Analysis Of Double Bind By Bell Hooks

1267 Words 6 Pages
If one were to ask the opinion of which group has had their identity socialized out of existence more than any other, the response would most likely consist of either a race or gender. They would say something like “blacks” or “females,” but they would never think to put the two groups together. Black women have had their “identity socialized out of existence” more than any other group due to the way society has politically and economically constructed categories or groups (hooks, b). According to bell hooks, black women are in a “double bind,” meaning that regardless of whether they stand for sexism or racism they will still be oppressed in some way. Because of the way history has been written, black women have not been accounted for. …show more content…
To bell hooks it means being in a “double bind” (hooks, b). It means that you are not represented by any group in society; instead, you are left isolated without belonging. Black women who join with black men to fight against racism are joining with men that are sexist, and black women who join with white women to fight against sexism are joining with whites that are racist. Because racism and sexism have yet to become intertwined and combined, black women have not been given an equal voice in racism and sexism therefore they are left secluded and expected to fit themselves into a category that is already represented. In bell hooks’ essay she speaks out about the concept of the strong black woman. She finds it contradictory that white women speak about the “victimization” of black women but also refer to them as having “strength” (hooks, b). Having strength and enduring oppression does not lead to transformation or the act of overcoming oppression, instead, it does the opposite. Bringing awareness to the strength of an oppressor does nothing to change the conditions in which one is oppressed. When white feminists compliment the strength of oppressed black women it suggests passivity; which leads to no change. It suggests that black women have accepted their place in society and showing strength is the best option they have. Admiration for this mindset will never bring about …show more content…
This leaves black women without privilege, which results in a nonexistent voice or identity in society. Peggy McIntosh alludes to white privilege as being “an invisible package with unearned assets” meaning those who have privilege are “oblivious” to it and only those who are being oppressed see privilege (McIntosh, P). Our society has been orchestrated in a way that those who aren’t being oppressed fail to recognize the advantages that come with the privilege of being born male or white. How can one understand oppression of those who lack privilege if they don’t first acknowledge the privilege they possess? In order to bring about change and recognize black women as an identified group in society, one must first become more conscientious about privilege so that the structure of who is born with or without privilege can be revised and equal for all people. Secondly, one must recognize how groups and categories have been kept separate within our society, hints black women can either choose to stand up for their race or sex with it being made systematically impossible for them to accomplish both. One must also realize that the majority of the people that make up a group within our society often times deceives all types of people who could fit into the category. For example, the majority of people who fit into the feminist category are women; however, that

Related Documents