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Multiracial Feminism Essay

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Multiracial Feminism: Recasting the Chronology of Second Wave Feminism introduces ideas by Becky Thompson that contradict the “traditional” teachings of the Second Wave of feminism. She points out that the version of Second Wave feminism that gets told centers around white, middle class, US based women and the central problem being focused on and rallied against is sexism. This history of the Second Wave does not take into consideration feminist movements happening in other countries. Nor does it take into consideration the feminist activism that women of color were behind, that centered not only on sexism, but also racism, and classism as central problems as well. This is where the rise of multiracial feminism is put to the foreground and…show more content…
Multiracial feminism addressed the fact that racism was the core of oppression for most women of color. Along with racism it also addressed class, gender, and sexuality. All of the interlocking oppressions worked together against women of color which made necessary for their own brand of feminism. The mainstream feminism associated with Second Wave did not take into consideration any of these other forms of oppression for women. This lead to Black, Latina, Native American, and Asian groups of women to start feminist organizations that individually addressed their unique struggles as women in America. For example, in early 1970s Black women formed the National Black Feminist Organization (NBFO) which focused solely on the issues of black women such as stereotypes of black women in the media, discrimination in the workplace, and Black women’s self- esteem (Thompson 53). Groups such as NBFO helped to serve antiracist agenda while providing inclusivity for the women of the Black community. Racism was so prevalent in the United States that it could not be seen as a stand-alone problem to sexism or…show more content…
Multiracial feminism recognizes the need for coalition politics. The autonomous women of color feminist organizations share similar goals, and they realize there is strength in numbers. While creating autonomous groups allows Blacks, Latinas, Native American, and Asian women to focus solely on the oppressions they individually face, they are aware that they share problems with racism, sexism, and classism. Most minority groups are targeted by the government and live in low income households. Along with receiving support from other minority groups they also receive support from militant antiracist white feminists as well. An idea multiracial feminism expanded on was the phrase “Personal is Political”, which means issues that seem personal (abortion, abuse, employment, etc.) are actually political issues (Thompson, 59). Multiracial feminism made the point to expand on that phrase and according to Anne Braden, expand it to “The Personal is Political and The Political is Personal” (Thompson, 59). This expansion of the phrase is important to the antiracist white supporters of women of color. It lets them know that racism, and oppression only women of color face does not mean white women cannot be aware of it and speak out against it. It made the point that a person does not need to directly experience the oppression in order to know it is not right. This allows an