Asking questions about racism

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Abstract
This paper is an attempt to come to terms with my dissatisfaction with much of what passes for 'anti-racism' within the context of feminism. I discuss a number of problems, using examples from the literature as illustrations. The main problem I address concerns the inadequacy of the evidence for claims that feminism, or aspects of it, is variously 'racist', 'white and middle-class', or deficient in the way it has dealt with the question of race. I also discuss briefly other problems: the denial of male domination which characterises so much of the debate; the relationship between experience on the one hand, and theory and politics on the other; the requirement that feminism address all forms of oppression; and the absence of a definition of 'racism'. I conclude by suggesting that racism is one of the twisted faces of male domination, originating in hierarchies of superiority/inferiority among men, and that racism, on the part of women or men, involves complicity with male supremacist meanings and values.
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Thompson, Denise
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Publication Year
1994
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Conference Paper
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