Defining Mixed Race Feminism

Defining Mixed Race Feminism

Musings of a Mixed Race Feminist: Random diatribes from a mixed race feminist scholar.

Donna J. Nicol, Associate Professor Women & Gender Studies
California State University, Fullerton

…Question of the Day: What is mixed race feminism? Good question given mixed race and gender issues aren’t often brought in conversation together even with the academic use of intersectionality theory.

Let’s start with some basic terminology. I define feminism as a critique on male power with efforts to change it. In essence, for me, feminism is both a theory and a form of activism. This means that feminism is for everyday folks; not just folks with degrees or lots of titles…

…I view one’s claim of being mixed race as a personal choice at self-definition; not simply a matter of DNA. I object to “one-droppist” logic in which a person with any non-white ancestry can not claim to be of Caucasian/European descent. I find it totally illogical that people of color (anyone who is non-white) often play the role of “one-drop” police when the policy and practice of “one-dropping” originated while African Americans were still enslaved and continued through the period of Jim Crow segregation. Why would oppressed people use the oppressors terminology to limit our self-definition is beyond me. I also object to the relative silence from the mixed race community (most prominently found via online forums) in calling out white racism which often forbids mixed race persons from claiming their white ancestry. It is like whiteness is reserved for only “pure bloods” or “mono-racial” white people. Many mixed race people I have encountered say nothing about their experiences with racism from their “white side” but can give you time, date, place and even weather reports when they experience discrimination from non-whites…

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