A black woman walks into a shop with an object in her hand, she says ‘I have this object here that is shaped in a unique and different way. ‘Can you find me a bowl/container that will fit round it or be enough to ‘encompass’ it in its entirety?
There is this white woman there managing the store and she has a group of assistants, these assistants happen to be black women and they look at the object and after a few minutes their faces take on a semi contemptuous look towards the object.
‘Sorry’ they say, ‘Your object has to fit into one of these ‘standard’ containers we have here or it really isn’t a ‘valid’ ‘worthwhile’ object, in fact you will have to go and file it down and knock off bits of it to get it to fit one of these 'universal' bowls, which is really the ‘accepted’ container that all such objects need to be able to fit into!’
Well, this is exactly what bw are expected to do; to fit their issues, their responses and reactions, the nuances of their situation and their ‘understanding’ of what ails them into accepted feminist frameworks developed from a white female perspective and thought process. If these don’t fit, black women are expected and asked to take them away and make sure they cut off ‘an arm’ or ‘a leg’ so that it fits neatly with ‘white female theories’ and views of the female world and their acceptable analysis of such things.
Halima, virtually all of the confusion among bw regarding this issue and many others is due to bw contorting themselves to accommodate the damaged thinking and behavior of bm.
Since the bulk of black males in the West have adopted the thinking and behaviors that are out of sync with the norms of most cultures, societies and groups in the world, black women suicidally adjust their thinking and behavior to follow suit. This is THE pattern of behavior of the masses of bw.
For ex. I cannot imagine more than a handful (if even that many) of bw arguing that it's fine for them to have massive numbers of children OOW by white men or Asian men. LOL! They would NEVER do that. It's only because they're having these children by black males who won't marry them and assume the role of men and responsible fathers, that these women are making this foolish argument. Why? It's because so many AA women and bw of that type have been programmed for centuries to adjust for (emphasis added by halima) and be self-sacrificing for non-reciprocating, hateful bm- Evia
Most black female theorists have also gone on a mission to insure that they too fit their struggles into these 'boxes' created by white female thought processes and priorities. Yes it is fascinating for me to note how even fellow bw are struggling to force their fellow black women's issues into the neat box as prepared by white feminists, a box constructed with their world in mind, a box that fits and was made to fit with how their issues are shaped and how things 'occur for them'.
On the surface it might appear that black women's issues have fitted neatly into white feminists boxes and the 'elevation' of black womanhood is on the way 'thank God', but before long you realize that 'a foot is missing' or a 'hand has not been adequately covered' or the head has had to be twisted into a painful angle to ensure it is contained within the box.
It is worrying to note how fellow black women invalidate the concerns of other black women when 'it does not neatly fit into boxes' prepared by a white feminist thought process and priorities!
I indeed find it worrying to note that the way bw approach the concepts and terms of white female theory (read: feminism) as if it was handed down from mount Sinai (along with the ten commandments); perfect and universal, ready to apply to and fit with issues for every female of every shade, hue and culture and every female issue that ever occurs. I am even more concerned that many black women who puport to be feminist do not realize that we arrived at the current feminist theoretical framework through years of arguing and discussing and dissecting and putting together and again tearing apart and revaluating and dissenting (in fact there are only a few core ideas of feminism endorsed across all the strands of feminism and yes there are many strands some locked in perpetual battle with each other) and chopping and changing the structure to make it accomodate all white women were feeling, saying, experincing expressing etc etc.
I am surprise to note that many bw do not know that white women brought their feelings (honoured and valued how they felt about certain things even when these were sneered at by the wider community), to the table, also bringing their experiences, their priorities, concerns, their heart felt emotions, things they raged against, thing they could not fit neatly into 'progressive frames', things they couldnt justify yet felt strongly about etc etc etc and when these had finally been assembled, they now Encased All of these in a framework called feminism.
Many black women who 'pledge' to be feminists, act like feminist theories are set in stone, sacred and cannot be adapted to suit but must be applied as is! Many act like black women are to be held prisoners to the precepts of feminism rather than the precepts being there for the purpose of serving black women's needs be they practical, spiritual, intellectual, existential, and what have you. Essentially to serve the 'essence' and preservation of black womanhood!
Note the conversation that goes on when black women bring the enitrety of their issues forward to try to ensure a robust enough framework to comprehensively fit and address their situation:
BW- ‘I feel this way about this’,
Feminist Gatekeeper -‘Oh well it doesn’t fit well into this pre prepared box here, so it definitely is invalid to include as an important feminist issue.’
BW-'This issue keeps recurring so it is central to our situation'.
Feminsist Gatkeeper- ‘Well this issue actually goes against the ‘already prepared version of events’ laid out as acceptable feminist frame, therefore it has to be discounted.’
BW- 'I feel strongly about this and think my feelings must count'
FGK- 'Well those feelings go against our decisison never to upset A or speak out against C or to bring up B for revaluation or indict D for their inhumanity and since we hold these restrictions central please be off with it'.
And so on and on it goes until bw are forced into a feminist model that ill fits their struggle.
You would have thought that by now black women theorists would realise that you first gather together all black women’s concerns, needs, honor their feelings and cares and hunches, their observations AND THEN build a feminist model around all these, rather than cut of the salient and important parts of the narrative as it stands for black women, in order that it may ‘fit’ into the design that white female theorists (read: white feminists) have decided to be ‘appropriate’.
I can almost here Jesus say, 'The sabbath was made for (wo)man, (wo)man was not made for the sabbath'
BW need to take care because:
A whole bunch of folk are trying to force black women into modes and models that are not 'meaningful' for black women and the black woman's situation, in fact some of these models will lead black women into even greater 'tragedy'.
Feminsism is not about big language and something that exists in 'theorectical space'. Feminsism is about the practical and how women can make it better for themselves in the now (more so for black women who are at the negative end of so many social trends). I mean what is the point if your feminsim is simply theory and all about intellectual debating as black women fall deeper and deeper into the pit. Surely your framework can only be useful if it provides for the immediate survival and rescue of the black female!
If the terrain is different the wheel might need to be re-invented!
White women have been granted the 'social space' to hash out their issues and come up with the approporaite models to work with. I dont see this happening with black women with all and sundry (white men, black men and white women) closing in on what should be internal debates to lecture them on what should be 'the appropraite models' for their struggles (of course models that skirt the exposing of the major culprits in their situation). My question remains, 'Where is that granted 'social space' for bw to go through the process (as white owmen were allowed to), to come up with meanigful concepts, ideas and models for their situation? All I see is folks rushing in to force bw into models that continue to be ill fitting for the black woman's situation.
Indeed I hear folks saying black women should eschew any models that points a finger or lays blame on black men. Pity they didnt remeber to tell that to white women when they declared an all out war to extricate themselves from under the feet of men, not more than 5 decades ago.
White women were allowed to take men to task for their behaviour as a collective towards women with no one rushing in to supress their assertions about men.
Indeed I dont recall the likes of Gloria Steinem arguing for consideration to be shown for 'the good white men' out there. But then again maybe I am wrong and she prefaced her every comment with 'there are good men out there including my brother, uncle and father!'
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