Thandie Newton & Gloria Steinem: The Evolution and The Conquering of Black Feminism
Thandie Newton and Gloria Steinem are two pioneering women of this centuries Women/Feminist movement. Newton, the English/Zimbabwean award winning actress, activist and philanthropist sat down via virtual with Gloria Steinem, the American icon of the 20th and 21st century feminist movement what she thought about the evolution that has not only taken place in her lifetime but what's happening now in America with the issues of inequality and multiply injustices of women under the current President.
Newton dove straight into the topic of women, what we are doing to the female mind, views and body in this toxic, masculine power held world. As women, we are fearful of what this world has done and given to us in the way of livelihood, so much all we can do as live as we do. The definition of feminism has changed dramatically in the last few years, many believe the movement is just about hating men but the reality is-we just want our fair share, we want the hate to stop on us. Period. Unlike the White feminists, Black feminists still are actively fighting against structural, systematic and institutional racism.
"Women have been oppressed for so long and in the end, everyone can benefit from feminism," Newton exclaimed.
Black feminists seek emancipation from the norms and expectations of typical white women. In a society where the black female body is appropriated, black feminists are clamoring to be seen as an everyday type of beauty rather than exotic. The black feminist movement is pushing for the return of black women to African roots and standards of beauty, as seen in the natural hair movement. In a society where only one type of beauty is celebrated, the black feminist is working so that we not only call silky hair and light skin pretty but also coarse, kinky hair and dark skin.
They are fighting to share the experiences of other p.o.c women, as seen in the televised event and powerful movement Black Girls Rock. Black women, colleges and universities do give classes on the topic but until the media and society go to further acknowledge the senseless oppression that black women face and pass legislation against misogyny, rape,kidnappings/trafficking, molestation, brutality, etc. all important issues to the movement to protect black women, we still have work to be done. Black women are the initiators of social movements and this one is no different, we are open to all and demand very little but the most basic of our human rights. We have and continue to shape and expand cultures but it is essential that in this country, we have more choices in the freedom of social spaces, and more freedom to showcase what it means to be a black woman. Despite the divide, both white and black feminist groups still struggle to advocate for female liberation in general. Independently, both groups are fighting to change negative thoughts and narratives surrounding their respective constituencies. In their struggle for inclusion, Black feminists have successfully established their own movement. We still have a long way to go, we still fight for own freedoms now on top of fighting for our black men's rights against toxic masculinity, police brutality and lynchings, and still our current society and President presents themselves with the statement "it is what it is."