Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 14:46:30 -0500
From: Mary Bucholtz bucholtz[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]TAMU.EDU
Subject: Re: "womanist" vs. "feminist" cite
I haven't ever encountered this use of "womanist"; the distinction I'm
familiar with (and I assume the one Beth had in mind, but she can confirm
this) is that many African American women who are sympathetic to (many of)
the goals of feminism prefer this term to "feminist," since U.S. feminism
has overwhelmingly focused on the concerns of European American women.
Alice Walker and bell hooks have both discussed the issue; sorry, I don't
have the references here.
From the first story in _Publish and Perish: Three Tales of Tenure and
by James Hynes (1997), p. 6; Paul and Elizabeth have taken their cat in to
the vet's to try to discover why she's been missing the litter box.
Paul [was] certain that she'd scoff--politely--at the vet's
suggestion [viz., to consult a cat psychic]. If anything,
Elizabeth had less patience with this sort of New Age occultism
than Paul did. It smacked of the sort of essentialist, nurturing,
womanist stuff she reviled gleefully and at great length in her
own articles on feminist theory.
(If you're wondering, they DO consult the psychic, who interviews the cat
and immediately determines that her urinary incontinence results from the
periodic appearance of a strange woman [the one Paul is having an affair
with, as it happens]. Womanist, shwomanist!)