There's a long history of people doing these things such as with monarchist theory or eugenics for colonialism and slavery. People have theories and frameworks to justify misogyny, child abuse and being harsh to homeless people.
In this case it's an ability to do whatever you want to make money without any oversight, laws, restrictions, or limitations. Being against unethical things such as sweatshops, lying to consumers, or vulture capitalism is itself unethical because it "interferes with the market" oh dear!
It's a symmetrical theoretical framework with beautiful equations to rationalize an otherwise indefensible power structure and insulate reprehensible criminal behavior as essentially the Unquestionable Divine Will.
When anyone justifies things through purity or perfection arguments they're likely pulling a fast one on you. In fact it's this fast one. This exact technique.
and you can replace ruling elite, with people who want to be that. Then you get notions like identity politics, feminism, cultural Marxism, misandry, racism.
There's an interesting second order effect here as well, that drives the narrative aggression and dissent shaming today. Democracies need to create as many of these competing theories as they can to keep people locked in constant conflict and division.
Besides that, I don't think racism and feminism stems from 'wanting' to be elite. People who experience racism just don't want to be killed and threatened, women just want the same opportunities and to be able to feel safe and not be harassed randomly.
The intentions of the ruling elite are formalized into nice-sounding theories that people get easily addicted to.
Racism is a bit more subtle than feminism, in that, "racism", as in discriminating against people of a different race, is a real thing, and it's wired in all of us. It should probably be better called "groupism" or "majorityism". All of us, in whatever sized group, have some mental concept of group identity, us vs them, insider vs outsider. That's just human nature. It's not evil, it's even adaptive. But it is NOT the driver of things like genocide and slavery.
These things are always driven by resources seeking, powerful players competing for resources. Black people sold black people to white people to be slave labor to farm tobacco and sugar.
America wasn't founded by White Christian supremacists, on a crusade against black people. It was founded by economic subjects of the British empire mad about money, and rebelling the attempts by the Empire elites to manipulate them. The civil war wasn't about our built in racism, or about how whites had gotten used to black slaves, it was about the power of a unified country, and preventing secession. Narratives had to be spun to mobilize people's passions to get them to kill for the elites who wanted to get power.
African genocidal wars are not racial. Hitler was not a racist. All of these mobilizations of injustice need a way to rationalize the economic or political driver. So narratives are promoted that hack our wired-in, benign biases and exploit them. Just like social media giants hack our reward systems to fill their pockets, robber-barons and warlords of previous eras hacked our adaptive, genetic heritage of reward and fear circuitry to mobilize large numbers of us to go kill other large numbers of us, by spinning narratives of bogeymen, evil outsiders, etc.
Then, with the narrative created, "Racism" (capital R), is blamed, rather than the actual elite-driven cause. Thus empowered, "Racism" can become a term of abuse, and people are convinced their inherent nature is at fault, when actually these massive injustices were driven by power seeking elites, and enabled by the clever abuse and exploitation of their human nature by these powerful bad actors.
Identity politics is getting more mileage out of the same outsiders bias, by defining legions of new groups, convincing people that membership of that group is tied to self, splashing in some extra strong circuitry if needed (sexuality), and getting groups to fight each other.
It's the same old trick of codifying intentions into nice-sounding theories to get people to go do stuff. It's propaganda, advertising. It's cattle herding with humans.
Wanting to be elite is just making the point how many of these new narratives are adopted by people as substitute "paths to power". These narratives actively substitute people's intentions to build a better life, and hijack their reward circuitry to get them addicted to fake payoffs such as blaming others, not taking responsibility for creating what they want, fake self-righteousness, and cargo-cult like belief that the "movement" will bring them the results. Obviously, if you want to stop people advancing in your society, you want to them be doing things that will never get them anywhere. It's an ingenious and insidious way to disempower people, by directing their actions toward useless, zero result ends, rather than having them try to actually create change or results themselves.
Elites promote these narratives for two reasons: economics and control. The more afraid, angry and triggered we are, the more we consume, and the more easily manipulated and controlled we are. The flip side is, if people actually got happy, and became aware of their personal power, they would definitely organize, rise up and create a better situation. The system preserves its own homeostatic equilibrium by keeping people triggered into their ape-brain as much as possible.
We're all a lot more powerful and good (minus the resource scarcity / resource seeking that leads to war) that these divisive fake narratives would have us think. More important than what "opportunities" someone is given, is what they do with what they have, and what they create for themselves.
The biggest thing stopping people achieving is not "structural inequality", is getting away from this idea that it's about what you "get", rather than what you "make". Nothing will stop a woman being rich, healthy, and happy, if she makes the right choices. Women can stand up for themselves, say what they want and don't want, they don't need a "movement" to get what they want, they can figure out how to get what they want themselves just like anyone else, unless they believe they're a helpless victim by virtue of their sex who has to be saved by some movement and given the success they feel privileged to, but don't want to earn.
People being killed and threatened don't need to fight racism, because our in built racism isn't bad, they need to avoid violence. If you can live in a safe society, that's your best chance. The state probably has a duty to protect its subjects, so pick a state that you like. If you don't want to move, and you live in danger, build yourself a fortress and get good at violence, because fighting the people who are trying to kill you will be your only way to survive.
every human wants self-determination, the power shape their own future, to be in control of their fate.
yet not every one of them are or become racist.
furthermore, there are theories (eg feminism) that are built on fairness (as in A Theory of Justice by Rawls), and there are those that are very much not (eg racism).
the others are simply too vague to simply deal with.
Feminism is based on convincing women they are perpetual victims, that everything wrong in a woman's life is men's fault, that their feminine nature and sexual differences are weakness, and the only way to get self determination is to emulate men (who are evil), and play the fake victim by blaming men and demanding they are given benefit's they didn't earn. It's a toxic theory that disempowers females by discouraging them away from the power of choice and personal responsibility and trying to get them hooked on the addictive fake pay-off of blaming others and playing the fake victim. It's also full of contradictions that no doubt drive neurotic and irrational thinking if you try to really "believe" it. It's a variation of the classic "creation of grievances in order to exploit them" trick. It's not about advancing equality, or women's rights. It's a political theory, promoted and propagated by elites, to divide us into groups, weaken us by attacking something very strong (the human relationship bond, the family bond, the polar sexual bond), and make us more easy to control by being locked in a state of constant triggered conflict and division. To turn us into more political animals, less close to and less trusting of each other, and more dependent on and closer to "the state" or "the cause". It's so effectively propagated because the central notion "that you are not responsible for your life, that you can blame someone else, and that's actually a good thing", is so addictively rewarding, it's a very compelling "fake solution" to all sorts of problems, and it's very hard to unhook yourself once you are taking this.
Any theory that actually aimed to advance equality among people, and the rights for one gender, should advance the rights for both, and cherish both, and not be called "fem"- or "masc"- something, but "humanism" (already taken by a philosophy), or "peopleism" or "personism" (my favorite). Personism would promote equality in the ability of people to make choices and take personal responsibility for their situations, would discourage playing the fake victim, would encourage active listening, empathy and communication about emotions, would promote emotional vulnerability as strength, and would valorise gender archetypes from both sexes (the male and female god/goddess energies) as desirable ideals of strength and power. It would empower people, unify them and not divide them or make them useful idiots and pawns more easily controlled by elites.
I think you confuse being "elite" with self-determination, and power. Ordinary people can have that too. We can all grab it for ourselves, we don't need a "movement" to "give" us those things (in fact, having it 'given' would be contradictory).
By elite I mean the people who treat the rest of us like cattle and useful idiots, to control with mass psychology, and who are actively designing and promoting social / cultural divisions to weaken the rest of us.
I expand upon racism in this context in my comment on spinach's.