Friday, 17 September 2010

Friday Activist - Jackie Huggins

Cross posted

The further notion that all women as a sex have more in common than do members of the same class is false. Upper-class women are not simply bedmates of their wealthy husbands. As a rule, they have more compelling ties that bind them together. They are economic, social, and political bedmates united in defence of private property, profiteering, militarism, racism - and the exploitation of other women. It would be quite another matter to expect any large number of wealthy women to endorse or support a revolutionary struggle which threatened their capitalist interests and privileges. Will the wives of bankers, generals, corporation lawyers, and big industrialists be firmer allies of women fighting for liberation than working-class men, black and white, who are fighting for theirs? The ruling powers breed and benefit from all forms of discrimination and oppression. Therefore, for a middle-class woman to compare her environmental situation with that of a black is totally naive. While white women are fighting to get out of the kitchen, black women are fighting to get into it.

For these reasons, many black women do not see the women's movement as relevant to their own situation. Black women, who have worked from necessity are apt to view women's liberation as a white middle-class battle irrelevant to their own, often bitter, struggle for survival. As Ida Lewis commented: "The women's liberation movement is basically a family quarrel between white women and white men." Similarly, Aboriginal women are aware of the divisiveness of feminism in terms of their own black movement. Women's liberation has meant very little to both black American women and Aboriginal women who believe that the black woman has always been placed in a position of asserting herself.

Jackie Huggins, "Black Women and Women's Liberation", Hecate 13.1, 1987, pp. 77 - 82

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