What it Means to Identify as a Womanist

From time and time on we see the images of the glorious Feminist movements that took place back in the 60’s. The burning of the bras, the hairy armpits, and everything glorious that screams “I am woman, hear me roar.” However, as we look back at this revolutionary time, we start to wonder. Where are all of the women of color?

Yes, we seem to have been excluded from the activities of being for women’s rights as well. It could be that during this time another monumental moment was happening in history as well, the civil rights movement. Now, it was already tough being Mexican, Black, Indian, or anything not of the lighter (or whiter) color spectrum. But to choose if you want to fight for your people or for your rights as a woman was a hard choice. Naturally, the ladies choose to stand alongside their men of color and march on to civil rights.

It seemed only right because there were white feminists who wanted rights but still didn’t want rights to their Black women colleagues. Which seemed kind of off to women who wanted to fight and join the same march as them. This created tension and a great separation between women of color and white women. I mean, if they didn’t want us invited to the party, we did the next best thing. We created our own!

Queen Alice Walker coined the term Womanism and to this day it is still in effective use. It is defined as the second wave of feminism when you look it up. It allowed women of color to be able to express oppression from racism and discrimination. It provided a movement to something very real and happening actually to this day.

That’s why when you see Black women say, “Nah, I’m a womanist.” You can start to piece together why. We have been kicked out of so many parties that again, it was time for us to make our own.  The Chicana movement, ‘Nirbhaya’ movement, and so much more have (or currently) making history from starting their own party.

It’s just unfair to group different ideologies together and exclaim we are the same. When truly, one side of the spectrum is still very much different than the minority side. Remeber that next time you ask why some women choose not to identify as the “ideal version” of a feminist.

“Womanist is to feminist, as to purple is to lavender” – Alice Walker

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