Black Skin, White Masks, And Gender Essay

Black Skin, White Masks, And Gender Essay

Length: 1136 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In her blog posting “ ‘Noting to Say’: ‘Black Skin, White Masks’ and Gender,” Emma Jeremie Mould discusses the double bind women of color find themselves in. First, they are overdetermined by the racist discourse of the Whites. Second, black women find themselves codified within the discourse of native men. In addition, she contends that some Western feminists analyze the plight of black women from the top down, through an approach that reinforces a racialized hierarchy among women.
In order to develop her argument, Mould relies on the texts of three authors and their contributions to the postcolonial discourse: Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, Homi Bhabha’s foreword to the 1986 edition of this book, and Chilla Bulbeck’s, Re-Orientating Western Feminism: Women’s Diversity in a Postcolonial World, which was published in 1998.
As far as Fanon is concerned, Mould criticizes his work for reinforcing the rigid colonial attitude towards black women, as she contends that he is only interested in the liberation of black men. She particularly criticizes Fanon’s depiction of Capécia, stating that it would homogenize the experience of black women by presenting her life story as representative for all native women. Furthermore, she contends that contrary to his nuanced presentation of his male character Veneuse, Fanon depicts black women as caught up in a state of hopelessness – unable to ever overcome their inferiority and desire. For him, black women are merely objects that either help or hinder the black man’s struggle for agency, as he fails to see that they are locked in precisely the same struggle.
Mould points out critical aspects in Fanon’s work. There is no doubt that his analysis centers mainly on black man. However, parts of...

... middle of paper ...

...oach is more than a critique. She uses her criticism to develop a more inclusive approach, one that acknowledges the intersectionality of race and sex. However, we need to ask ourselves if the equation of black women and white women makes sense in this context. Generally, black women’s position in the “exchange economy” is distinctly different from that of white women. Acknowledging that difference does not preclude female solidarity, rather, it calls attention to the more than subtle differences of women’s struggles created by the politics of race. It might have helped if Bergner had used a broader array of sources, one that included the voices of women of color, not just those of black men or white feminists. That said, her summary of Fanon’s psychoanalytical approach and her gender sensitive reading of it provides a good basis for further research in this area.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Skin Deep, Spirit Strong : The Black Female Body Essay

- In Kimberly Springer’s anthology, Skin Deep, Spirit Strong: The Black Female Body in American Culture, she has different articles in the book that are written by a variety of women. The articles in the book break down and discuss areas of history and time-periods that shaped the representation and current understanding of the black female body. Many ideals of how society preserves the black female body to be is based on historical context that the authors in Springers book further explain. The two articles that I am going to focus on are Gender, Race and Nation: The Comparative Anatomy of “Hottentot” Women in Europe 1815-17 and Mastering the Female Pelvis: Race and the Tools of Reproductio...   [tags: Gender, White people, Woman, Race]

Better Essays
1680 words (4.8 pages)

The Black And White Skin Color Dichotomy Essay

- In chapter 16 of To Kill a Mocking Bird, the reader sees that racism during this era goes beyond a black and white skin color dichotomy. People of mixed race experience racism as well. Before the infamous trial of Tom Robinson, Jem explains to Scout what a mixed child is. Jem replies, “Half white, half colored… They’re real sad.” (p.215) Jem then goes on to explain the life of the “tragic mulatto”; this is the life of someone that isn’t accepted anywhere or by anyone. “They don’t belong anywhere....   [tags: Race, Miscegenation, Black people, White people]

Better Essays
1084 words (3.1 pages)

The Standard Of Beauty Is Centered On Skin Tones And Complexion Within The Black Community

- Light brown, brown, redbone, peanut butter, caramel, mocha, and dark brown. The standard of beauty is centered on skin tones and complexion within the black community. The terms described above are associated with colorism. Colorism is prejudice or discrimination of individuals with darker skin tones. Skin tone has brought the most significant conflict for men and women in history. “We must recognize racism as a powerful, structural force that restricts the attainment of optimal health” (García, Zulfacar & Sharif, pg....   [tags: Human skin color, Race, Racism, Black people]

Better Essays
1056 words (3 pages)

My Skin Color Is Not White Essay

- Part One I will always be considered an “other” in America. My skin color is not white, I was born in the U.S but I possess Mexican ancestry, my family and I are labeled as a low-income family, and last but not least, I am a woman. I defy “normal” societal norms in America that are negatively influenced by social, cultural, and economical categories: Gender, Capitalism, Globalization, Race, Class, Sexual orientation, Identity, and Religion. I believe “Feminisms Beyond the Black/White Binary (Woolner, Feminisms Beyond the Black/White Binary , Wed Sept.30),” is a feminist issue I earnestly care about because it affects my life and my chances of economic and social success....   [tags: Sociology, Race, Racism, Race]

Better Essays
1719 words (4.9 pages)

Essay about Gender, Ethnicity, Skin Color, And Race

- Egalitarian is a belief that everyone is equal despite any factor such as, gender, ethnicity, skin color, or their race. In the twentieth century there were many examples of inequality, in American society, but with the time egalitarian has been promoted and improved. In twenty first century, African American have more opportunity and freedom than they ever did in the American history. Inequality based on gender is decreased. Homosexual have more rights. It can be said that American society in twenty-first century is more egalitarian....   [tags: African American, Barack Obama, Black people]

Better Essays
708 words (2 pages)

Essay about White Privilege And Black Privilege

- White privilege are privileges that are given to white people who they do not earn, it 's an asset they get; on daily basis just because of their skin color.; White. Peggy McIntosh describes the white privilege as "an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, code-books, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks (McIntosh 1988, p175).” I believe that the white privilege is the same as racism because the word white privilege itself explains it. It is privilege given and offered towards only the white people....   [tags: Racism, Race, White people, Colored]

Better Essays
829 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Black Women : Black Woman, Hatred, And Anger, By Devon W. Carbado

- The way humans look externally and feel internally has been a barrier and the kernel to many of America’s social conflicts. Audre Lorde’s essay, “Eye to Eye: Black Women, Hatred, and Anger,” attempts to answer why Black women feel contempt among one another. It resonates that Black women, in lieu of their hatred for each other, should replace it by bonding together because they share the same experiences of being women and Black. In the essay titled, “Colorblind Intersectionality,” penned by, Devon W....   [tags: Race, Black people, White people, Human skin color]

Better Essays
1799 words (5.1 pages)

The Battle Royal, The Black Men And The White Girl Essay

- In Battle Royal, it is clear that power wasn 't necessarily shared. There is generally a ruling group, and everyone falls underneath them. Southern literature shows the requirements in a distinct way. Status depends on the color of skin, and the gender. The rich white men in Battle Royal run the show, while the black men and the white girl are there for entertainment, therefore explaining where the power may be centralized. Gender is not the main concern in southern literature. Although, little power is given to women....   [tags: White people, African American, Race, Race]

Better Essays
721 words (2.1 pages)

Racial Conflict Between Black And White Americans Essay

- Racial Conflict The issue of racial conflict has affected many lives in America today. For example, throughout history racial conflict between black and white Americans has broken down many black men and woman physically, emotionally, and psychologically. An example of that is the racial segregation in the United States. For many blacks living in the United States segregation made them lose access to essential things like education, work, and housing....   [tags: Black people, African American, Race]

Better Essays
1200 words (3.4 pages)

Questions On White Privilege Essay

- White privilege is when white people are treated better simply because of their skin tone. White is considered to be the norm (Klement Lecture 7) therefore, any person of a different colour is the “other,” which correlates with a more negative treatment towards them, especially in the law system. Intersectional analysis is crucial when studying white privilege because it looks at how people from various groups are affected by rationalization differently. As mentioned in Lecture 7 (Klement), intersectional analyses examine how people of different races, classes, genders, sexualities, religions, ethnicities, and age considers how each of the different statuses change the way people are raciali...   [tags: Black people, Race, Race, White people]

Better Essays
787 words (2.2 pages)