Have You Considered Womanism?

by Tami Winfrey Harris


I am a proud feminist. A black feminist. Oh, I’ve had my moments when, fed up with racial tensions within the movement, I’ve threatened to flounce. But in the end, I refuse to abandon an ideology I think is a foundation of equality and a movement that many black women sacrificed to build. To say that feminism is only for white women, as several have argued when I’ve written about feminism on Clutch in the past, is an affront to Sojourner Truth, Audre Lorde, Coretta Scott King, bell hooks and The Cohambee River Collective.  (Not to mention my mother and husband, who also call themselves feminists.) Black women and other women of color have a right to claim the mantle of feminism. But we are not obliged to.

Of course, many women, of all races, choose to believe in gender equality without donning any labels at all. And some other black women are womanists. Both feminism and womanism are dedicated to establishing equal opportunities and treatment for women, but womanism is specifically focused on black gendered struggles and is steeped in the experiences and histories of black women, men and families. Alice Walker, who coined the term “womanism,” says that womanists are “committed to the survival and wholeness of an entire people.”

Author and activist Walker revealed some of the underpinnings of womanist ideology with her new poem, called Democratic Womanism, performed on the eve of the 2012 Presidential Inauguration.

Many black women, who feel excluded by perceived biases of race, class, ability, sexuality and gender, expressed by some feminists, have found refuge in womanism. In a post about the ideology on the blog, Womanist Musings, Clutch contributor Renee Martin wrote:

Just as feminism speaks to your experiences, Africana Womanism speaks to mine.  It allows me to articulate my spirituality, my connection and love of Black men, a genuine sisterhood with other Black women, a connection to family with a special emphasis on motherhood, a self-defined identity, unconventional gender roles, collective outcomes, group achievement, self love, nurturing, and a recognition that all isms effect women.

(Africana Womanism, by the way, goes one step further in centering the discussion of equality on the experiences of the African Diaspora.)

What about you? If you believe in gender equality, but are uncomfortable with feminism, does womanism seem like a better fit?

  • Sasha

    I do not like a single thing about feminism however womanism is something I’d like to explore.

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole

    I consider myself to be a feminist-like. I try to always align myself with likeminded women and support them. But I do believe the “face” of feminism is usually the middle aged white woman who looks like Meredith Baxter, opposed to the many women of color in the US and around the world who fight for womens rights. With that said, I do not feel I need to categorize myself as either. But, I wouldn’t mind, out of respect for the many woman of color who are not represented using the term “womanist” from time to time.

  • http://crystalspraggins.blogspot.com/ Crystal Spraggins

    I admit to being one of those women who would prefer to avoid the labels altogether. When I think of the new “feminists,” I frankly envision a bunch of angry women talking about “who needs men and marriage,” and I’m not feeling that. I like men and I think marriage is a beautiful ideal (albeit one often ruined by the real people in it, lol!) However, I’m open to criticism that my view is biased. As for the term “womanist,” well, that’s a new one for me, and the philosophy sounds fine, but the term doesn’t capture my imagination. I prefer to call myself an independent-thinking woman, period, who loves men but doesn’t see any reason to take any crap from them either, and I’m all about fighting to be seen as such in the workplace or in the home. Just ask my husband (or the male bosses I’ve fired).

  • Anon

    Nope. Not a feminist. Never have been, and don’t really see a change in that viewpoint. I can’t really get with womanism either. I’m currently not in a position to feel like just “surviving”, or feeling like I should have to “save alla my peoples”. If I’m living my best life, and provide an example to others, I feel like that’s good enough for the time being.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    I’m interested in neither of these movements. I’m a humanist, period.

  • Allie

    I think most women on this site can agree that until feminism is more inclusive, most of yes will consider ourselves womanist or go without label. Talking about intersectionality is a must for all women to obtain rights and freedoms, something most feminist don’t seem to get.

  • http://Clutch SL

    If I must put a label on myself – I hate labels because ultimately they only serve to restrict/confine – but if I were to label myself I would be ok with being called a womanist.

  • Kisha

    Like Renee, I identify with the Africana Womanism!

  • Kristi

    All for equality and justice for all races/genders, hate labels. I don’t feel like we should be made to feel like we have to choose a side or a version of an ideal that expressed what is fair and just across the board. I feel that PEOPLE should be treated fairly and that the advantaged should make a conscious effort to recognize the disadvantaged and to help create a more equal and less biased society (starting with themselves and changing thier own perspective). I am for the advancement of minorities, women, the poor in the face of discrimination and exploitation. All this is not something I feel should be labeled as womanist or feminist. In my opinion, it’s just the right thing to do.

  • Anon

    Rebecca Walker speaks the truth here.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Agreed! If I must use a label I would call myself a womanist before a feminist.

  • P

    I cannot imagine myself moving forward in life or influencing others if I do not believe in gender equality. I, for sure identify more with the description of Africana Womanism. At the same time, I think we should continue to transcend all preconceived notions of what a woman should do or should have.

    While I love nurturing my black family, I don’t want to lose my self-identity of just being a wife or a mother. I think, oftentimes women lose that battle because of being very dedicated to their family.

  • P

    I don’t want to have a self –identity of just..

  • Ask_ME

    Rebecca Walker is a nutcase. I read her autobiography from cover to cover and for you to say we need to watch who we follow then quote her (the woman who got knocked up at 14 and was a wild child. She was FAR from the perfect daughter) is hypocritical, one-sided and VERY transparent on your part. Next…

    Black women loving themselves is of no consequence to black men. I feel sorry for insecure men like you, who take black women loving themselves as a personal affront to you. Any mention of black women loving themselves, supporting themselves and putting themselves FIRST men like you start shaking in your boots. Every black women out here does not desire a family, a man etc. Get that through your head. Next…

    The choice whether or not to have children is a PERSONAL choice. Fact is if when black women are busting them out without giving it a second thought men like you complain. When black women are sitting in line at the abortion clinic men like you complain. Finally, when black women decide to NOT have any children at all and decide against traditional families men like you complain. You start quoting people like Rebecca Walker, who AGAIN was FAR from the ideal daughter. Seriously…please go have a seat. Ain’t nobody trying to hear from you or her.

    Respect people right to live the way they way to live.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @KR – thanks for your post. I agree with a lot of what you have said, but it doesn’t erase the fact that women need to be respected and women ought not to be seen as less than men. Women should have the right to self-determine their lives – apart from anyone’s social agenda.

    I don’t agree that feminism is exactly a failed experiment. As with any movement that brings attention to an issue to help liberate people – along with the good comes some not so good things. Most of us believe the Civil Rights Movement was a good thing, but with our freedoms we also lost a lot of the things that held us together as a community. More access to education and access to jobs my grandparents never dreamed of….these things that caused our base to stretch and grow beyond our communities…added with now a lot of exposure to different thoughts, people….the increase in choosing now to marry outside the community – all of these things have transformed us – some of the change has been good and some of it has been very bad – no one would ever say the Civil Rights Movement was a failed experiment.

    Now, did Alice Walker fail to be a good mother in the eyes of her daughter? It appears so.

    I don’t agree with the overall tone and some of tenets of feminism, but I will admit that in the workplace I have benefited from the changing of attitudes that feminism paved the way for – more equality and more access.

  • Wanda

    Had my “moment” of feminist activism in college. There wasn’t much racial or class diversity at the meetings and rallies back then, and frankly I became tired of being the token example of race and gender struggle combined everywhere I went.

    Plus, I became a “sellout” to the Movement when I married my college sweetheart, and later raised wonderful children.

    As a mother to children of both genders, I’m for fairness across the board.

  • Wanda

    Trust me, the “old” feminists featured a good amount of white women who basically hated men.

    Yes, there was also a high percentage of lesbians in the movement who really were as bigoted as the male chauvinist pigs they were fighting against.

    In fact, if you were a young mother who attended an ERA meeting with your baby son, you were asked to leave. Saw it with my own eyes.

  • http://Clutch SL

    Yes, I don’t want to ever be a raging man-hating, can do everything by myself woman. I want respect. Access to opportunities to self-determinate should not be based on gender. I don’t want ANYONE telling me what I can do or can’t do! If I choose to work in a male-dominated field (like I do), because I’m good at it and I enjoy it then who is anyone to deny me the right and opportunity because of my gender. Conversely, if I choose to be a stay-at-home mom and bake cookies all day and “keep” my man happy (which I’ve also done), that is my right and I don’t want a group of women making me feel like I’ve sold out “the cause”.

    We all have a God-given right to be free to choose and to realize the lives we think we want…

  • Ask_ME


    “Queston, what responsibility does the mother bare for a teenage daughter being “wild” and having an abortion at 14? Well, at least you can’t blame that on the black man.

    The same amount as her father. Alice Walker isn’t perfect. And yes, she and Rebecca’s father should have thought twice about a few things (like shipping her back and forth across the country every two years). However, that doesn’t take away from the reality that YOU, tried to use Rebecca Walker as a tool to discredit Alice despite the reality that Alice appears to be far more mentally stable than Rebecca. A little research would do you some good before you start quoting an idiot.

    Insecure? I guess this is an example of closing ranks that the daughter speaks of. lol “

    Yes, sir. You read like a book. It’s the SAME NONSENSE on every post though you are more often than not completely CLUELESS.

    “You can continue following man hating lesbians. Just a guess but I think her daughter knows her mother a little better than you.”

    Rebecca Walker was involved with a woman at one point. She like her mother (who isn’t gay..bisexual maybe, but not gay). She went on to have a child with a man. Tell me…is she a lesbian in your eyes?

    I notice in your ignorance you tend to use the term “lesbian” as a slur. Once again, in an effort to discredit Alice, you ignore the reality that REBECCA was also involved with a woman. Rebecca is BISEXUAL.

    You don’t really know anything about either of these individuals. You keep quoting ish you found in a Google search instead of an actual BOOK.

    “What exactly makes the now “married and mother of children” Rebecca Walker a nutcase? What exactly did she say that wasn’t true or is that irrelevant?”

    I suggest you read her autobiography. I don’t for one second blame Alice Walker for disowning her daughter.

    Oh and Rebecca Walker is NOT married. She had a child out of wedlock….something you would normally rant and rave about. While her mother, Alice Walker, the womanist, had HER in wedlock. BOOM!

    “I’ve never questioned married women having kids. I’ve only questioned the wisdom of now 4 generations of black baby mamas and the promotion, hyping and glorification of it by black women when it’s clear that it does not work and has never worked.”

    You question anything that revolves around black women and DOESN’T revolve around black men.

    There is not one black community in this country with a high illegitimacy rate that is productive and raising it’s kids to compete academically with white kids. This is a fact.”

    I fully agree black out of wedlock births are a problem. I don’t agree that it is the reasons for ALL the ills in the black community. Studies have shown that black children from two parent middle class families lag behind their white counterparts too. Yet people like you seem convinced that this issue is grounded in single parent homes. Sorry…not true!

    The reality is black communities the world over are phucked up. Even those that have a LOW out of wedlock rate are phucked up and it’s more complicated than the ish you keep harping on.

  • P


    Exactly! Nodding my head to your statement.

    We can do both at the same time and do a great job at both. I also think people tend to forget it is “your” God-given right to choose. Right? not theirs…

  • london via africa

    Its so funny when people tell me that feminism is for white women. Many clans in Africa have long been practicing feminism ideals before whites coined the term and put it in the English dictionary. The God in my native clan the Balouba, is a female and before colonizations brought Christianity, women and men were praying to a women, families were centered around women and women were viewed not as second class citizens but as queens of the earth, whose power to reproduce human life brought much respect and admiration.
    Having grown up with dominate African women, I laugh whenever I hear that African women are submissive, weak and in need of liberation. Have you meet my grandma?

  • Kay

    As a Black womanist, I’ve had some problems with the radical feminist leanings of some women as well as the absence of women of color in the public forums regarding women’s issues. I have decided that the intersectionality of my experiences are better met when placed beneath the auspices of womanism. I decided this soon after a white feminist colleague informed me that I had to choose between my race or my gender, because I was “focusing,” on “too much.” That just let me know she was coming from a place of privilege and had no clue what women of color had to struggle with.

  • GlowBelle

    SO agree with everything P and SL said! What happened to the beauty of choice and doing what fits your needs, your life? That’s what I *thought* the idea of feminism/womanism was. Like religion, you have the right to choose what you want to do. Where did all these rules and stereotypical characteristics come from? I feel some people like to always complicate things that don’t even need added baggage. I see women play all kinds of roles while maintaining their self-identity…I can look at my own mother and my grandmothers as prime examples closest to me.

  • Rakel

    Not one for labels, this womanism definition is aligned with my beliefs so. I wouldn’t mind being called a womanist. I don’t care for mainstream feminism. I hate how they try to belittle people who don’t agree with their ideology. I could have sworn that the basis of feminism was a woman’s choice to do what made her happy. If traditional roles make her happy than she is practicing feminism. If fighting the good fight makes her happy she is practicing feminism. And I’m sorry but (some not all) white feminists can kick rocks. White women suffragists purposely excluded Black women because they felt they could get more support w/o us. Of course there were a few who were all for women unity but the main goal was to push their agenda and it did not include us. So me and feminism (homie voice)”I don’t think so.”

  • Lolz!

    Lol. Right? This dude copies and pastes the same thing on every article that has anything to do with black women. If there’s an article about black women and relationships. There he is talking about feminism. Some of the trolls who comment here are VERY predictable. They only show up on articles where they can talk trash about black women. You can always look out for them on a relationship article. Don’t let the topic be about submission. Woo! The comments will be crazy. Guys like him have a very simplistic view of everything. They honestly think the black community would be amazing if only black women would get back in the kitchen and submit. Lol!!!

    It’s just a way for him to turn an article that had nothing to do with black men onto black men. Guys like him just can’t get with black women doing feminism because feminism doesn’t concern THEM. They trivialize our issues and say stupid crap like black women turned away from the civil rights movement and black men to go into feminism.

    Anyone who preaches that black women kicked productive men out of their household simply because they wanted to take up feminism is a really big idiot in my opinion. And there are many people just like him ranting and raving that black women turned to feminism and welfare just because they thought it would be cool to do so. Many of these guys are simply too stupid to understand the chain of events that led to black women going on welfare and the rise of single parent households, or they are liars trying to say that black women ran their men off because they didn’t need no man. Either way they are trying to put all the dysfunction of the black community on black women. I mean his whole point is that black women hate men right? So they decided to do feminism and get rid of men. The poor men wanted to be there but the feminist influenced government allowed it to happen. This has come back to bite black women in the butt, and we need to admit feminism is wrong because baby mamas are prevalent. Get out of here with that poppycock.

    If the men in your community don’t marry you, then you will either be a baby mama or no one’s mama. Marriage rates are very low with black Americans in general but very, very low in many inner city neighborhoods. Of course there will be baby mamas.

    I didn’t even see his comment. It has been removed, but I’ve seen it so many times that I know what it must have been about.

  • Madam Sapphire

    Remember, many of these familial/social issues that Alice Walker speaks of effects all women, all men, and all races and religions.

    I want my people, Black people to take themselves seriously, stop ignoring our need to formulate our desires to LIVE and survive, and to begin to realize that we are multifaceted individually, just like every other human being. We can no longer exist just lumped together as “others” “them” “they” and “different”. We are the norm, and that frightens those who’d hoped we stay invisible a little longer. It’s high time to stop leaning on the crutch of victimhood. Things are changing quite rapidly and we must keep up by staying in and pursuing the power circle so that we can continue to control and shape our own destinies.

    I agree with the concept of womanism because femininity is lacking at every corner of the globe. There are images and concepts of what is feminine, but are they produced and upheld by women or are they the concepts of those who want to control the speed of development of womanhood? What I mean by this is that everybody seems to be afraid of a women as she grows, and asserts her heart, emotions, ideas, and love. So, we cling to youth and it’s appearances, but people transition (oftentimes negatively) to the aging, refinement, and elegance of a mature women. There is nothing like a woman who stands firm on who she truly is. I believe that many marriages (between men and women) begin to fail when a woman’s girlishness and naivete begins to fade. Romance holds a different meaning, her sense of wonderment about life evolves and excels, and to a man whose been conditioned to believe that he “must” have some control at all costs, this is a threat to his masculinity.

    In many homes, all over the world, womanhood is beaten down because the men in their societies feel that a woman’s right to equality is a direct threat to a man’s wish to divide and conquer other men. But, things are changing rapidly, and no man can resist the need for womanhood to flourish and prosper for the benefit of humanity. No corrupt power structure can withstand the unity that exists between men and women.

  • Ask_ME

    What kills me is men like him expect black women to step back into a “traditional” role as women yet so MANY black men DON’T want to step into the “traditional” role as MEN (i.e., BUILD/PROVIDE).

    And as soon as black women who are willing to act in a traditional role start demanding that they, black men, act in the traditional role of MEN (i.e., BUILD/PROVIDE) they start calling those women gold diggers. They start saying black women should only look at their character and not their wallets. They try to shame the women for wanting to date up instead of down. They try to shame the women for desiring educated men. They start saying ish like education doesn’t matter and his blue collar 35k a year job should be enough to feed a family of 4-5 people.

    They want a traditional woman yet they REFUSE to be traditional men.

    Their rants and issues are all B.S. I hope others recognize their nonsense just as well as we do.

  • Jas

    Feminism, Womanism, more labels used to divide women and categorize us in neat little boxes than unite us in my opinion.

  • Whiteprivilegeterminated

    If feminism, womanism . . whatever exclusivist name they’re giving it now, was about combating inequality it would address the most stubborn inequality in the world, that of economic inequality.

    Harriet Fraad

    “The mainstream feminist movement became a movement for gender equality within the American system of class inequality. Because the women’s movement focused almost exclusively on gender issues, it lost the mass of American women whose struggles for economic survival grow harder each year. Feminism also lost most women of color for whom race and class were as relevant as gender.

    As an almost entirely gender-based movement, the women’s movement excluded men and blamed men for a gender system in which men and women both unwittingly participated. Uniting for common class-based struggles moved outside of the feminist purview. Unity was impossible within a discourse that designated men as the enemy. Once separated, growth for all of us was slower, harder and more easily opposed.”

    Times have moved on, feminism in it’s “gender equality” iteration only pisses most men off and does nothing to improve the condition of the masses of women.. It offers no critique that challenges class inequality from which all other inequalities flow.
    It’s time to cosign feminism and all its brands to the pages of a women’s studies, history of feminism text book. Where no one will ever hear from it again. :-)

  • http://crystalspraggins.blogspot.com/ Crystal Spraggins

    Yes, yes, yes! This makes me think of Proverbs 31:10-31, “Description of a Worthy Woman.” She’s an “:excellent wife” who “works with her hands” but has the means to “consider a field” and buy it. She “extends her hand to the poor” and “opens her mouth in wisdom.” She makes and sells linen garments, and “strength and dignity are her clothing.” She’s the bomb! Just beautiful.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @Crystal – checked out your blog. Beautiful Sister! Represent!!! Shouting you out here in DC :-)

  • http://www.evettedionne.com Evette Dionne

    I am a proud womanist with love and admiration for black feminists including bell hooks, Audre Lorde and others. I think black feminism and womanism needs better PR, as Ebony’s Jamilah Lemieux wrote so eloquently a few years ago. The core of feminism/womanism has been misconstrued as hating men, heteronormative ideologies of marriage and shaving. All three assumptions are wrong, but I didn’t discover that until I embraced womanism.

  • Kay

    Um….have you ever read Patricia Collins? Have you read about feminist thinkers in South America and Mexico? Many of these women address economic inequality. You know why? Because most of the poorest people on earth are WOMEN. And many of them are women of color. They often offer searing critiques into the systems that perpetuate class differences. And have you even read this article? This article is not about “mainstream feminism,” it is about the creation of a movement which addresses all the myriad things the mainstream does not, including poverty. So it seems to me that you just read “woman,” and “feminist,” and drew your own conclusions.

  • Whiteprivilegeterminated

    I saw nothing that mentioned class analysis as a core tenet of “womanism”, just some ill-defined ramble about . . .

    “womanism is specifically focused on black gendered struggles and is steeped in the experiences and histories of black women, men and families.”

    that continued in the same vein through out the piece.

    Correcting another half truth offered by femininists . . . . the facts are that women are greater percentage of the population in SOME places, but not a greater percentage of the poor. For example, in some parts of Black America there are more women than men, but men suffer incarceration rates at a rate ten times higher rate than that of women. Mass incarceration is weapon of control unleashed against the poor, making poverty as much an oppression for men as it is for women, if not more so, in that context.

    And yes I’ve read widely from many feminist text, of those I’ve read I find a few have made valuable contributions, but taken as a whole I find feminism of whatever stripe still wanting because of its instistence on presenting an analysis that pitches the struggle for equality and HUMAN rights in man vs woman terms.

    Even when men are not explicitly blamed for women’s suffering the mere idea of woman’s rights is alienating and divisive.

    Women’s rights implies men’s wrongs

    but the only male wrongdoers who seem to incur feminism’s wrath are poor men. Not the the likes of Barack Obama who order the drone killings of children women and men all over the world.

  • Ask_ME


    I could care less what individual black men and black women do with/without each other. When an individual like KR comes on here and tries to imply that ALL black women are simple-minded followers who will probably be single mothers I open my mouth an I speak up. If you don’t like it you can mos def kiss my arse!

    P.S. I don’t for one second believe you are interested in fixing anything. You’re interested in controlling black women….not working with them.

  • Ask_ME

    Truth hurts. You’re right….I don’t mean the delusional, whiny, pathetic men that frequent this blog any good.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @trueletterson – Thanks for your support! I appreciate your stance on the issues too.

    It’s hard to tease apart but I’ll give it a shot.

    IMO BW have always been womanist. We always worked to support our families. Most of us never had the luxury to just be stay-at-home because the economic reality in our community demanded it. My grandmother worked full time while raising 7 kids. My mom and one of her sisters where quasi-SAH moms. My mom never worked after my brother was born and my aunt did hair out of her home in the Bronx.

    Anyway, most BW back then did not identify with the feminist movement. White women had far less of a presence in the workplace and I think far less equality with their men than BW had.

    Honestly, even in college (and I went to a predominately white one) – most sistah’s were not roped into the whole feminist push – it was largely a WW’s agenda.

    @True, I don’t know if I’d attribute what is going on in our community with radicalized feminism. I think it is the result of many things and to blame feminism for it would be remiss to look at all the other factors. For instance, prior to the Civil Rights

  • http://Clutch SL

    Movement, marriage was pretty stable in both AA and white communities – but in the mid to late ’50s concurrently with the CRM, teenage pregnancy became rampant, the entire mood of the country shifted after the CRM with the Hippie Movement of Free Love in the ’60s early ’70s followed on the heels by the 70s Black Power Movement followed by the Feminist Movement in the 70s. The CRM was the bell tower of freedom from oppression and all these other movements rode it’s coat tails. The same as how the Gay Rights Movement now rides the coattails of all those movements that set the precedent for individual and collective freedoms.

    So, would you say that the CRM failed? Prior to CRM very few inter-racial relationships were happening. We can directly trace the proliferation of BM marrying outside the community to the CRM.

    Let’s take Tiger Woods’ dad Earl for an example: he had a BW and 3-4 children with her. He left her for Tiger’s mom…an Asian. We can look across of families now and see in the 70s BM leaving the community for others. BW did not leave…they were forced to stay and raise their kids. Feminism had nothing really to do with this is my opinion, until now being left alone

  • moemiel

    ok so i am just curious as to y u dont identify as a feminist…u dont beleive in women’s rights to choose, u are ok with being paid less? u must not enjoy this freedom of choice as a black woman, that a bunch of male hating, bra burning, family breaking lesbians hv achieved for u. Just curious thats all….

  • http://Clutch SL

    BW did what they had to do – just like they always had to do under less than ideal situations – they had to ensure the survival of their families…they didn’t in large part get to leave them behind and go and start new families with other men.

    The resentment most BW feel towards BM has less to do with the Feminist movement IMO and more to do with the history that exists between BM and BW.

    BM let BW down, @True. They lied to them to get them to drop their panties, impregnated them and then abandoned them. I know this is true because what worried my dad the most was that his daughters would fall prey to that and he, my uncles, grandfather and my brothers drilled into us not to fall for the “game”, the “lies”. They schooled us in the “ways” of BM. A lot of girls did not have anyone to teach them that with any freedom comes responsibility.
    Girls dropped their panties, had babies and guys walked away.

    You can’t blame Feminist Movement for that.

    IMO, BW were the original feminists and our experience had little to do with the WW push to enter the workplace.

    But just like the CRM opened doors for non-blacks the WW Feminist Movement opened the door for non-white women.

  • Mademoiselle

    I’m all for equal rights and opportunities, but more and more, I tend to avoid labels and affiliations because I prefer to be bound by my own beliefs, not an organization’s or movement’s doctrines. So I’ll pass on both feminism & womanism.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Where did you come from and when are you going back, Trueletterson?

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Do you tell men to not have children until they put a priority on being a husband, fatherhood and family?

  • http://Clutch SL

    @True – my point being: All women, not just BW, have benefited from the Feminist Movement – just like other non-white people have and continue to benefit from the Civil Rights Movement.

    Not everything that resulted from the Civil Rights Movement was positive for blacks, but no black would say that the movement was a failure :-).

  • lil ray

    black women and girls needs come first with me.

  • http://brianaatkins.tumblr.com/ BriA

    Love this <3

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    “IMO, BW were the original feminists and our experience had little to do with the WW push to enter the workplace.”

    Hmm… I don’t know that Non-White women’s rates of employment has always been linked to proto-feminist leanings but to economic exploitation of the working classes (the rates of employment were similar in White working-class women during the Industrial Revolution — out of wedlock births were also at about the same rates that the American Black community’s are now, which is interesting).

    I had been a committed feminist but it has become pretty obvious that White feminism is mostly concerned with getting White, heterosexual, middle-class women access to greater wealth and a higher level in an oppressive hierarchy. A lot of the ideas aren’t focused on significant concerns, like the excessive sexual promiscuity and shock-tactics.

    Also, Black feminism (I don’t think the word “Womanism” is useful or necessary) is not dissimilar or more significant than feminism throughout the non-White world.

    There is radical, crucial activity going on in the Indian Sub-continent, Northeast Asia (Japan and China), and in the so-called Muslim world, as well as in Latin America. These women are taking phenomenal risks to fight honor killings, disappearing women (Latin America), and now rape in India. India is the most amazing example with men ALSO mobilizing to end gender oppression. This is absolutely amazing for a country that still has sati and female infanticide,, etc.

  • Mark

    I agree

  • Ask_ME

    Yeah okay. I’m defending me and other black women from losers like you and KR, who come to this site and issue your unsolicited backwards advice.

  • http://Clutch SL

    Hey @Ask_Me – what makes @True’s comments anymore unsolicited than yours or mine? I haven’t read anything that indicates that Clutch does not want male participation or only males who agree with a certain philosophical ideal.

    You guys are on polar ends of the spectrum – I get it, but not everyone feels these guys are unwelcome.

    Disagreement is healthy to normal discourse – hostility, not so much.

    The only way to bridge the gap is to agree to disagree.
    But his comments are not anymore useless than yours or mine and maybe they are all useless :-).

  • Ask_ME


    This individual RARELY contributes anything to a conversation. Instead he attacks people he doesn’t agree with and goes on rants about black women being black men’s domain (yes, those are his actual words).

    If you disagree with him he throws out a series of unnecessary attacks and then states he’s just trying help. Sweetie, that is unsolicited advice. Mind you, NONE of my original comments were directed at this individual yet he felt the need to directly attack me.

    Unlike you, most of us are not willing to coddle these men. You, SL, contradict yourself so often it’s not even funny. I typically bypass your comments because of the obvious contradictions. I shake my head and bypass them. However, don’t sit here and act like you CANNOT SEE how men like Trueletterson attack people for no reason at all. If you want to address some hostility start with the SOURCE…not the folks who attack after being attacked.

  • Ask_ME

    Open your eyes chick. His comments didn’t disappear because he was contributing to the conservation. Instead, they disappeared because HE was attacking people and those people (folks like ME) were defending themselves. Get a clue! Your comments are full of nothing but contradictions.

  • Ask_ME


    And finally the troll comes out. I knew HE was hiding in there somewhere. You gave yourself away a while back….with all the contradictions in your post I’m surprise others didn’t catch on quicker.

  • http://Clutch SL

    Ask_Me – you incite what you get. Contradictory -nah not at all. I’m not black and white…I have lots of varying opinions on most things…which why I don’t need to be hostile all the time like you needing to prove I’m right or better or that I need to have the last word… Let it go…you’ll be a better person in the end.

  • Ask_ME

    @SL and all your other personalities on this blog

    I too believe you incite what you get…which is exactly what happened to trueletterson and YOU.

    Do you honestly think we (REAL black women) will stand for being insulted because you want to have a conversation in which you pretend to be a black woman with other trolls??? LMAO! I don’t think so.

    Again, open YOUR eyes. This trueletterson person came here and insulted me and several others here before a mod shut him down. Again, get a clue.

  • http://Clutch SL

    Are you a true BW @Ask_Me? Really? Humph, I can see why the brothas would flee.

    You are so angry. It makes me wonder what in the hell happened in your life? You want to attack more than understand. Like a wild coyote.

    Nothing can be accomplished with that kind of mindset.

    But then again, you don’t care since by your own admission you have “no dog in this fight”.

    So I’m curious:
    Why do you take everything they say so personally. Why you identify with what they say so strongly to the point you feel personally attacked and needing to respond with the most vicious utter rebuke possible?

    Things that I don’t care about don’t elicit a response from me.

    So if there is contradiction it is in you.

    By the way, I am a woman but I understand the power of my womanhood is not in my ability to put down a man, but rather to meet and have true discourse – something you seem to be struggling with.

  • http://Clutch SL

    Btw, are you seriously even married? Cause no married woman I know would approach a conversation with a man in the way in which you do.

  • http://Clutch SL

    If Clutch wanted a one-sided view on issues then they would say so in the policy but as far as I can tell that’s not their objective.

    Maybe they shut him down before for a good reason – that would predate me subs ribing to the site – but so far this time around they let his posts stand.

    Not everything is a personal assault against you. People have different perspectives and last time I looked that in itself is not a crime.

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