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Barbara's picture

Feminism

First let me say that I thoroughly enjoy reading all your postings. What a great opportunity for someone in her 70's to witness the thoughts of bright young people! I want to respond particularly to the messages from Rhapsodica, Stephanie, and Tbarryfigu. To do this I will have to speak in generalizations but that can't be avoided.

In my early involvement in the feminist movement of the 50's and early 60's I was struck by the fact that despite efforts at outreaching, we were unable to enlist women of color in our struggle. Over time I came to realize that our concerns were not their primary concerns, and that feminism, at least at that time, was a white women's movement. Perhaps that is why Judy Chicago differentiates Sojourner Truth from the rest of the dinner plates.

Through my professional work, I came to know many black women, women who, for the most part, were heads of households. Their concerns were mostly for their children, being able to provide for them and keep them safe. Many of them had the powerful inner strength that we were seeking, but they didn't think of themselves as feminists. In our view, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman were feminists, but they were just doing what came naturally to them. They didn't need help getting into carriages; they were capable of creating their own railroad!

Barbara '57

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