Gender, Gender And Social Position For African American Women

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Empowerment; the process in which a person makes themselves more stronger, confident and capable of controlling their own life. During the long history of marginalisation, patriarchal oppression, colonisation and the deep psychological damage of being demeaned, the road to empowerment for African American women has been fraught with a multitude of internalised negativity firstly regarding being an African American and secondly a woman. On one hand, a deeper desire for survival (both negative and otherwise) can be observed in Beloved and Push within female characters such as Sethe, Beloved and Precious in which they grasp at what is left of their womanhood. On the other, a naturalistic approach is taken by some characters- no matter how…show more content…
With this craving comes a confusion of her role as a mother and rather than nurturing her daughter with the same love and attention she bestows on Carl, she enables the molestation of the ‘cradle’ (originally a safe place for a child) by not protesting when he “try to stick his thing in her” while excusing him as “jus’ a high natured man”. Her failure as a mother who is unable to protect her child from an abusive father leads to a warped state of denial in which she responds to the oppression of the cruel patriarchal figure, with her own maternal oppression, constantly abusing Precious both verbally and physically; “pushing her head down” does not only refer to the sexual abuse she subjects Precious to, it also highlights Mary’s unwillingness to attempt to get herself and her daughter away from the brutish man that causes both of them pain. In comparison to this passivity Mary displays, Sethe dips her brush into the paint of motherhood in order to provide herself with strength as in order to freely be a mother, in charge of another’s life/destiny, a woman would have to be in control of her life first. Initially, decision-making was left to the men in her life, however, the vigor motherhood provides is used as a key to empower herself enough to undertake the arduous
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