I’m not completely sure, however, from what i got was that being lesbian was seen as an act of rebellion against males, both white and black. Even though it seemed as though it was mostly directed towards white males, it seemed to be more “disrespectful” towards black men because they were no longer slaves they felt as if they needed to enslave black women in a sense. And if women were not interested in black men how they felt they were not able to oppress and belittle someone as they once were.
Another thing cheryl clarke did was compare being seen as lesbian or straight to embracing your race. “..labels herself bisexual….who calls herself “mulatto” rather than black” (page 244, clarke). Instead of embracing what they really are many women felt that they should play the role of a woman and classify themselves as other what people believe is “right”. “many women are only lesbians to a particular community and pass as heterosexuals as they traffic among enemies.” (page 243, clarke). Women walked around pretending to be something they truly were not around people they are fighting against.
I see a lot of this around in my community in California and even on campus. people feel as though because other thinks its taboo to be or act a certain why they should have to pretend and do something they not. When they should be showing them who they really are to show that they are no different then them and they do not care how they are seen because at the end of the day they are who they are.
“Unfortunately, there seems to be some confusion in the movement today as to who has been oppressing whom.” (page 146, Beale)
During this time black women seemed to being oppressed by everybody including black men. they were not able to be their own individual and make something of themselves. They were described as “slaves of slaves” (page 148, Beale). In cases regarding being the “bread winner”, white made it harder for black males to get jobs then for black women. The woman had to sometimes make the money for the household and because of economic stereotypes women began to believe men were lazy because they had no job and did not drive expensive cars. At their jobs many where molested and abused, women had it hard at home and work during these times. Black women were not seen as “women” but as sex machine, that was all males, both white and black, thought they were good for.
While I was reading I noticed many of things stated, such as the women being the “bread winner”, are still a huge issue in today’s society. I believe because of the way things were set up in Beale’s time today’s society is seriously messed up. meaning because of the sterotypes of how a “real men” should be and what he should have black women feel as though they MUST have these things because without it they are not a “real man”. Which goes back to last week’s discussion about how whites viewed black men as boys and they were not seen as men. They installed this into black women’s head and now this stereotype will always be seen as a fact or a way of life.
In today’s society there money pays the same role it did when Anna Julia Cooper was around. Everything now-a-days is measured by how much money someone has or can get. Cooper stated through women there can be a new era, and I agree because majority of the time women can be a strong advocate. However, because it is harder for women to reach a high enough level to fully make a change. Cooper stated “She is confronted by both a woman question and a race problem..” (page 45, Cooper). Because we are females everything comes twice as hard for us then it would for a black man, and even harder then for a white man. Cooper also stated that “man of our race” do not want us to reach a highly level the what is seen as the norm for females. However, women have “… a word worth hearing on mooted questions in political economy,…” (page 46, Cooper). I think this because for so long we, as a culture, have been sitting back and observing and have now formed a strong opinion that needs to be heard to improve today’s political economy.
The entire time I was reading it seemed as though I was at convocation in Sister’s Chapel on Thursday, the information in the passage has literally been drilled into my head because it has been said so many time. The process of “claiming” our education, especially from spelman, is one of the most important things a female in today’s society has to go through. As it states in the passage, with education feminist can find ways to help change the movement they are protest against. Because in most cases a lot of movements are based around one event and with education they would have the ablity to reseach and find other events to the movement and possibly change things for the better.
Along side making positive changes, education can better a person’s traits. education gives them the ability to think and act for themselves. I know from experience that education can dramatically change a person’s trait, the way they act and carry themselves. I believe most people can vividly see who has an education and who doesn’t, very judgmental but it’s true.
When reading these passages in the back of my head I kept thinking about the discussion my classmates and I had last week about “mother tongue” and how parents teach their kids certain traditions without knowing it. The history behind starting HBCUs is to teach traditions passed on from our ancients. Which goes back to how some people were saying that “mother tongue” should be taught in school and in a way HBCUs do that, however, in more depth and with more vivid and accurate details. I can say that because going to Spelman I do feel like I’m learning certain traditions that seems like I would learn at home.
Something that also seemed interesting was when women’s voices are heard are always associated with powerful movements. Although, having a voice in anything powerful is positive, but women’s voices should be heard even if there is no movement. Women continue to be pushed aside, especially African-American women, and basically considered their own race or species. Which connects to a discussion my ADW class regarding how facts and history is developed and it’s a one-sided story without a point of view from a female because they were pushed aside. However, when it comes down to powerful movements women are the first to speak out and be the voice for the cause. In my opinion, I believe women are the backbone of this nation and are under-praised for the work they do on an everyday bases. And the worst part is when women do accomplish something powerful everyone is shocked because they are a female and because she is a certain gender it’s amazing she could achieve something powerful like men do everyday.
“Woman is the child’s first teacher” pg 677 I thought that was one of the most powerful lines throughout the passage. When reading it all I saw was everything that was positive about black women being dragged down by ever negative comment anybody could think of. Although I hear/see the things talked about everyday I never really thought about how bad it was until I saw the denotation of the words. I guess seeing things in written is and having to actually read it then thinking about it the more you think the worst you see how the situation is. Being called outrageous names and having someone say your only good for sex is something I couldn’t image happening to me. Not because I think I’m any different then other but because I wouldn’t know how to react in that situation. And in today’s society “acting out” against something somebody said is seen as not acting lady-like and proves the point made in the passage. And if I sat there I wouldn’t be sticking up for myself, so it would be a lose-lose situation for me either way. Seems as though females, black females especially, will not be seem as anything more then what was said in the passage.
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