The Struggles Of Negro Women

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The Struggle Continues Many feminists addressed the plight of African American women during the New Negro movement in the US. They shared the same problems and visions but some differ in strategy. The African American educator Elise McDougald’s essay “The Struggle of Negro Women for Race and Sex Emancipation” employs an interesting strategy to gain individuality amongst African American women. While displaying the direct issues similar to those of her allies, McDougald approaches her antagonists with an unusual method. This was an extremely audacious essay and a great subject to debate for that reason. In the essay, McDougald focused on economics but also challenged stereotypical representations…show more content…
She felt the first two groups were more honorable in comparison to the last two. The concept of socioeconomic status is very evident in her approach. McDougald points out that the “superficial critics who have had contact only with the lower grades of Negro women, claim that they are more immoral than the other groups of women.” Just because a woman doesn’t go to college and maintain a career does not mean she is corrupted or shameful. This shallow view of women is the same view that some White Americans had of Black Americans. McDougald was participating in the torment of her own race and she did it with selfish reasons. Why should lower class women be the subject of harsh treatment because they are worse off than others? The women in that group have enough problems just providing for their…show more content…
Her aim was to gain allegiance from middle class white women but in this process she lost esteem from the women within her own race. She played into assertive ideals and clichés in order to be recognized. The author focused too much on gaining acceptance from white people instead of having self-assurance and understanding of possibly never being fully welcomed by her aggressors. It is one thing to desire equality, but when the basis of gaining equality requires degrading your own race, it is no longer equality of race nor mankind, but only gaining appreciation based on performance. McDougald thinks that the low class black women intrude as a hindrance for the entire black race and the few who have proven their dominant are still associated with ignorance and the signification of being a black woman. McDougald highlights the accomplishments of many African American women as if they have gone unnoticed. She wants to gain recognition as a successful black

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