In today’s society, there are certain types of women who are born with the advantage to prosper, and others who will ultimately face challenges. Certain factors are involved when discussing what types of women are more likely to encounter difficulties throughout their life. Audre Lorde, an African-American theorist, poet, and activist, stated tat the American norm is, “usually defined as white, thin, male, young, heterosexual, Christian, and financially secure” (Lorde 19). If a woman does not identify with all of these characteristics, she is more susceptible to hardship. Bastard out of Carolina, The House on Mango Street, and The Bluest Eye discuss many of the consequences of having certain factors that are considered out of the norm. …show more content…
A girl who is considered a racial minority face many challenges in her lifetime that can impede on her well-being. Racism and discrimination are two obstacles minorities have to face. Racism is the “belief in the inherent superiority of one race over all other and thereby the right to dominance” (Lorde 19). Due to racism, minorities have a lack of support from other individuals in the society. Audre Lorde explains her understanding on this issue in her article called “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Refining Difference”. Lorde specifically discusses the discrimination against the African American minority population and gives many examples to support her claims. She stated that one example of Black female discrimination is in literature. Black …show more content…
In the novel, the Black narrator Claudia talks about how the ideal beauty of their society is White women, stating, “Adults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window signs – all the world had agreed that a blue-eyed, yellow-haired, pink-skinned doll was what every girl child treasured. ‘Here,’ they said, ‘this is beautiful, and if you are on this day “worthy” you may have it’ (Morrison 20). This quote is significant because it proves that the culture promotes the appearance of White women over Black women. Due to the large amounts of racism, many African Americans believed they lived in poverty because they were black. The narrator explained, “The Breedloves did not live in a storefront because they were having temporary difficulty adjusting to the cutbacks at the plant. They lived there because they were poor and black, and they stayed there because they were ugly” (Morrison 38). The discrimination was so extreme in the novel that the African American characters started to idealize the white race. One example of this is when Pecola, a black girl, yearned for blue eyes because she believes all of the cruelty in her life will then go away. This strong desire ultimately leads to insanity (Morrison 174). The psychological suffering that many of the young female characters went through is result of discrimination towards a racial
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Toni Morrison's novel, The Bluest Eye contributes to the study of the American novel by bringing to light an unflattering side of American history. The story of a young black girl named Pecola, growing up in Lorain, Ohio in 1941 clearly illustrates the fact that the "American Dream" was not available to everyone. The world that Pecola inhabits adores blonde haired blue eyed girls and boys. Black children are invisible in this world, not special, less than nothing. The idea that the color of your skin somehow made you lesser was cultivated by both whites and blacks. White skin meant beauty and privilege and that idea was not questioned at this time in history. The idea that the color of your skin somehow made you less of a person contaminated black people's lives in many different ways. The taunts of schoolboys directed at Pecola clearly illustrate this fact; "It was their contempt for their own blackness that gave the first insult its teeth" (65). This self hatred also possessed an undercurrent of anger and injustice that eventually led to the civil rights movement.
The article “There Is No Hierarchy of Oppression” by Audre Lorde explains that fact that there are no factors or boundaries that stop oppression. Lorde mentions that she as people in order to tackle a problem we go by one issue first then the next. However, she explains that every issue is interconnected with each other for example, in her situation she is black and a lesbian but both come in to play in all the groups she pertains in. Therefore, in both the communities they see her as vice versa. Lorde tries to emphasize that neither of the aspects that make up her identity are less or more important but equally accepted. In conclusion, Lorde wants society to stop treating just one particular oppression as more important than another because that will not us to come together and fight oppression. Instead, we should treat all oppressions as one in order to achieve change.
“A disadvantage is that as a girl, you’re expected to be feminine and there are certain gender roles you’re expected to conform to,” said Rhoney. My response to her answer was, “Exactly. Why am I always expected to wear a dress and curl my hair? What if I want to roll around in dirt and play football?” We laughed and continued to talk. “My work and time is just as good as a man’s. Why does he get to make ten dollars more than me? I’m probably a lot better at whatever the job may be anyway,” said Rhoney. Being a woman of color also has its disadvantages. “Having attended a predominately white school, my peers didn’t expect me to know as much as them. My intelligence was often overlooked,” said
Somehow, everything about the whites appear to elicit a reigning beauty that raises hatred and envy the black girls have against the white girls. Packer argues that even small thing like hair contributes to hostility. The fourth grade says; “their long, shampoo-commercial hair, straight as spaghetti from the box” (Packer, 16). These reinforcements are ingredients of prejudice that brings about racial discrimination. The black girls get jealous of the white girls’ hair, and this leads to discrimination against them. It is worth noting that the prejudices are handed down by the environment and society that people are brought up in. Arnetta, remembers a mall experience when she and her mother were being seen as if they were from China. They were being discriminated because of their race. The various treatments given to black people has played a vital role in intensifying the issue of prejudice, magnifying people’s sense of inferiority, and shaping the views of the black people on the white people. Arnetta says; “Even though I didn’t fight to fight, was afraid of fight, I felt I was part of the rest of the troop; like I was defending something” (Packer, 12). This is a clear indication that society has the power to influence youths. It depicts how society joins hands to fight for what they think is their right. Owed to the fact that this is a society. Everything and everyone is interlinked in a given way, making racism and prejudice hard to do away
1. Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden convey the fact that Black women in the United States still experience racism and sexism today. African American women have stereotypes and negative connotations attached to them causing them to experience oppression. In response to this, they undergo the “shifting” phenomenon where they alter themselves to fit into what society expects and wants from them. Black women undergo behavioral changes and emotional ups and downs in the face of bias. They feel stress trying to compromise their true selves. “Shifting” gives an insight of what it is like to jeopardize one’s true self in order to survive in society.
In an interview I composed with my mother, I asked her “What were some challenges you had to face being a black woman in the south” which she replied “As a black woman, it was hard because you would be considered last on the totem pole, and we were seen as stereotypes such as barefoot and pregnant.” It hard to challenge these thoughts which Collins described as “controlling images” that society puts on you because of your race or sexuality (pg.1). The author Rhoda Jeffries touches on some black women struggles in her article Editor’s Introduction: Fortitudinous Femininity: Black Women’s Resilience in the Face of Struggle when she says “Jeffries and Jeffries further explore the role of mentoring among Black women and challenge mass media to carefully craft images that positively depict African American women in the various roles they play in “Mentoring and mothering Black femininity in the academy: An exploration of body, voice and image through Black female characters.” (p.82) Media has a huge impact on society, which is because of what people see on television or read on social media, since people aren’t use to or don’t understand something they tend to place it on a certain race or
...can also be applied to other groups. She focuses on the experiences of black women as they respond to this limitation, but her underlying ideas can be used to discuss other peoples’ experiences as well, especially in terms of how they define themselves in relation to the controlling images associated with them. While Skylar is not part of the demographic Hill Collins discusses explicitly, she does illustrate the interaction between controlling images and self-definitions, including resistance, and using dialogue and concrete experiences to determine whether knowledge claims are accurate. Most people, regardless of their place in society, experience controlling images, or someone else’s “first impressions” of them, with consequential limitations imposed on their abilities to be who they really are. Thus, it is important to examine how to confront and challenge this.
Although, African Americans are considered minorities in the United States, not all of them live in poverty. Many African Americans live in a middle class society along with the dominant culture. However, many African Americans do not live in a middle class society, but rather live in poverty and have to suffer along with this poverty. For instance, Donald Goines’s Black Girl Lost and Tina McElroy Ansa’s Baby of the Family, two narrative novels, that illustrate the difference in two young African American girls lives and the society in which they inhabit. Not only do these young African American girls represent the two sides of poverty, they also represent how children can also qualify in the minority category. For example, Sandra lives in a run down apartment with a drunk mother who could care less about her daughter. In addition, Sandra remains all on her own and has to find ways in which to survive each day. But on the other hand, Lena lives in a nice size home with her two parents, her two brothers, and her grandmother, all who love her very much. Moreover, Lena has many family members who look after her and take extra special care for her because she is the baby of the family. Although, both Sandra and Lena lead very different lives, both are faced with challenges as a minority and as a child which questions their view on life.
An unexpected twist, that Pecola’s bright, blue eyes would be the source of her blindness. Nothing pummeled at her mind more than her inexorable yearning for a physical trait exclusive to white culture. The porcelain-skinned children of storybooks taught her that beautiful, sparkling blue eyes were the golden key to beauty, and she retained this information well. She wasn’t the only one. Girls of colored skin have been pressured for years to strip themselves of their culture—mentally, emotionally, even physically—and not much has changed. Toni Morrison forces us to confront the formidable oppression pressed onto people of color by people void of it in her novel, The Bluest Eye.
African American women are considered the most disadvantaged group vulnerable to discrimination and harassment. Researchers have concluded that their racial and gender classification may explain their vulnerable position within society, despite the strides these women have made in education, employment, and progressing their families and communities (Chavous et al. 2004; Childs 2005; Hunter 1998; Settles 2006; Wilkins 2012). Most people agree that race and gender categories are explained as the biological differences between individuals in our society; however sociologists understand that race and gender categories are social constructions that are maintained on micro and macro levels. Historically, those in power who control the means of production
The Author of this book (On our own terms: race, class, and gender in the lives of African American Women) Leith Mullings seeks to explore the modern and historical lives of African American women on the issues of race, class and gender. Mullings does this in a very analytical way using a collection of essays written and collected over a twenty five year period. The author’s systematic format best explains her point of view. The book explores issues such as family, work and health comparing and contrasting between white and black women as well as between men and women of both races.
On Being Young-A Woman-and Colored an essay by Marita Bonner addresses what it means to be black women in a world of white privilege. Bonner reflects about a time when she was younger, how simple her life was, but as she grows older she is forced to work hard to live a life better than those around her. Ultimately, she is a woman living with the roles that women of all colors have been constrained to. Critics, within the last 20 years, believe that Marita Bonners’ essay primarily focuses on the double consciousness ; while others believe that she is focusing on gender , class , “economic hardships, and discrimination” . I argue that Bonner is writing her essay about the historical context of oppression forcing women into intersectional oppression by explaining the naturality of racial discrimination between black and white, how time and money equate to the American Dream, and lastly how gender discrimination silences women, specifically black women.
For my research, there was no specific parameter set on the range of dates in my research. The researched sources used in this set of bibliographies date between 1987 to 2003. These annotations will be found most useful by high school and post-secondary undergraduate students who are researching similar topics to the ones outlined in my study. The resources used are very intellectual, but not overly complicated or hard to understand. There were few limitations set towards the type of resources used, although Internet sources were avoided for the most part. Most of the resources used in this set of annotated bibliographies are articles, essays, and chapters from book-length studies, found mostly at the Queen Elizabeth II library. Trends that can be noticed in these entries are the main focal point, which the authors all seemed to cover, that is racism and the social-cultural problems created for young African American women. Many of the authors seemed to blame white culture, or the colourist culture for the problem of lost identity in black girls. They seemed to take the same direction in their articles, but many taking different routes in explaining and proving their point. These ideas seemed to be arranged by the stating that Pecola Breedlove is a lost little black girl, who because of her idea that being white would solve all her family and life problems, looses her true self. The authors would then blame the white culture for this deficiency in the young mind of an African American girl.
Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye provides social commentary on a lesser known portion of black society in America. The protagonist Pecola is a young black girl who desperately wants to feel beautiful and gain the “bluest eyes” as the title references. The book seeks to define beauty and love in this twisted perverse society, dragging the reader through Morrison’s emotional manipulations. Her father Cholly Breedlove steals the reader’s emotional attention from Pecola as he enters the story. In fact, Toni Morrison’s depiction of Cholly wrongfully evokes sympathy from the reader.
In Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, the struggle begins in childhood. Two young black girls -- Claudia and Pecola -- illuminate the combined power of externally imposed gender and racial definitions where the black female must not only deal with the black male's female but must contend with the white male's and the white female's black female, a double gender and racial bind. All the male definitions that applied to the white male's female apply, in intensified form, to the black male's, white male's and white female's black female. In addition, where the white male and female are represented as beautiful, the black female is the inverse -- ugly.