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Innocent Subjects

Innocent Subjects

Feminism and Whiteness

Terese Jonsson




(with free eBook)







A cutting analysis of the racist structures of mainstream feminism.

In a time of intensified global white supremacist and patriarchal violence, anti-racist feminist movements and analyses have never been more vital. Women of colour are at the forefront of such struggles worldwide - but are white feminists really by their side?

Despite a rich history of black critique of racist and imperial feminist politics, racism still exists within contemporary British feminist movements. To explain why, Terese Jonsson examines the history of feminism over the last forty years. She argues that black British feminism's central role in shaping the movement has been marginalised through narratives which repeatedly position white women at the centre of the story, from the women's liberation movement in the 1960s to today.

Analysing the ways in which whiteness continues to pervade both academic and popular feminist literature, as well as feminist debates in the liberal media, Jonsson demonstrates that, despite an increased attention to race, intersectionality and difference, stories told by white feminists are shaped by their desire to maintain an 'innocent' position towards racism.

Terese Jonsson is a member of the editorial collective of Feminist Review. She is the author of Innocent Subjects: Feminism and Whiteness (Pluto, 2019).

'This book shows how and why the erasure of race from key accounts of feminism presents a problem for current and future forms of solidarity among women... a valuable account' - Vron Ware, author of 'Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism and History'

1. 'That Old Chestnut': Feminism and Racism
2. British Feminisms in the Aftermath of Empire
3. Leaving Feminist Whiteness Behind: Narratives of Transcendence in the Era of Difference
4. Inevitable Whiteness? Absolving White Feminist Dominance
5. Liberal Whiteness and the 'New' Feminism
6. Feminist Complicities
Published by Pluto Press in May 2020
Paperback ISBN: 9780745337500
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745337517
eBook ISBN: 9781786803436

240 pages

135mm x 215mm