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African Womanism Essay

African womanism

Feminism is one of the most discussed topics in the last two decades. The discussion of this topic brings in many concepts and different philosophies; each defending its claim and expressing its opinion. There are many different directions in feminism; there is the western feminism, Marxist feminism, African-American feminism, and African womanism (feminism).

In the article "African Gender Trouble And African Womanism:An Interview With Chikwenye Ogunyemi and Wanjira Muthoni" Arndt Susan wrote about feminism in Africa, and this was by writing about an interview she did with Chikwenye Oguneyemi a Nigerian womanist literary critic, and the Kenyan writer and African feminism activist Wanjira Muthoni. In the interview they discussed the new idea of Oguenyemi which is African womanism, and also they talked about the gender sensitization program that Wanjira is working on. So, the paper will be about these two points and how they apply to the Moroccan society.

African women do not accept the word feminism as a designation for their claim; they are shy to be referred to as feminists. In Africa the word feminist equals to lesbianism and hate of men. This doesn't mean that women in Africa accept their subordination to men, no, they also believe that the situation of women in Africa should be ameliorated; they believe that there should be someone to look at their situation with a 21st century level of thinking, but not feminism, no hey need to define another term for their claim. Another reason for this is that "feminism does not see beyond western societies and hence ignores or marginalizes the specific problems of African women."(Susan, 714) There are many issues that are not taken into consideration by the western feminism like religion issues and social issues; for example, in the western society we would not find problems such as the oppression of a wife to its co-wives, or religious oppressions, this marks the difference between the African community and the western one. Ogunyemi agues that feminism is gender centered and the African womanism takes into consideration racial, cultural, national, economic and political issues. This means that western womanism deals only with problems like the oppression of men on women, but African womanism have many other concerns, Africa, as everybody knows, is one of the regions where there are civil wars, and as long as the population is involved in those wars women are also concerned, so the African woman concerns are different from the one of the western woman. A question should be asked is there any way that feminism and African womanism cooperate. The answer is yes; the cooperation between the two worlds is possible since they are tied economically, and they are connected together in means of exchanging goods and services....

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July 17, 2007 by emmagunde

“Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender” -Alice Walker

Womanism is a feminist term coined by Alice Walker. It is a reaction to the realization that “feminism” does not encompass the perspectives Black women. It is a feminism that is “stronger in color”, nearly identical to “Black Feminism”. However, Womanism does not need to be prefaced by the word “Black”, the word automatically concerns black women. A Womanist is a woman who loves women and appreciates women’s culture and power as something that is incorporated into the world as a whole. Womanism addresses the racist and classist aspects of white feminism and actively opposes separatist ideologies. It includes the word “man”, recognizing that Black men are an integral part of Black women’s lives as their children, lovers, and family members. Womanism accounts for the ways in which black women support and empower black men, and serves as a tool for understanding the Black woman’s relationship to men as different from the white woman’s. It seeks to acnowledge and praise the sexual power of Black women while recognizing a history of sexual violence. This perspective is often used as a means for analyzing Black Women’s literature, as it marks the place where race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect. Womanism is unique because it does not necessarily imply any political position or value system other than the honoring of Black women’s strength and experiences. Because it recognizes that women are survivors in a world that is oppressive on multiple platforms, it seeks to celebrate the ways in which women negotiate these oppressions in their individual lives.

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Posted in Alice Walker, black feminism, feminism, oppression, race, sexuality, Uncategorized, womanism | 75 Comments