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In: Radical Feminism Today

Chapter 8: What Does it Mean to Call Feminism ‘White and Middle-Class’?

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What Does it Mean to Call Feminism ‘White and Middle-Class’?
What does it mean to call feminism ‘white and middle-class’?

There do exist feminist texts which seem to obliterate the existence of women of racial, ethnic and cultural minorities. This obliteration, at least as it relates to US black women, is succinctly expressed in the title of an anthology of writings on Black Women's Studies: ‘All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men’ (Hull et al., 1982). Two papers by Catharine Stimpson, dating from 1970 and 1971, and reprinted in 1988, exemplify the problem. The first paper is an account of the political contradictions faced by a white teacher teaching black literature. With the benefit of hindsight gained since the paper was first published, ...

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