Why Feminism Hurts Sometimes

Womanism. In a nutshell is Black feminism.

Some may not know the history behind Womanism, and well we’re all female why not all band together in solidarity and kick some butt?

Well that was the idea to be sure, and the feminist movement itself has gone through waves of changes and the advent of Womanism is part of that. Nutshelling again, WOC were told repeatedly to hush on up about their issues when it came to race.

There’ll be plenty of time to address that someday, or, our particular issues with sexism and misogyny were considered divisive and derailing from the central issues of gaining equality and civil rights for women across the board.

Its nearly 3:30am, can’t get back to sleep and I’m not particularly in the mood for teaching. You can garner your own information if you need to understand more of what I’m referring to. Utilizer le Google n’est ce pas.

Suffice it to say, there is a history of WOC being marginalized and silenced in the feminist movement. A movement which was – and still is to some extent today – primarily for straight, able-bodied middle and upper class white women.


While clicking around and browsing on twitter the other day – I’m still trying to get the hang of it – I came across a feed from a feminist group in the UK. They were doing what looked like a pretty awesome outdoor event. They were tweeting photos and getting the word out on issues.

Feminism Issues

“I need feminism because tomorrow a “musician” will rap that rape is fun.”

One can say without being too far off the mark, that rap music is a predominantly Black art form. I am in no way backing or supporting rappers that rap about rape. I am also not invalidating the point she was trying to make.

I just wish that she had chosen her language more carefully. Rap is certainly not the only music genre that has artists with problematic rape lyrics. My sign might have read:

“I need feminism because tomorrow a musician’s lyrics will be all about how fun rape is.”

Or something along those lines. Not specific to any one genre, not targeting something that is race-heavy in on direction or another, but making a general statement about the misogyny and sexism found in music.

I’m not knocking that woman’s personal statement. We are all on whatever stage or level of our particular journey towards intersectionality. But when a national organization takes her statement and puts it out there for anyone and everyone to see, I get to express how it makes me feel.

Please note: I did not reply to that tweet, nor will I. I’m simply using a picture and statement that was put out there publicly to make my own points and statements.


It might be a little thing. It might be just a blip that passes me by. But those little things add up, and weigh me down. Those are called micro-aggressions and they are a real thing.

My celebration and solidarity with women in another country gets marred, because I am brought up short by unintentional targeting. Again, I am no defender of any musical artist who can’t seem to get out from objectifying and lyrically calling down violence on women.

The music industry is yet another one of those male dominated fields that needs to be called out on their bullshit until it gets CHANGED. The rap genre is only a drop in the bucket and other genres and their artists don’t get to get a pass.

That, and rap music ie Black music has a history of being blamed for society’s ills. Which is also an inference that Black people by association are a problem too. It gets tiring.

What I’m endeavoring to do here, is point out that feminism can hurt sometimes, and why it does not work universally for all women.

Hence Womanism.


White Feminists: Step Your Game Up. by (white feminist) Sarah Florini


As soon as This Song and its Rapey Lyrics becomes socially unacceptable to be played on the air on radio stations across this country – during Christmastime no less – I’ll consider that progress has been made.
Three Little Girls by Jasiri X

About Awake BW

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4 Responses to Why Feminism Hurts Sometimes

  1. Sarah Florini says:

    Thanks for the link. I’m happy that you found my piece useful enough to post. I’ve read your blog for a while now, and I appreciate your work. So, I appreciate it even more.

    • Awake BW says:

      Sarah, thanks so much for writing what you did. It was awesome to come across your article so recently after I had that subject on my mind and wrote about it. I appreciate your words SO MUCH because there is always a real chance that I wouldn’t necessarily get listened to, or believed. Sistren standing together in solidarity Changes The World.

  2. Amira K. says:

    I love the idea of womanism! And I think as feminist white women we (I) have to acknowledge our privilege above women of color and unpack it just as much as we have to unpack the levels of privilege that men hold above women as a whole. I’m glad you shared this even though it’s a ‘little thing’ – its the kind of little thing that, as a white woman, I never would have caught and therefore would never have realized how, even so slightly, it degrades people of color. And it’s great that you brought it to my attention so that, in the future, I can recognize that type of language for what it is.

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