The birth of the black feminist paradox

I’ve entered the black hole of fuckery that I can’t get out of.  I feel as if  I’m floating through space at light speed watch every star speed past me, while I try and count them all on my fingertips. Eventually  though I run out of fingers. And I’m left with a whopper of a headache.  So I’m going to start over. This time I going to go a little slower, maybe use a tally system of all the fuckery I’ve seen that way I can catalog it appropriately. Now the only  question is where to start.  I’ll start with what’s on the forefront this week. And I’ll work backwards. (because isn’t going into your past the only way to go into your future?)

I’ll start with my earlier posts on intersectionality, because I’m not sure how many people have actually heard of such a phrase. Hopefully once I go from there you will realize why I have such crazy notions of abandoning the civil rights movement (such as it is) and the  feminist movement (again, such as it is).

[I’m preparing you now… this post may go on for quite a while]

Kimberle Crenshaw explains that in “anti discrimination laws” and “feminist theory”  it is assumed that racial discrimination and  sexism occur on  (as Crenshaw  explains) on one axis. That is,  is is assumed that if you are affected by discrimination you are affected by racism or the sexism. As Crenshaw explains,  it’s assumed,  that you can’t be affected by both. At least not at the same time. She also explains

“in race discrimination cases, discrimination
tends to be viewed in terms of sex- or class-privileged Blacks, In sex discrimination
cases, the focus is on race- and class-privileged women.”

Meaning (as I’ve stated before)  when it’s time to talk about racism black men (who are privileged because they are males) are at the forefront of discussions. And when it’s time to talk about sexism  white women (who are privileged because they are a white) get to discuss their issues first because like black men they still are privileged in some way.

She furthers,

This focus on the most privileged group members marginalizes those who
are muLtiply-burdened and obscures claims that cannot be understood as resulting
from discrete sources of discrimination. I suggest further that this focus on
otherwise-privileged group members creates a distorted analysis of racism and
sexism because the operative conceptions of race and sex become grounded in
experiences that actually represent only a subset of a much more complex

Basically this is where intersectionality comes into play. Because using this system it ignores the people (like crenshaw says) who don’t have race or sex privilege. But because of the fact that Black Men and White women  who are more privileged than black women (get to be at the forefront) these topics are viewed through  a narrow lense that doesn’t take into account the fact that for black women both issues come into play.

(And further as I’ve said before in a Racist, Patriarchal, Capitalistic society. Each group is relying on the footholds that they have in their privileges to stay on top.)

Here is why this narrow lense is not only detrimental  but not only a waste of time for black women to support either case:  Because for black women who do fall into the narrow scope that either  group has set they are not able to get any protection.  Like I’ve said before, but I’m reiterating more calmly now,  because of race privilege (which white women already had)   they are afforded the protection of sex discrimination laws. And black men because of male privilege (already obtained)  they are afforded the protection of  race discrimination laws. Black women, unfortunately, are protected neither because they aren’t inherently born with either of these privileges and because they laws are created by people who are already privileged it ignores how race and gender come together and collide into one hellish, unsolvable conundrum.

Crenshaw explains how, when black women have tried to show that their was race and sex discrimination happening at the same time (that occurred simultaneously) the lawsuit that black women had was dismissed because they could only file a lawsuit under one or the other NOT both. It is simply not recognized that those two issues collide for black women. She  explains in one case that black women had against discrimination on behalf of black women who were suing for black women specifically was dismissed because according to General Motors (the defendant) they had hired women. They were simply white. Which meant that the sex discrimination  lawsuit could be dropped. Then because again General Motors had  in fact hired blacks  albeit black males  the racial lawsuit was also dropped.  Meaning there were no findings that could show that they were  discriminated against because they were black females.

Further those it wasn’t allowed to be combined as the court stated.

Plaintiffs have failed to cite any decisions which have stated that slack women
are a special class to be protected from discrimination. The Courts own research
has failed to disclose such a decision. The plaintiffs are clearly entitled to a remedy
if they have been discriminated against. However they should not be allowed to
combine statutory remedies to create a new super-remedy’ which would give
them relief beyond what the drafters of the relevant statutes intended. Thus, this
lawsuit must be examined to see if it states a cause of action for race discrimination,
sex discrimination, or alternatively either, but not a combination of both.

Again this shows that if black women don’t fall under the protection for the already privileged you are screwed.

Not only that but it goes even further, with black women not being able to even file a lawsuit on behalf of women. Because in the case because she had originally stated the discrimination suit as being for black women this caused a major problem.

Moore had never claimed before the EEOC that she was discriminated against
as a female, but only as a Black female. .(This raised serious doubts as to Moore’s ability to adequately represent white female employees.’

Because she originally acknowledged the black side of her, she couldn’t possibly represent white women. even though she is a woman too. Because obviously she isn’t universal. Even if black women wanted to be identified through one of these boxes that the already privileged have created she couldn’t because again her race in this case came into play.

Also for black women to be considered a group in its own would be a problem because their protection would put them above  black men  and white women as the quote above explains, to have the protection of say white men if you really think about it. And that just can’t happen.

This is how  black women get bum fucked. Because even though they are getting screwed they can’t actually do anything about it.  Or like crenshaw says,

Black women are harmed because Black women’s claims were
viewed as so distinct from the claims of either white women or Black men
that the court denied to Black females representation of the larger class, It
seems that I have to say that Black women are the same and harmed by being
treated differently, or that they are different and harmed by being treated the
same. But I cannot say both.

This apparent contradiction is but another manifestation of the conceptual
limitations of the single-Issue analyses that intersectionality challenges. The
point is that Black women can experience discrimination In any number of
ways and that the contradiction arises from our assumptions that their claims
of exclusion must be unidirectional. Consider an analogy to traffic in an
intersection, coming and going in all four directions. Discrimination, like traffic
through an intersection, may flow in one direction, and it may flow In another.
If an accident happens In an intersection, it can be caused by cars traveling
from any number of directions and, sometimes, from all of them. Similarly, if
a Black woman is harmed because she is In the intersection, her injury could
result from sex discrimination or race discrimination.

Judicial decisions which premise intersectional relief on a showing that Black
women are specifically recognized as a class are analogous to a doctor’s decision
at the scene of an accident to treat an accident victim only if the injury is
recognized by medical insurance. Similarly, providing legal relief only when
Black women show that their claims are based on race or on sex is analogous
to calling an ambulance for the victim only after the driver responsible for
the injuries is Identified. But it is not always easy to reconstruct an accident:
Sometimes the skid marks and the injuries simply indicate that they occurred
simultaneously, frustrating efforts to determine which driver caused the harm.
In these cases the tendency seems to be that no driver is held responsible, no
treatment is administered, and the involved parties simply get back in their
cars and zoom away.
To bring this back to a non-metaphorical level, I am suggesting that Black
women can experience discrimination in ways that are both similar to and
different from those experienced by white women and Black men. Black women
sometimes experience discrimination in ways similar to white women’s experiences; sometimes they share very similar experiences with Black men. Yet
often they experience double-discrimination—the combined effects of practices
which discriminate on the basis of race, and on the basis of sex.

This brings me back to my original point black women are being sold a false bill of goods. That has led me to the extreme decision that black women are not benefiting from either. Because if black women  don’t fall into either narrow category the can get relief. but even if they do  they are not provided any  help because they are still somehow not allowed to represent either white women are black men because then it’s recognized as  being unique!

In conclusion I urge black women to WALK AWAY.  I can’t be more clear to the fact that these laws that are not only not helping you.. THEY ARE WORKING AGAINST YOU!!!  YOU MUST WALK AWAY!!

[to read pdf by crenshaw go here


7 thoughts on “The birth of the black feminist paradox

  1. Pingback: Fools, Idiots, Morons, And Those Who are Too Stupid to Live, please read this post « notyourgirlfriday

  2. Pingback: Fools, Idiots, Morons, And Those Who are Too Stupid to Live, please read this post « Black Women Strategically Neutral

  3. Pingback: SING!! « notyourgirlfriday

  4. Pingback: Response to Comment « notyourgirlfriday

  5. Pingback: A Lesson in Neutrality: #STAYINGOUTOFIT | NotYourGirlFriday

  6. #BlackLivesMatter is still so much less important than Feminism! As long as ALL women are oppressed by patriarchy why do we even worry about a very narrow oppression example – just a single race?

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