Black Feminism

Black Feminism

And what it means to a white girl.

Feminism. Probably one of the hardest things to talk about in today's day and age because everything you say is going to be so hotly contested. If you're a self-proclaimed feminist, you are going to get backlash for being too outspoken, too direct, too needy. If you claim you are not a feminist, the backlash is going to be equally as rough; women will attack you saying "How dare you not support your own gender," or even worse, saying you are proliferating the oppression of women. What many people don't understand, though, is that there are many different types of feminism, different ways to look at the monster that is "feminism." Often times white and black women find themselves at a crossroads, not knowing how to intertwine the two.

Black feminism is in fact a very real term, and a completely different branch of feminism. Black feminists felt the need to coin their own term because white people, shockingly, were leaving black women out of the fight for equality. Black women felt as if they had no place in feminism because while yes, they were women, they were black and that was another factor holding them back. Black women are the most marginalized group of people, because not only do they have to work up from their gender, they have to work up from their race as well. You cannot deny or fight this concept because of basic statistics.

Growing up and finding myself, a white girl, feeling very to the left in most situations, I did not know how to approach the topic of black feminism. I didn't know if because I was in fact white I could not hold the mindsets black feminists did. I didn't know if I did, black women would be mad because I was white. But my freshmen year of college my women studies teacher brought in a group of black women from South Africa to speak to our class. Upon expressing their troubles of growing up black and they way they were treated being a women as well, I asked a simple question:

How can I, as a white women, better not only understand the struggle that black women go through, but help combat it?

And every single one of their jaws dropped and said what I have been trying to preach: they just want white women to acknowledge their struggle. And that's when I put two and two together. We grow up with the mindset of white privilege, we grow up with the mindset of white supremacy and the illusion white people can fix everything, just like we think white women can fix the problem black women are dealing with. Instead, acknowledging there is a problem and actively working to, in easy terms, "jump off our high horse" is the way to combat this problem.

Women do a disservice to women everywhere when they deny the fact of feminism and an even bigger disservice when they think all feminism can be lumped into one. White feminists and black feminists alike could make the fight for women's equality much easier by recognizing each others struggle and deeming them as worthy even if they aren't their own struggles.

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.

I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.


This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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