Western feminism has not traditionally been very good at including non-Western, non-White women. And although, wonderfully things have come a long way, and sincere and definite efforts have been made to include 'other' women, there are still serious problems.
Western feminism still makes assumptions about Western "normalcy." "If we can do it, so can you." And I am not even speaking of the age old dilemma of Western feminism imposing their views on other countries. Many Western feminists are working to rectify this attitude. I am speaking of Western feminism imposing it's views on minority women in North America.
There is a stream of feminists, and from what I understand a prominent one, which expresses disgust with their fellow feminists' choice to sleep with or marry men. The heterosexual relationship, especially marriage, is seen as maintaining patriarchy. Many feminists have chosen lesbianism as a form of protesting patriarchy. And to be honest I can see the relationship between heterosexual relationships and patriarchy very well. Heterosexual relationships do encourage patriarchal behaviours from men and women. However, why run away from the problem? Why not change the meanings of heterosexual relationships? Granted this will be an uphill battle but there are many foot soldiers in the ranks and from within we can try to change the meanings behind heterosexual relationships.
As a South Asian woman, for whose culture marriage and children are so important, this demand of many Western feminists is extremely unfair and yes, even racist. In South Asian, as well as many other "Eastern" cultures, family is central to life, and necessary to family is marriage. By demanding that we, to fight patriarchy, not get married to men is highly unfair and pretentious. How dare they?
The importance many of us place on family often comes in conflict with many Western feminist expectations. So many of us desire to remain close to family. Yet, many Western feminist scholarly agendas tell us to place career/academics etc as our first priority, not considering our cultural contexts. To not do so somehow makes us lesser feminists.
Additionally, Western feminism's critcisms of the men from our ethnic background places us in a very uncomfortable position. As a South Asian woman I cannot ignore the patriarchy in our culture. I cannot disregard the mistreatment of South Asian women at the hands of South Asian men. However, I refuse to 'sell out' my men so that Western feminists can further stigmatize my people. After all, I know many South Asian men who will stand by at every turn. I know many South Asian men who support me and love me. I know many South Asian men who care for and love the women in their lives. I refuse to sell out my father, brother, uncles, and friends so that I can unite with the Western feminists who will use the information against my culture. Yes, I am saying it now, that for me, my ethnicity and my race is more identifying than is my gender. I feel a greater connection with my counterpart men.
My race and gender cannot be separated. I cannot experience being a woman without experiencing being of colour. And in the world in which we live today, my colour and my religion stigmatize me much more than my gender.