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Alexis Masino: Goddess


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Photography, Text, Video Interview by Alexis Masino, Copyright 2017

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GODDESS

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A feminist is “the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes,” as told by esteemed scholar Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in her famous TED talk. Feminism has come a long way, but there are still dramatic gender inequalities, and an obvious need for the persistence of the feminist movement. However, there is a less spoken and equally important issue inside the movement itself, and that is the racial divide within feminism. While it is true that there has been general progression for women, white women specifically maintain an economic and political advantage over women of color, just as men maintain an advantage over women. Generally, white women hold control of the conversation about feminism, which does not allow much room for women of color to speak out for their own equality. At the same time feminism shows obvious exclusion of black women, civil rights movements based on race tend to focus mainly on men and are led and maintained by men. So where does this leave black women? Often isolated by both feminism and civil rights, at an intersection between the inextricably bound issues of sexism and racism. Black feminism, to which Black Lives Matter is currently contributing and working to revitalize, is a form of identity politics that focuses on intersectionality of issues and inequalities especially between races and the sexes. In its essence, as discussed by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, a leading scholar in feminism and the civil rights theory, black feminism seeks to emphasize the idea that the experience of being a black woman is not accurately described in just terms of being black or of being a woman. This is a movement for black women, by black women and at this time, it is essential for people of all genders and races to celebrate and support them and the pursuit of equality.

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About The Author: Alexis Masino is a freshman enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020

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Portrait of Alexis Masino by Noel Zheng, Copyright 2017

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

This entry was posted in Blog, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn, Women.

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