The original URL of this article is:
Re: Black Male Patriarchy a Threat to Willie Lynch
Black Male Patriarchy a Threat to Willie Lynchism
by Pianke Nubiyang, Rastafari Speaks Message Board
Response by: Ayanna (Yan)
August 25th, 2004
The feminist movement like any other earth-based movement was developed to correct the earthly imbalance between the rights, freedoms of females in relation to males in a male dominated system. The imbalance is extreme and so the response will be extreme as well. "A pendulum must swing to both extremes in order to finally rest at balance." But we cannot rush to the point of balance before the extremes have been worked out. The feminist movement was created by women and for women.
African based movements were created to address the denial of rights to Africans, and we should be quite clear on the fact that African people must take the forefront, that it is about us and for us, that there is no need whatsoever to pander to the feelings or inadequacies of whites. Some people here can articulate that point quite clearly. It is about giving the right and freedoms to blacks, as it was whites that created the system that oppress blacks. Why can we not see it as the same thing in the feminist movement? The same principles apply. Balance cannot occur in a vacuum. A movement created for the betterment of one cannot at first include the other. Balance is created in the society as a whole, not within an individual, earth-based movement that seeks to liberate the ones that are the most oppressed.
I think it is important for people to read some history and see this movement in its rightful context, as well as to see how it was adapted and re-developed especially by black feminists in the US, and even more so many women of non-western cultures in the so-called third world. White feminists in the US were not concerned with issues of race or poverty. They were concerned primarily with fighting for the rights for (white) women to vote, to seek careers, for 'self-determination', for sexual determination, for reproductive rights in and of themselves without a male being the be all and end of their existences. I do not expect the average male to understand the oppression of that system or of his own attitudes too easily.
Black women had different issues to come to terms with. They had the same issues of self-determination and male oppression but that also saw how their chief enemy was not just the males in their own community but of the white male patriarchal system that oppressed both black males and females. Many black feminists fought for their communities, and the development of their communities, recognizing that no community can rise higher than its women. Feminist movements in the third world fought for reproductive rights, for heath care for their women and children, for their ability to work to feed their families so they would not be at the mercy of males who neglected them, and for the fundamental right that all males seem to have been guaranteed from birth- the right to set and chart their own destinies in the way they saw fit (to whatever degree they understood that).
In the Caribbean I have seen how the feminist movement for many reasons took a backseat to anti-colonialism movements, to independence movements and to fighting against poverty and racism. Women say their roles there were as the uplifters of communities, and did not see themselves as feminists contradicting that at all. Of course there were many abuses against women in many of these movements where males were at the forefront, and women took a backseat. Woman based struggles evolved from there. Many female Caribbean scholars have detailed quite clearly the particularizes of feminism in different cultural and political contexts.
I find it quite interesting that the type of feminism that seems to be bashed here is what I call white feminism and that ones seem to be implanting those ideals and desires on the entire movement. I fail to see how women coming into their own and seeking the interests of their communities becomes harmful to males. I think a bit of reading and wider research beyond the white euro-American feminist framework is in order.
Fundamentally the problem that some males have with feminism is the overturning of positions in society that males have come to believe is their rightful place. The ills of society are now to be blamed on females that dared to step out of this order. People never seem to realize how loudly the words they do not say can speak. To somehow fit the race and greed based atrocities in the Sudan and make that some justification for the rightness of male patriarchy is ludicrous to me. There is no comparison between the genocide of millions of black men AND women to the feminists in the US seeking redress for earthly imbalances. If whites are dominant based on the upholding of an unjust murderous system, then it is only right for blacks to seek their own redress and ensure that it is known that there are debts that must be paid. For black women who have been on the receiving end of a double discrimination both gender based and race based, a similar debt must be paid and it must be paid by men – black and white.
Feminism does not seek to destroy men, destabilize black families or pander to the evil of the white supremacist system. The issue here is males feeling usurped and weakened because undeserved props that give them benefits in a male dominated system are slowly (and I do mean slowly) being removed. Whites that reject affirmative action, and reparations, and light-skinned blacks that reject that they too are privileged in the white system over dark-skinned blacks have made quite similar squalls. It is a cry of discomfort due to an evolving world order that will no longer allow them to have undeserved privileges, and props of power.
Visit Ayanna's Website at: