I’m Super-Obsessed with Being Black

Like I said, I’m super obsessed with being black.

Last night I spent about 2 to 3 hours pouring over the archives from the blog Racialicious. And I found this stellar article about how women of color (woc) tend to be get treated by white males. It’s amazing how the article talks about when a white male sexually assaults a brown skinned woman, there’s never an uproar. Take for instance when Andrian Brody sexually assaulted Halle Berry – more people cheered than anything.  While all women’s bodies are perceived as property, when a white woman is violated – there tends to be more anger.

I’m fascinated by being black because there are so many issues that originate in race. I’ve been reading a bit about white feminism, and it really bothered me how when women talk about women’s issues – they’re really only talking about white women, who have had much different rights than WOCs ever did. I graduated from an all women’s college that was predominantly white not only in terms of students, but in regards to professors as well. A lot of the women identified as “feminist” and women’s studies was a really popular major at my school. But as time went on, I began to associate feminism with whiteness and white women who didn’t think their race gave them privilege and that being a woman was somehow “enough”.

After reading the article I linked to above, it made me realize the fury I possessed. I never considered myself a feminist because I didn’t want to align myself with an ideology that seemed racist. And I want to learn more from and about black feminist thought. But it’s not just that – I want to learn more about black (feminist) lesbians, and what they have to say about the world we live in.

It’s not just dicussions I want to have with people, because all the issues are there. We see all the problems manifesting themselves in different ways each and every day.

The question – what am I going to do about it? What kind(s) of solutions will start to heal the problems?

2 thoughts on “I’m Super-Obsessed with Being Black

  1. I’ve never seen feminism as being separated into white and black. Sure, I realize that there are contexts that makes the histories of black women and white women separate to some extent, but then take the example that African American males were given the vote in 1870, long before women in 1920 (this is not straightforward, since black men were largely prevented from voting by taxation, but that’s for another discussion). I did my Masters dissertation on the identities of mixed race women, and really, I’m not sure there is a difference in feminism based on race, other than those placed on us by external factors: expectations, prejudices, etc. Sometimes we even take these external factors and internalize them. You can’t separate someone completely from their history, but I think right now in this moment our paths as women are starting to truly diverge.

    • I really liked your comment – I didn’t know that about black men being able to voite before white women in 1920. That’s interesting to know. But, I can’t help but disagree with you. Or maybe I misinterpreted what you wrote?

      I guess the best way I can put it is like this: even though feminism is meant for everyone who is being discriminated against, most of the figure heads in the movement seem to be white, heterosexual women. And while feeling that equality is good isn’t a bad sentiment, white people have more power and privilege than blacks, hispanics or native americans. Their voices are the ones that are the loudest and get the most attention, whereas WOC tend to be ignored or overlooked in the discussion of women’s roles in america (or at least this is what I seem to be reading in various black, feminist blogs). So my biggest problem with my relationship to feminism is that most feminists are white, and a white women can’t really talk about progress women have made when race is such a stronger barrier than gender. So while Oprah is a WOC, how many black, female talk show hosts are there? Wendy Williams? Tyra Banks? You can’t look at Oprah and say we’ve come far as a gender, when the rest of daytime television is overwhelming white.

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