news articles on Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
Zwarte Piet: They are not black, the come through a chimney! – Simon Woolcot, October, 2013
Dutch debate on Zwarte Piet: Recap of major developments – Benjamin Garstka, I Am Expat, November 2014
Is Black Pete Racism? – The Economist, November 2013
Black Pete is just a bit of fun for the Netherlands, right? Wrong. – Samira bin Sharifu, The Guardian, August 2014
Change offensive Black Pete figure, says Dutch Children’s advocate. Toby Sterling, Reuters, September 2016
Interview with Shantrelle P. Lewis – Flyoverfeminism.com, February, 2013

Academic articles on Zwarte Piet, discussing the tradition and what role race plays in it.
Black Pete: Analyzing a Racialized Dutch Tradition Through the History of Western Creations of Stereotypes of Black Peoples.
– Izalina Travares, Humanity in Action, 2004
United Nations on Zwarte Piet – United Nations, January 2013

Not in a reading mood? Check out this CNN-film.