The Power Of Self Definition In Feminism Of The African Diaspora

2426 words - 10 pages

It is generally believed that feminism originated in the West, for over time, it has assumed the role of ‘science’ (Mangena, 2003). As a science, western feminism insists that it should be adopted by women all over the globe and used to deal with their specific and foundational problems. However, women of the African diaspora have come to deny such universality and define their own struggle. Uprooted from their motherland and sent to lands in Latin America and the United States, Black women experience unique intersection of racism and sexism. Furthermore, it is through self-definition and assertion that women of the African diaspora come together to fight for freedom, justice, and equality.
Whether through colonialism or feminism, White people have always insisted on their way of living as the correct way. Moreover, Whites often travel to other worlds in order to bring civilization and to save the savages from themselves. Traditionally, many White feminist scholars have not included Black women voices in their circles. This historical suppression of Black women’s ideas has had a pronounced influence on feminist theory (Spurlin, 2010). With this said, one pattern of suppression is that of omission. This is evident through Black women having been silenced in their struggles. Another pattern of suppression lies in what Hill-Collins describes as “paying lip service to the need for diversity” (2009). This occurs while changing little regarding to one’s own practice. In this instance, White women admit that they are not qualified to speak of Black women’s experiences because they are not black. However, they often include safe, “hand-picked” Black women’s voices to avoid or counteract criticisms that they are racist (Collins, 2009). Either means of suppression illustrates the basic unwillingness by Western feminists to share the floor with women of color.
It is important to note that African sisters do not reject the process of fighting for women’s self-definition and self-assertion. However, they do have problems with the terminology and ideals of Western feminism and its presumption that women’s issues are universal and identical globally. African women have been depicted in western feminist circles as mute, rural beings with no mind of their own. As Ogundipe-Leslie pointed out, “Women of European descent are most prone to these ventriloquisms, frequently calling on African women to play the role of ventriloquists’ puppets, speaking to other people’s agendas” (Kolawole, 1997). Time after time, white women’s actions have illustrated that they do not wish to be a part of a feminist movement – they want to lead it (Hooks, 2000). After years of suppression, African women have grown tired of White women speaking for them. Furthermore, in order to be heard, Siga Jajne suggests that African women must force their viewpoint on existing discourse through “voice-throwing” (Kolawole, 1997). In the words of Audre Lorde, “the master’s tools will never demolish...

Find Another Essay On The Power of Self Definition in Feminism of the African Diaspora

Feminism and the Power Struggle of Women in Ancient Greece

1393 words - 6 pages Feminism and the power struggle of women in Ancient Greece Women are a very prominent part of the Greek society. Their role has influenced and shaped the Greek society to a very large extent. Women have been shown in many different lights in the Greek works of Odyssey and Iliad which we have covered in our class. The works that I will be citing in this essay, namely Homer’s poems Odyssey and Iliad talk about many prominent women such as Helen

The Power of Self-Destruction in Shakespeare's Othello

910 words - 4 pages 106). Othello is the story of love, deception, and power. Othello, an army general in Venice, comes into conflict with his self and social identity during the war between the Turks and Venice. However, it should be taken into consideration at the time Venice was the center for commercialism and materialism, which led to corruption and conflict arising from greed, social status and competition among peers (Cummings 1). Among the multiple of

African Diaspora in Sports

3471 words - 14 pages major championships include: The Open Championship, The U.S. Open, The Masters, and lastly, the PGA Championship (McGrath, McCormick and Garrity 12-14). This paper is going to discuss how the African diaspora in the sport of Golf with major reference to notable figures such as Tiger Woods, Lee Elder, Charlie Sifford, and Renee Powell among others, with their contribution to golf as well as Tiger Woods comparison to Michael Jordan.DiscussionOver the

The Perception of African Americans in the Media and How it Affects Their Self-Identity

4036 words - 16 pages The Perception of African Americans in the Media and How it Affects Their Self-Identity There has been much debate over the perception of African Americans in the media and how it affects their self-identity. It is easy to find examples of bias in portraying African Americans, but not a lot of causal research to prove that it causes problems with self-identity. A case can even be made that the amount of media presence by African Americans

The History of Feminism

942 words - 4 pages The History of Feminism The definition of feminism is very elusive. Maybe because of its ever-changing historical meaning, it’s not for certain whether there is any coherence to the term feminism or if there is a definition that will live up to the movement’s variety of adherents and ideas. In the book “No Turning Back,” author Estelle Freedman gives an accurate four-part definition of the very active movement: “Feminism is a belief that women

The Infestation of Feminism

1121 words - 4 pages Feminism affects our government, our society, and our lives in negative ways. It is based on very little and it has been promoted very effectively by women whose self-interest appears to be their chief interest: regardless of the costs to everyone else. Betty Friedan gave part of the credit of the start of feminism to Sigmund Freud, who believed that women were a strange, inferior, and less than human species. Since the uprising of feminism, two

The Pursuit of Power in the French Revolution and African Imperialism

1543 words - 6 pages Power has been a large factor when it comes to countries and leader, expanding countries boundaries and finding new land through exploitation. Power is used to show control and to make advancements in their countries. Countries create ideas of what humanity should be and when the idea of power consumes the mind, to the point where the idea becomes more important then humans. What will happen when power becomes a god to be worshipped and need

The Role of Feminism in Nursing History

1725 words - 7 pages , and Feminism to now also encourage the breaking of barriers to males in female-dominated areas of study, such as nursing. This, it has been argued would eventually dissolve the gender-based power inequities experienced by people in all professions. Unfortunately, the current reputation of nursing as a stereotypically female profession has not only negatively impacted those women currently working in the field of nursing but dissuaded many

The Importance of Feminism in Society

843 words - 3 pages There are many definitions of feminism, but most importantly feminism should be considered as a tool to advocate for women's rights in politics, law, science and society in general. This is an important aspect of protection for women against inequality, insecurity and discrimination. Reasonable representations and arguments about women's ideology provide us a complete picture the nature of feminism. There are many stereotypes about feminism

The Dawn of Feminism

1737 words - 7 pages The Victorian era was a time when the rights that women are so accustom to today did not exist. In fact, this era was especially known for the stern code of morality that was placed on women. Men acted more like property owners when it came to women. Men viewed women as only useful to serve a few specific purposes, and other than that, they were virtually worthless. Women like Louisa May Alcott, were seeking a chance to explore their

The Role of Feminism in Nursing History

1995 words - 8 pages activities at the turn of the century. AORN Journal. November 1999, vol 70, no 5 Magnussen L. (1998). Women's choices: An historical perspective of nursing as a career choice. Journal of Professional Nursing, Vol 14, No 3 (May-June), 1998: pp 175-183. W.B. Saunders Company Sullivan, E. J., 2002. Nursing and Feminism: An uneasy alliance. Journal of Professional Nursing, Vol 18, No 4 (July–August), 2002: pp 183-184. 2002, Elsevier Science. doi:10.1053/jpnu.2002.127974 Turow J., 2012. Nurses and doctors in prime time series: The dynamics of depicting professional power. Nurs Outlook 60 (2012) S4-S11. Elsevier.

Similar Essays

Colonialism And Oppression In The African Diaspora

2248 words - 9 pages Colonialism and Oppression in the African Diaspora The experiences of the women of the African diaspora are as diverse as the regions they have come to inhabit. Despite the variety in their local realities, African and African-descended women across the planet share in many common experiences. Wherever they have made their homes, these women tend to occupy inferior or marginalized positions within their societies. Whether in the United States

Colonialism And Oppression In The African Diaspora

1048 words - 5 pages Colonialism and Oppression in the African Diaspora The Kenyan feminist and environmental activist, Wangari Maathai, explores the legacy of colonialism and oppression in her native country through her moving 2006 memoir, Unbowed. Maathai explains that over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Africa experienced a massive influx of white settlers. In an effort to solidify control over recently acquired colonies, many

Evolution Of Color, Race, And Enslavement In The African Diaspora Aaad130 Homework

1272 words - 6 pages slaveholders African slavery had been decreed · Nimrod - Son of Cush · Tradition of imperialism & domination rather than subservience · No African born persons appear in New Testament · Early Jewish state literal transfer from one land of Ham to another · Not possible to discuss Old Testament w/ out understanding contribution of African · Awash in Africa’s colors and cultures (22) · Queen of Sheba · Linking the continent to the African Diaspora from

The Possibility Of Faithfulness In Diaspora

1000 words - 4 pages Throughout the Hebrew Bible YHWH’s chosen people, more popularly known as Jews continually find themselves being driven out of their homeland by a foreign power only to return again. Furthermore, these chosen people struggle to find ways to maintain their identity in a foreign land. As the cycle of being driven out and returning repeats itself, YHWH’s people eventually come to identify themselves as living in diaspora—maintaining their identity