The Feminist Agenda: Chinae Alexander
Hello – My name is Katie, and I am a feminist. I am also a 29-year-old, cis-gender, heterosexual, white, middle-class woman. Why is that important? Well… it’s important because all of those adjectives I listed afford me a certain amount of privilege, not only in my life, but also in my identity as a feminist. And if we (if I) cannot call attention to that privilege, and understand what that means, and how it skews our experiences, then we (we white, cis-gendered women) are not doing our part in the movement toward equality.
As a young woman working her way up the corporate ladder in the male dominated construction industry, I encounter gender inequality on a daily basis. From the more under-the-radar jabs – like that one time my male client called my male boss to make sure my budget numbers were correct (they were), to the outright public declarations of my perceived ineptitude – like that one time I was interrupted during an important construction meeting with the question “shouldn’t HE be leading this meeting?” The HE my client was referring to was the General Contractor… whom I hired, and worked under my direction. And, while these instances can be exhausting, and demeaning, and heartbreaking, and infuriating… as a woman with [enter long list of characteristics that give me privilege here], it is really the only form of injustice that I face. There are many women whose overlapping identities provide multiple sources of oppression. An immigrant woman, or a transgender woman, or a black woman, or a woman with a disability, would not only be confronted with gender inequality, but would also be subject to racial inequality, economic inequality, transphobia, ethnic inequality, and a host of other prejudices, all at the same time.
This interview series will explore the many and varied experiences women have with feminism, and how their unique identities inform the issues that they most care about. We’ll talk to female business owners and entrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms, women of color, transgender women, immigrant women, women in politics… in the hope that hearing each other’s experiences will help widen our own understanding of the Feminist Agenda.
Our first respondent is none other than Social Entrepreneur and tell-it-like-it-is Boss Babe: Chinae Alexander. Recently featured in Women’s Health, The TODAY Show, Well + Good, Refinery 29, and countless other publications; Chinae is a force to be reckoned with… a kind of womanhood warrior! She’s an entrepreneur, lifestyle personality, writer, speaker, and wellness expert (yes… ALL OF THE THINGS) based in Brooklyn, New York. Chinae has amassed over 146K Instagram followers by being authentically and unapologetically herself. She has turned that following into a business; using her platform help empower women everywhere. Her knack for storytelling and her ability to remain vulnerable and honest with her audience has made Chinae an outspoken leader in the “uncomfortable” topics that so many social media stars glaze over. Never one to sugarcoat her feelings in fear of losing followers, she confidently speaks her mind on politics, feminism, and other hard-hitting social issues.
Name: Chinae Alexander
Occupation: Social Entrepreneur
Where do you live: Brooklyn, NY
How do you define feminism? Women owning themselves fully without stigma, bias, or conforming to societal norms.
How has your identity molded your relationship with feminism? I think each of our personal experience, culture, family structure, and location shape our relationship with feminism. My being born in Korea showed me one brand of how women are portrayed. My life in Texas…another. My single mom who changed careers at 40 with nothing in the bank did too. I guess my point is, what doesn’t shape our feminism?
What are the biggest issues you want addressed in this movement? I think we need to focus on gender bias but also take a good look at intersectionality and how it relates to how we define feminism. I think by owning that a black woman’s experience is different than a white woman’s experience (etc. etc.) lets us advocate for one another in a more whole way. Gender is too simple.
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions surrounding feminism?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that this is a female thing. This is a world thing; all people have to desire equality for women because we can’t do it alone.
What has been your biggest or most memorable feminist moment? OR Describe an incident where you have really felt the power in your womanhood?
Talking to my grandmother this summer about politics and who she’d like to see as our next president. My republican white conservative grandma thought that Kamala Harris would be a damn fine president. That gives me a lot of hope.
As a Commercial Real Estate Project Manager in one of the country’s fastest growing cities, Katie Whelley has made big waves in the Nashville community. With her no-nonsense demeanor and her many publicly-proclaimed passions (not to mention her bold wear-to-work style), Katie is an example for other women who refuse to be put in a neat little box.