When we speak of feminism in its general and abstract form, it is usually associated with defending the rights of white, heterosexual, middle class women. We forget the various shades of the feminine: the colorful and rich nature of women, their stories, their cultures, their experiences, and the multiple ways in which they express their sexuality.
There is not only one kind of woman, but instead an infinite number of ways of being a woman that coexist; feminism is multifaceted. Feminism should not be defined as a single idea, because understanding it, and its manifestations, in this way, would have a reductive character, a castrating one, and it would be designed arbitrarily.
Traditional feminism is built in a way that makes women of African descent invisible. It is a feminism that seems to fight the subjugation and oppression that affect white women in our societies, but that also omits the exploitation, banishment, slavery, and undervaluedness of the Afro-descendant women in the West.
In a continent where "black" has been associated with silence, invisibility, ignorance, and nighttime, the result is that darkness is seen as inhospitable, desolate, and full of vices. The submission attributed to the Afro-descendant woman will become natural, and she will become an object of pleasure for the white man, an object that belongs to the white man. This part of society has been marginalized historically by a constant process of exclusion, which relegates it to a reduced and small space in social life.
The history of the Afro-descendant woman has been defined according to the triad of oppression: capitalism, patriarchy and racism. All of these support each other in their perpetuation and legitimation of oppresion. They also exist in correspondence to the criteria of exploitation, exclusion, and appropriation, according to which the system defined women as inferior to man, and "black" even lower than being a woman.
That is why Afro-descendant women in our societies will be triply exploited, reduced and subordinate, not only in relation to man, the white man, but also the white woman.
She is subordinate to the white woman because the black woman’s position in society has been defined in reference to, and as inferior to, the socially established prototype for the white woman. The black woman does not find a position in society for herself because all the socializing agents that she is repeatedly exposed to are also the agents of racism.
That is why her chances of upward mobility, socially and personally, depend on her ability to transform to be more like the white woman in her physical traits, her gestures, her attitude, and her behavior.
It is necessary to decentralize the ways in which we study and question sexism, thinking about it in relation to its historical and cultural background. We need to redefine a femininity based on the most feminine, but also a femininity based on the “black” itself.