Why being a woman of colour is exhausting

Source: Emma Holmes, “What Is Intersectional Feminism?,” Naked Truths, January 31, 2019.
  • Yes, you are right, you are trying and perhaps I haven’t been appreciative of this. Other boyfriends in the past had either chosen to outright dismiss the idea or if they did in theory agree, continued to spout sexist rhetoric. So that does make you better. And at least, more sincere.
  • Additionally, it is hard not to feel attacked when you are made to question your privilege, particularly as it regards your relationship with your romantic partner. It’s easy to feel as if someone is criticising you for something you never asked for. So frustration is, perhaps, natural. Maybe I should appreciate the fact that you have broken through this wall and have even gone so far as to ask your female friends if they feel that gender plays a role in their relationships and therefore ascertain just how pervasive this issue is.
  • It isn’t fair that I have to be appreciative. Appreciative of what? Of the fact that you have taken your privilege for granted and no one up to this point has challenged you on that? Do you think you deserve a medal because you’re ‘trying to’, for a day, take into consideration a perspective far removed from your own?
  • Everything is biased, it is simply biased to the white male gaze. The reason you don’t see it is because that gaze puts you in the centre and everyone else on the periphery. To understand my perspective, twice removed from yours, is to re-evaluate your lens. That requires an acknowledgement that your bias already exists.
  • Your ‘interest’ in the subject matter is at best irrelevant and at worst further proof of your privilege. To pass as a woman for a day is to live and know patriarchy. Feminism isn’t a dalliance, it is a refusal to accept the lesser circumstances of our existence, a commitment to unapologetically place our own lives centre-stage. ‘Interest’ does not come into the matter.



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Neha Doshi

Neha Doshi

PhD candidate in Race, Podcasting and Social Media. Associate lecturer in sociology. Irritating know-it-all.