The Meaning of Feminism for Colored Women
Dr. Brenda DoHarris
Feminism is defined as the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. However, feminism for colored women is slightly different because it ties sexism into oppression and racism. Throughout Brenda DoHarris’s novel, Calabash Parkway, feminism is displayed on numerous occasions by the Guyanese women being portrayed in the story. There are examples of feminism in Thelma Thompson’s novel, Bay Leaves and Cinnamon Sticks, by Miss Millie, a Jamaican woman who finds work in the United States. The meaning of feminism amongst women of color can be analyzed in several ways.
Typically, when one thinks of a woman who is a feminist, what comes to mind is an angry, unattractive “man-hater” who whines about problems such as abortion, bras, and men. However, this is only a stereotype. Feminists are especially concerned with sexual equality, which in no way applies sexism. In fact, true feminism speaks out against sexism. Specifically for women of color, such as the aforementioned characters, feminism works conjointly with racial equality, as well as sexual equality. For a colored woman, feminism means embracing womanhood and supporting the sexuality of other women, despite cultural differences. It means equal laws for men and women of all ethnicities, laws that benefit women as well as men, and the mutual belief that violence amongst the world’s women should come to an end. One example of feminism is
Contrary to popular belief, the term “feminist” does not represent women who believe that they are better than men. The term represents women who strive to make the public aware that sexual inequality does exist, and women are just as adequate as a man is. For generations, women have been depicted as inferior to men, when in fact, women are just as important as men are. The main objective of feminism is to...
Cited: Primary Sources
DoHarris, Brenda. Calabash Parkway. Lanham: Tantaria Press, 2005.
Thompson, Thelma. Bay Leaves and Cinnamon Sticks Life Is. Oxnard: Edwards Brothers Malloy, 2013.
Secondary Sources (4-5)
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