By Monique Steele
Not many of us at 13 years old would have had the maturity or the poise to handle responding to a tough question like, “What defines white feminism?” But then again, not many of us are Rowan Blanchard.
Fans of the young actress might know her from the Disney Channel original series "Girl Meets World," where she plays a young Riley Matthews, a girl going through the “coming-of-age” part of her pre-teen years. But in a recent question posed to her on social media this past Friday (August 21), Rowan proved to be every bit of impressive, intelligent and eloquent on issues of intersectionality in feminism.
Blanchard posted her three-part response to the question on Instagram.
“With as many issues as feminists have succeeded in adopting, many of us seem to have not accepted the fact that police brutality and race issues are our issues too.” she explains.
She continues on, explaining that “white feminism forgets all about intersectional feminism. The way a black woman experiences sexism and inequality is different from how a white woman experiences inequality.”
The Disney star goes on to acknowledge the wage gaps felt by women of differing races and also the mistreatment of trans women and trans youth stating, “While white women are making 78 cents to the dollar, Native American women are making 65 cents, black women are making 64 cents, and Hispanic women are making 64 cents...it is SO important to protect trans women and trans youth as they are incredibly at risk when it comes to sexual assault and hate crimes.”
Needless to say, her response has been overwhelmingly insightful and knowledgeable a fact that is helped on by Rowan’s own desire to “make sure (her) own personal feminism includes everyone” which, she continues, means “educating (herself) and discussing these topics.”
We could all take a page from Rowan's book and try to do as she does and not “only acknowledge feminism from a one-sided view.” At 13 Rowan has already discovered and grasped a great deal of the issues feminism is trying to promote and with her sharing of this view on social media we now all have a brilliant reminder that “discussion leads to change.”