Friday, March 20, 2009

Whiteness in Black Imagination Essay Part III

Please note, I did make some edits since posting to my first two sections, I have updated those entries so they are accurate. Of special note, I decided to start the paper off with a quote from bell hooks, I thought it was a bit more catching for the reading.

And now for part three...part 4 to post tomorrow.

Violence in lived experience is another example where whiteness and its hierarchies impact white women and women of color (especially Black women) differently. These disparities are a topic which Kimberle Crenshaw addresses in her influential work; “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color;” a concrete rendering of how whiteness impacts the lives of white and Black women differently(14). One of the topics discussed is the disparity in rape convictions depending on the victim’s race and the perpetrator’s race. White women are more likely to have their cases taken seriously and a conviction attained, while even when Black women overcome these hurdles they are still likely to have a far shorter sentence attained for their rapist. Crenshaw also looks at a disparity in organizing, where white feminist antiviolence organizers “frequently have the power to determine, either through material or rhetorical resources, whether the intersectional differences of women of color will be incorporated at all into the basic formulation of policy,”(15) something they often refuse to do, and then act surprised when their coalitions with feminist of color activists end “when the women of color [walk] out.”(16)

(14)Crenshaw, Kimberle. "Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color." Stanford Law Review 43, no. 6 (1991): 1241-1299.
(15)Crenshaw, Kimberle. 1265.
(16)Crenshaw, Kimberle. 1265.