1st Edition

Feminists Talk Whiteness

Edited By Leigh-Anne Francis, Janet Gray Copyright 2025
    372 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    372 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Feminists Talk Whiteness offers a multidimensional introduction to whiteness as an ideology and a system of institutional practices, exploring how and why whiteness is a feminist issue.

    Readers will gain insights and strategies for action from the chapters and poems, which approach whiteness through multiple perspectives and disciplinary approaches. The contents are organized into sections on history, theory and self-reflection, and antiracist praxis. Each section includes suggested questions for writing or discussion, as well as varied activities—from quick research to community action.

    Feminists Talk Whiteness is for college students, community groups, and book clubs studying whiteness and antiracism. It will work well as a main or companion text in courses in Women’s, Gender, and Feminist Studies, as well as other courses across the humanities and social sciences.





    Part I. Histories and Counterstories

    Introduction: Women, Feminism, and Whiteness: Histories


    Chapter 1 Strategic white womanhood: Challenging white feminist perceptions of “Karen”

    Ruby Hamad


    Chapter 2 White Women’s Participation in the Attempted Genocide of Native American Peoples

    Karla J. Strand


    Chapter 3 White women as white supremacist political actors: From the suffragists to the Karens

    Christina Cavener


    Chapter 4 “The good, the bad, and the indifferent”: The political pedagogy of Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

    Leslie K. Dunlap


    Chapter 5 The unbearable whiteness of lesbian studies

    Stephanie Andrea Allen


    Chapter 6 bell hooks: Black indigeneity, ancestral memory, and lessons on resistance

    Reanae McNeal


    La sangre llama

    Denise Zubizarreta 


    Questions, Activities, and Resources


    Part II. Theory and self-reflection

    Introduction: Building critical consciousness


    Chapter 7 On white privilege and anesthesia: Why does Peggy McIntosh’s knapsack feel weightless?

    Alison Bailey


    Chapter 8 Fear, loathing, and las whiteness: Whiteness as fearfulness

    Andrea Warmack


    Chapter 9 Academic survival: Troubling the tensions between race, gender, and class in a predominantly white academic institution

    Carolyn Tinglin


    Chapter 10 Colorism in the Latina community: The internalization of racialized sexism

    Melissa K. Ochoa


    Chapter 11 Feminists talk whiteness: Disrupting the grip of white supremacy culture on feminist movement building

    Ann Russo


    Chapter 12 Beyond choice: A dialogue on the whiteness of liberal feminism and reimagining freedom beyond individual choice

    Houda Ali and Britt Munro


    Amazing Grace (for the children of John Newton)

    Liseli A. Fitzpatrick


    My Body is a River

    Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez


    What chou mean we, white girl, revisited

    Becky Thompson


    Questions, Activities, and Resources


    Part III. Feminist antiracism praxis

    Introduction: Resisting hiteness


    Chapter 13 From performing equity to loving equity: Combating whiteness in emerging allyship movements

    Meena Mangat


    Chapter 14 The ally’s tools: Racialized power and privilege within antiracist praxis

    Samantha L. Vandermeade


    Chapter 15 Whiteness and indigeneity: Feminism as a settler colonial discourse

    Ruth Alminas and Cory Pillen


    Chapter 16 Teaching transgender studies: Experiential knowledge and race

    Dana Ahern


    Chapter 17 Shame work: Reducing supremacy and the violence of white men

    Cameron Rasmussen


    Chapter 18 Like, share, tweet: Antiracist cyberactivism vs. performative slacktivism

    Sara Blanchard and Misasha Suzuki Graham


    Chapter 19 Making mistakes: A conversation  

    Peggy Diggs and Lucy R. Lippard


    and i am sorry

    Anais Peterson


    White me: A check list

    Ivy T. Schweitzer



    Becky Thompson


    Questions, Activities and Resources




    Leigh-Anne Francis is a Black queer associate professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and African American Studies at The College of New Jersey. Her publications examine Black women and the carceral state, queer and trans people of color, and the continuum of subaltern resistive strategies in US history.

    Janet Gray is a white professor emerita of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The College of New Jersey. She has published on whiteness in nineteenth-century American women’s poetry and on the convergences of feminist, peace, and environmental studies.