As a sorority member in the 1960s she and her sisters promoted Sickle Cell awareness when no one had (and many still have not) heard of Sickle Cell. They had political rallies and gave more than lip service to caring about each other’s welfare. Though some of those women were not active in the sorority after they graduated, they remained active in each other’s lives. I always remember my mom being a part of the phone chain, or calling everyone herself, to let ‘the sorors’ know when another was in need: funeral arrangements, bills paid, groceries, prayer, etc. They were there for each other like no man, in their estimation, ever was.
Along with her sorority my mom was involved in politics. She was a strategist on some campaigns, a general volunteer on others, an election worker, a Democratic Party committee contributor and a precinct delegate. Most times she worked for women. She shared her heartbeat for protecting women when she taught my sister and me that we didn’t have to let the right hand (my daddy/husbands) know what the left hand (my mama/wives) was doing.
I never sought to be a feminist. I simply repeated my mothers’ behavior and allowed the culture to further influence me with little critique of larger implications. I want you to consider some of the notions that I had, and that you might have, that are feminist thoughts: 1) Men and women are equal in all ways; 2) I don’t need a man to provide for or protect me; 3) We will split everything 50/50 in my marriage (bills, our roles, etc.); 4) I’m not in favor of abortion for me, but I believe women should have a choice to decide what they want to do with their own bodies; and 5) As an adult, you should be able to love whoever, man or woman, finds you loveable.
In short, feminism means giving priority to womanhood, considering your existence through giving preference to female desires with little or no regard to the negative effects on men or children. In this extreme version feminism is matriarchy on crack, especially for the Christian and more specifically for the one calling herself a strong black woman.
Copyright 2006-2010 by Rhonda J. Smith