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Transversal Politics

October 16, 2012

“Participants bring with them a rooting in their own particular group histories but at the same time realize that in order to engage in dialogue across multiple markers of difference, they must shift from their own centers (Collins 245).” In this passage Collins is giving the definition of transversal politics. In order to connect with and form ties with women all over the world, Black women must become less self-centered in their fight against oppression. Every woman’s struggle is unique and difficult in its own way, so it is important to not only acknowledge the Black feminist struggle, but also the Latina feminist struggle, the Asian feminist struggle, or any other group of people being oppressed by intersecting forces.

            As previously stated, shifting from one’s center means to consider and acknowledge one’s own personal struggle while simultaneously showing empathy for the struggles of other Black women who are dispersed around the globe. In the passage, “Empathy, not sympathy becomes the basis of coalition” Collins expresses that through empathy, and only through empathy will American Black women and Black women from different cultures come together against oppression(Collins 247). Collins feels that it is not enough for Black women to only empathize with the fact that they are both black and are both being oppressed by the dominant force. Black women should really make an effort to walk in one another’s shoes and fully try to understand someone else’s personal struggle.

            The same idea goes for oppressed women of different ethnicities. Transversal politics can unite oppressed women of all colors to find commonalities in their oppression and collectively fight through their struggles. Once women realize they have been more or less fighting the same battle separately, they will form coalitions to make a greater impact in the challenge against the dominant force.



                                                             Works Cited

“Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment.” Alibris Marketplace. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <;.


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