Are white women even oppressed?
Every time the topic of women’s rights comes up I’m like, which women are we talking about here? Where in the world? Are we talking women who live under rape culture in certain parts of India? Women who can’t leave the house without their husband’s permission in Yemen? Women who are paid 30 cents less for every dollar a man makes in the US? Where do I fall in this discussion? Hint: the racial wage gap is much more severe, and is not gender specific.
I, for one, am preoccupied with the “black” part of my identity. I don’t give much thought to being a woman and the distress it elicits, possibly because my brain is at capacity stress level with blackness. Guys are assholes, sure; I’ll be single till one who acts right comes along. Catcalling is annoying, true, “mansplaining”? — I just explain my point again, better than his.
To be honest, I’ve always felt like exclusive fixation on womanhood is a white woman thing. Maybe it’s the “women and minorities” phrase. Am I supposed to pick one? Do I just naturally fall into both categories? If I choose woman one day am I no longer a minority? If I’m a minority the next day, am I no longer a woman? Must be lovely for white women to see “woman” and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it applies to them, that it highlights their status as the doe-eyed, feminine ideal oppressed group.
Some Black women I’ve spoken to feel like it’s unfair that they should have to pick an identity to pledge allegiance to. White women get to be women first and foremost, but we are primarily “black” women. So it’s a reclamation of sorts to see yourself as “woman” first and ignore the “black”, or to be able to speak from that intersectional standpoint, of being both “black” and a woman. I can’t say I disagree with them. We have been denied our femininity and the ability to be our full selves for a long time, by white men and women alike. We have been pitted against white women and deemed faulty in so many ways. By all means, let us center and value and uplift our womanhood.
I simply go about it in a different way. Woman is who I am. It is the physical manifestation of myself on this earth at this time. I am pleased with it, the constant learning of the strengths and challenges that come with being the sex I was born into. I do…