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PHIL 242
Zoli Filotas

PHIL 242 - “Defining Black Feminist Thought” PATRICIAHILL COLLINS AWORRY... - Collins agrees with Bartky, etc. that the perspective of an oppressed group should play an important role in that group’s politics.... - ...but also thinks there is a problem with treating (alleged) biological categories, like race and sex, as prerequisites for having a political position. - Her goals are - (i) is to accommodate both views, - (ii) to explain how black feminism can integrate both individual lived experiences and theoretical ideas. TWO PROBLEMS WITH ‘BLACKNESS’AS A‘BIOLOGICAL CATEGORY’ - The biology doesn’t hold up.... - ...and even if it did, genetics cannot define one’s experiences and political outlook. NON-BIOLOGICAL FEATURES OF BLACK WOMEN’S STANDPOINT - Aset of values and concerns... ...and a history of struggle... - ...shared (though in varied ways) by women who think of themselves as ‘Black’, and are thought of that way by others... - ...and displayed in their history, literature, and daily lives. THEMES FOUND IN THIS TRADITION - Interlocking nature of race gender, and class oppression - Replacing denigrated images of Black womanhood wit self-defined images - Belief in Black women’s activism - Sensitivity to sexual politics RELATIONSHIP TO DOMINANT STANDPOINT - “Being black encompasses both experiencing white domination and individual and group valuation of an independent, long-standingAfrocentric consciousness.” - So part of the African-American women’s experience is living in a culture where other, dominant standpoints are internalized in two ways: - (1) Learned and internalized, since they’re dominant. (Compare Gilligan on women’s ‘bilingualism’) - (2) Learned about through fighting against them. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THEORYAND PRACTICE - Collins agrees with Hartsock that what you do determines how you see the world... - ...but also stresses that how you see the world—and how you think about it theoretically— determines
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