416 Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work 32(3) feminist theories to audiences. In her preface, Bates highlights inclusivity as foundational to the text. While she notes the importance of “involving a diverse group of people in campaigns and decisions” and “aim[ing] for a wide range of representation” (p. 308), Girl Up does not always meet these standards. Bates’ inclusion of intersectional identities too often serves as incidental mention or a metaphoric nod to particular groups rather than substantive representation. Furthermore, she pro- vides only a brief explanation of intersectional feminism and not until nearly the end of the book. Rather than inclusion, I would describe Bates’ use of intersectionality as intersectional tokenism, providing symbolic representation rather than the full inclusion the preface promises. For example, when discussing body image, Bates focuses her discussion on the thin ideal but does not discuss compounding oppressions and additional pressures placed on women who are not white. Similarly, in her discussion of dress codes, Bates focuses on sexist standards such as hemlines, formfitting clothing, and baring skin. Her engagement of sexist dress codes glosses over other identities, save for the occasional sentence to employ symbolic inclusion. For some Muslim women, sexist and
Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work – SAGE
Published: Aug 1, 2017
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