Essay, Pages 2 (498 words)
Three concepts, which are central to feminist theory, developed into a concern in black women’s lives, the family, patriarchy, and reproduction. When used they are placed in a context of the experience of white women who are invariably middle class women and become inconsistent when applied to the lives and experiences of black women. The family can be a source of oppression for the black family, also in questioning how the black family has united as a prime source of resistance to oppression, and recognizing that during slavery, periods of colonialism and under the present authoritarian state.
The black family has been a site of political and cultural resistance to racism. In addition, black feminist have trouble separating the two forms of oppression because racist theory and practice is frequently gender-specific. Ideologies of black female sexuality do not come about primarily from the black family. The way the gender of the black women is constructed differs from constructions of white femininity because it is also subject to racism (Heidi Safia Mirza 1998:45, 46).
Much of the black women’s critique has highlighted the suppression within feminism of black/ white difference. This happens in one of two ways, the first that the rejection of difference, which is understood in the assumption that all women have particular interests in common. Looking at this closely, by all accounts worldwide interests tend to be those of a particular group of women. For instance, the pro-abortion feminist stance in the 1970s did not take into account the large numbers of black women’s reproductive struggles.
Without proper consultation, and under the shadow of poverty, these were not experiences restricted only to black women, but it was the intervention of black women, which exposed this. Which now focuses on choice and reproductive rights, (Heidi Safia Mirza1998:71). Black feminists expressed that the right to an abortion and contraception was often less relevant to them as they struggled for their rights to have children and against sterilization policies.
In their everyday lives in a racist society, the issues that are immediate for women of colour are frequently different from the concerns of white women, (Linda McDowell and Rosemary Pringle 1992: 48). The notion of difference has a long history in relation to western feminism. Even though feminist thinkers infrequently used the word, the degrees to which women were the same as or different from men, and divided by factors such as class, formed the basis of debate about their roles, their rights, and their goals in the nineteenth century society.
Subsequently, second-wave feminists have openly used this expression to voice the inequalities and disadvantages that women experience. When compared to men, and in revaluing some aspects of femininity, which previously was ignored, until recently, difference has been used by western theorist, referring to the differences between women, rather than just between two genders. There have been two formulations of this, one, which focuses on the diversity of experience, the other concerned with difference as informed by postmodernist thinking.