A few months ago in school i was a part of a class/discussion group that was questioning sisterhood amongst white women and women of color; if it existed, why, why not, etc. A time marker we used was the United States Civil Rights Movement (CVM), in that in the fight for racial justice the woman's movement started to take off, for the reason that mainly white women in the different organizations felt that they were not being treated equally in leadership positions as men were in them. This feeling was felt strongly by the white women and their complaints started gaining more attention and their focus shifted from ally to their friends of color, to themselves.
(((((I myself was obviously not alive during the US CVM and others' opinions on this issue may be different, but just for reference the texts we read and went from were as follows: Personal Politics by: Sarah Evans, Black Feminist Though by: Patricia Hill Collins, and The Trouble Between Us by: Winifred Breines, various articles by Tim Wise, and media during the 2008 US Presidential election)))))
This world, woman, is white. The white woman's issues, that also tend to be middle class and straight, are elevated, are talked about and accepted as the norm, and then called woman. That is also what created the dominate philosophy of "feminism", which excludes GLBTQ women, women of color, international women, working class women, homeless women, in other words, women who are not considered to be of the status quo, (which is would describe as: white, upper middle class, christian, straight, able-bodied, married, mother, etc.) No wonder why there seems to be a gap in sister hood, among white women and women of color, as well as divisions amongst women who see themselves as similar.
In this discussion group we went around and said what we thought of when we thought of sisterhood, who it included, didn't include, etc. Almost all us white girls in the class said that when we thought about it, we seemed to feel that white women were not sisters, did not have a female bond, that it seemed like something only women of color experience. I am still trying to figure out why I thought/think this, perhaps it is true. It might have something to do with: western individualism, dominant middle class white women being "taken care of" by men, leaving them to not depend on each other, the strong role of matriarchy in families of color and working class families throughout history, which might not be as prominent in middle class white families.
I'm not sure, TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK.
I have questions and am really interested in continuing the conversation about sisterhood, and the politics of race, class, sexuality, and status. Why does is seem women are still pitted against one another? What do you think? I am really interested in what we all have to say on this issue.