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Representations of Race and Sexuality on Feminist Web Sites
Unformatted Document Text:  Representations of Race and Sexuality on Feminist Web Sites 8 understanding the social construction of gender.” 18 They do not propose a singular theory of feminism that simply embraces difference, but a comprehensive understanding of systems of domination and social location and the related historical and social contexts. Growing out of socialist feminist thinking and racial and cultural studies, the assumption of their theory is that race interacts with other inequalities shaping genders. Zinn and Dill outlined the features of multiracial feminism: 1) gender is constructed by a range of interlocking inequalities and the simultaneity of systems in shaping women’s experience and identity; 2) class, race, gender, and sexuality are components of both social structure and social interaction, thus one experiences differences in privilege and subordination; 3) power is the cornerstone of difference; 4) women have exercised agency in dealing with power structures, and women of color have used many strategies throughout history in this endeavor; 5) utilizes multiple tools and theoretical analyses to comprehend the complexity; and 6) draws from a variety of experiences including Asian, Latina, Native American and Black. While criticisms of white feminisms, or what literary critic Gayatri Spivak termed “hegemonic feminist theory,” have been led primarily by women of color, some white feminists have sought to analyze their own privilege to better understand the power structures that shape our experiences. In “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s Studies,” McIntosh analyzed the reluctance of whites to recognize their own privilege. She asserted that while many whites recognize the oppression of minorities, they fail to comprehend how that translates to their own privilege or what McIntosh called “an invisible package of unearned assets.” 19 This personal account of specific racial and sexual privilege provides a reminder of images often taken for granted in life as well as in media. However, other studies done by white women to dissect the nature of race

Authors: Royal, Cindy.
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Representations of Race and Sexuality on Feminist Web Sites
8
understanding the social construction of gender.”
18
They do not propose a singular
theory of feminism that simply embraces difference, but a comprehensive
understanding of systems of domination and social location and the related historical
and social contexts. Growing out of socialist feminist thinking and racial and cultural
studies, the assumption of their theory is that race interacts with other inequalities
shaping genders. Zinn and Dill outlined the features of multiracial feminism:
1) gender is constructed by a range of interlocking inequalities and the
simultaneity of systems in shaping women’s experience and identity;
2) class, race, gender, and sexuality are components of both social structure
and social interaction, thus one experiences differences in privilege and
subordination;
3) power is the cornerstone of difference;
4) women have exercised agency in dealing with power structures, and women
of color have used many strategies throughout history in this endeavor;
5) utilizes multiple tools and theoretical analyses to comprehend the complexity;
and
6) draws from a variety of experiences including Asian, Latina, Native American
and Black.

While criticisms of white feminisms, or what literary critic Gayatri Spivak termed
“hegemonic feminist theory,” have been led primarily by women of color, some white
feminists have sought to analyze their own privilege to better understand the power
structures that shape our experiences. In “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A
Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s
Studies,” McIntosh analyzed the reluctance of whites to recognize their own privilege.
She asserted that while many whites recognize the oppression of minorities, they fail to
comprehend how that translates to their own privilege or what McIntosh called “an
invisible package of unearned assets.”
19
This personal account of specific racial and
sexual privilege provides a reminder of images often taken for granted in life as well as
in media. However, other studies done by white women to dissect the nature of race


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