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Abortion and Black Women: A Brief History by Loretta J. Ross 8 months ago Abortion matters significantly for most feminist projects. It is providential that I kept my child rather than giving him up for adoption, because I was permanently sterilized by the Dalton Shield IUD at age Robins, the maker of Collins theory of intersectionality essay shield.
This makes abortion a tool of bodily and political self-determination. Ross gives a history of abortion from the s to to further this point.
Abortion in the s Black women slaves used birth control and abortion to resist enslavement, sometimes resorting to infanticide out of desperation. Africans that first arrived at the colonies brought along with them folk knowledge of abortion, passed on from societies in ancient times through the practice of midwifery.
For example, in rural areas, some women would take alum water whereas women in urban areas relied on a concoction of petroleum jelly and quinine. Contrary to popular belief, then, abortion among Black women did not result from tools of domination.
Birth Control and Abortion: However, Ross challenges this assumption too: Black women saw themselves as builders and nurturers of the race and nation at large rather than breeders or matriarchs. Contraception thus helped them manage their newfound status as free women. Other organizations including the Black press promoted family planning and also reported mortality rates due to illegal abortions.
Eugenics and Genocide Resistance to the use of contraception for Black women comes from several sources. The Catholic Church, for example, opposed it for religious and political reasons. White conservatives drew feared it would lead to birth control use among white women. Black nationalist leaders like Marcus Garvey expressed a belief that increasing the population would lead to the continuation of the Black race.
As fears of depopulation spread in the Black community, a pronatalist trend began in the 19th century: This trend also built successfully on traditional Black values that conferred adult status on women who became biological mothers, the first significant step toward womanhood P.
This shift in the critical thinking of African-Americans on population and motherhood presaged an inevitable conflict between the right of women to exercise bodily self-determination and the need of the African-American community for political and economic self-determination.
In both schools of thought, wombs were to be the weapon against racism and oppression. Positive methods of eugenicism included tax incentives and education programs while negative methods included sterilization, involuntary confinement, and immigration registration for people considered undesirable.
Eugenics rose in popularity during the Great Depression, turning birth control into a right for privileged women and a duty for the poor. During the twentieth century forced sterilizations happened in at least twenty-seven states. The eugenics movement had an international reach, rooted in the colonialism of the era.
Ultimately, Black women supported birth control but offered a strong critique of eugenicists.
Black midwives had continued to pass down their knowledge of abortion from slavery while the medical field increasingly relied on practices executed in hospitals. Indeed a Black woman doctor, Dorothy Brown, became the first state legislator to propose a bill for abortion in the s.
The issues of the eugenics movement had not disappeared, but rather got reframed as Nazism made a public endorsement of the practices unpopular.
From this point forward, the U.
On the domestic front, this rhetoric led to family planning programs directed at Black urban areas started in the mids. Additionally, conservative values prevented a national family program: White conservatives saw family planning as an assault on traditional values of motherhood, while some Black radicals saw it as a race- and class-directed eugenics program, thus the assault on birth control and abortion came from both the left and the right.
Some Black nationalists campaigned against blatant racism of family planning, claiming a connection between abortion and genocide. Some Black men advocated the shutdown clinics, complicating relationships among Black political organizations.
For example, the Black Power conference in Newark, New Jersey drafted an anti-contraception resolution. Members of the Black Panther Party, however, supported free abortions and contraceptives on demand. Black women largely supported the family planning movement.
Due to death rates from illegal abortions, Black women supported clinics as well as Head Start and homes for unwed mothers. They succeeded in keeping family planning clinics opening even though they experienced sexist backlash.
In response, Black women developed a distinct feminist consciounsess.Stanford Law Review Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Earlier versions of this article were presented to the Critical Race Theory Workshop and the race and gender in other contexts.
See, e.g., PATRICIA HILL COLLINS, BLACK FEMINIST THOUGHT: KNOWLEDGE, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND THE POLITICS. Essay on Feminist Sociological Theory: What is Intersectionality?
- 1. Intersectionality is a feminist sociological theory. According to Tomlinson (17, March, ). It is the study of the interactions of multiple systems of oppression or discrimination affecting marginalized groups.
Philosophy Compass 9/5 (): –, /phc The Concept of Intersectionality in Feminist Theory Anna Carastathis* California State University, Los Angeles Abstract In feminist theory, intersectionality has become the predominant way of conceptualizing the relation between systems of oppression which construct our multiple identities and our social locations in hierarchies of power and .
The startup costs for having dispensers in bathrooms are thousands of dollars for local school districts. The upkeep cost implications won’t be known until the machines are being used by the students, said Gates Chili Superintendent Kimberle Ward. An intersectionality framework emerged during the late s with roots in socialist feminism, critical race and ethnic studies, and postcolonial feminisms.
This evolving interdisciplinary body of theory and practice emphasizes the simultaneity of oppressions. Final: Book Review Essay – 30% (due 05/20 by pm) For your final assignment, please write a ‐page review essay on Vivian May’s Pursuing Intersectionality, Unsettling Dominant Imaginaries based on what you have learned in this course.