As a black feminist, I see how the wider movement fails women like my mother

As a black feminist, I see how the wider movement fails women like my mother

Fighting Page 3 and online misogyny, while praiseworthy, overshadows the work of black and minority-ethnic groups. Feminism must become feminisms


Congo rape victim

A Congolese woman covers her face as she describes her rape to a health worker. ‘Women from countries such as the DRC are met by a culture of disbelief that sees them as asylum claimants to be caught out. The movement is largely silent on the plight of such women.’ Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

I call myself a black feminist and hold that label dearly, but the naming happened after the fact. I was a black feminist from the moment, as a child, I recognised the domestic violence was gendered and somehow seen as acceptable because of this.

When neighbours called the police to our back-to-back terrace in what is now the red light district of Bradford, I would feel anger that my mother’s fear of the police and what they stood for took precedence over her own safety. As a Nigerian immigrant whose abuser had full control of her documentation and the processes through which she had managed to remain in the country, my mother believed that speaking truthfully to the police was not a choice she could make.

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