Women And The Feminist Movement

1677 WordsMay 9, 20177 Pages
That “women live dispersed among men” is the unifying condition of women and the feminist movement (de Beauvoir 8). Beyond that, differences in culture, in privilege, in circumstance all speak of the community that never was. Even so, both history and current conversation speak of women as though they were a unified group. If gender is performative and is the result of “an historical situation,” this generalization of women declares that women experience gender in one way (Butler 520). From this emerges a war that isolates woman in the effort to define what it is to be a woman. To begin with, Susan Carby describes how history subjects Black women to hypersexual stereotypes and denies white women their sexuality. Koshy proceeds to describe…show more content…
As a result, women become defensive. As a white and privileged cis-woman, I have been in conversations in which I’ve heard privileged women make weak defenses in fear of their own experiences being invalidated. They make these defenses from the internalized recognition that “any difference between us means one of us must be inferior, then the recognition of any difference must be fraught with guilt” (Lorde 118). I am sure I have not been guiltless. I confess this so that I may emphasize how disconnected the feminist movement is. After all, claim that all women are part of a universal “sisterhood” erases discussion of differences. Intersectional feminism, necessary and empowering, compensates for that erasure while also deemphasizes that which shared between women. Indeed, “…intersections mark not just our differences but our connections as well. In feminism, we use intersectionality to distinguish ourselves. . . Too often there seems no recognition of what we also share” (Hirschmann 403). An uncertain community emerges as a consequence. Yet, dividing women into separate factions forges “chains made up of mistaken ideas and misinterpreted facts, of incomplete truths and unreal choices” (Friedan 26). A common cause is lost, and a common language is lost. Koshy discusses the consequence of this when she notes that “romance offered a formula for naturalizing the narrative of nationhood in a land of
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