Her Name is White Feminism And She is Your Toxic Friend

by Alexia Komada-John

She got too drunk at your mutual friends birthday party and screamed at the DJ because, “How could they play THAT song!”
She complains that everyone falls in love with her.
She borrows your clothes, steals your food, and adopts your favorite restaurants, without asking you, telling you, or giving you credit.

This is White Feminism, she is self absorbed, emotionally fragile, and reckless with your feelings. She is your toxic friend.

She has a “complicated” relationship with her father, but he keeps her well connected through his fellow union members, fraternity brothers, camp buddies or bosses who’ve “just seen something in him.” He brags about how he pulled himself up by his bootstraps. She complains loudly about people who get “handouts” or “unearned” advantages.

She doesn't have any old friends; they have all betrayed her in some way or another.

When she begins dating a new boy (because white feminism is not intersectional, she is cis-gendered, straight, ableist, and believes she transcends class) she disappears from her life and yours.
She never asks you questions; conversations with her are about her.

She makes comments about how much she hates drama but she just can’t seem to escape it.

She projects her priorities, experiences, and opinions onto you.

She cancels on you at the last minute all the time but makes snide comments all night if you’re fifteen minutes late.

She breaks your dishes, shrank your shirt in the dryer, and lost your favorite sunglasses. She giggles and calls it clumsy but she’s careful with her own things.

She keeps an emotional scorecard in all relationships and she makes you feel guilty about asking her for favors.

She has mysterious injuries and emotional wounds that conveniently present themselves at big moments in other people's lives.

She puts picture of you on Facebook where you look terrible but pictures of her must be screened for pimples, fat arms, frizzy hair, bad angles, and no make up.

She always assumes the hot person is flirting with her, and if they ask you out, she crashes your date.

She doesn't clean up after herself, she leaves physical and emotional messes behind for someone else to deal with.

You feel bad about yourself when she's around; she makes you feel invisible.

And when you confront her about how she has hurt you, belittled your feelings, and upstaged you at key moments, she feels attacked, and becomes consumed by her own hurt feelings.

She is manipulative and always finds a way to be the victim, so when arguments with her end you feel unsettled but lucky that she’s not mad at you.

Ultimately disagreements with her leave you feeling angry, confused, and like a bad friend; but it’s not you. It’s White feminism.

White feminism has lived a life of privilege and rather than fostering gratitude and confidence, it allowed her grow into a self centered and immature adult.
She made a scene when you took her to your parent’s anniversary dinner.
She makes fun of you behind your back.
She left you stranded on your birthday for some random guy.

You realize you owe it to yourself to end this friendship.

And when you do, you start to see that you have more room in your life for people who value your differences and help you to feel secure in the world.
Relationships based on reciprocity and understanding.
Friends who see you.

Welcome, Intersectional Feminism!

Alexia Komada-John is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University, living and working in New York. She is a lover of the oxford comma, a long time feminist, and an advocate for an inclusive and considerate society.