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Feminism Vs Womanism

“Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender”

Womanism is the subset of feminism. The author of the novel ‘The Color Purple’,

Alice Walker a black poet and activist coined the term womanism in 1983 with a bare minimum difference with feminism. Some conclude that the difference is radical and social standings. For example, womanists are more understanding and less radical in protest and support discrimination between both men and women of their race but feminists are more radical, there is degradation against other women and often perceive men as their arch enemies.

Feminism gained its movement in the 1900s through middle-class white women who demanded equal opportunities and rights in the business, social, economic and political sectors as men and protested that the rights should be guarded by law. While, Alice Walker defined womanism as a movement by a black feminist who was ‘committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, (black) male and female.’

Ideology is the biggest difference between feminism and womanism. Feminism's primary aim is to fight against stigmas, stereotypes and male patriarchy while womanism is also known as black feminism stands against discrimination of their race, color, demographic and social status.

Womanism was started of frustration and lack of diversity in feminism. According to Alice Walker, feminism outlooked the forms of oppression against black women that was racism, sexism, classism, ethnicity and interracial issues. Since feminism focused on the discrimination against black women specifically it was later also known as Africana feminism or intersectional feminism.

Although both feminism and womanism's ultimate goal is to establish, define and achieve political, social and economic equality among all genders and to fight stereotypes.

As Alice Walker proposed “womanism is just the darker shade of feminism”


This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Salman Ahmed

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