Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I thought Ms. Cruz' presentation was one of the more interesting we've had thus far because of how in depth and specific it was. I've always been a strong believer in intersectionality, so it was great to get some WOC perspective on feminism. As the reading Young Lords Party: Position on Women's Liberation (May 1971)  outlined, the experience of a woman of color is distinctly different than that of a white woman (for fair reason!). "The Third World Woman thus becomes the most oppressed person in the world today." A clear example of this would be the wage gap. White women make 78 cents to every white man's dollar where African American women make around 62 cents and Hispanic/Latina women make about 54 cents. In Life Skills we watched a documentary call Miss-representation and there were very few faces of color among the white cis news anchors and comedians. I've always felt my experience is distinctly different because I'm Latina, so I found it enlightening to hear more about how Latina women involved themselves into these radical nationalist organizations.

During the presentation, we were told a lot about the good things these radical nationalist movements would do in their communities and for me, it totally erased my previous judgement of the Black Panthers and Young Lords and their seemingly violent platforms. My only education regarding these groups was when I was in middle school and the images of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers were always associated with violence. In reality these organizations were simply working for the benefit of their communities and the bad reputation came from select individuals. This situation reminded me of OC's presentation about Ida B. Wells and propaganda and the transition of Uncle Tom and Mammie to Coon and Jezebel. It also reminded me (as we discussed briefly in class) how this idea is quite similar to feminism and how easily the idea is misunderstood. As awful as it is, it's quite true that feminism would more likely have support if it weren't called feminism.

Lastly I was fascinated by the importance of the role of women in challenging sexism, patriarchy and limited roles of women. Every time I learn more about extraordinary women I wonder why I haven't heard of them or their legacies before. Learning about yet again, more powerful women, makes me appreciate the blessing that is this class and the vast education it provides.

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