Are Black Men a Counterexample to Feminism?
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Please join the Franklin Humanities Institute for its Friday morning series, tgiFHI! tgiFHI gives Duke faculty in the humanities, interpretative social sciences and arts the opportunity to present their current research to their departmental (and interdepartmental) colleagues, students, and other interlocutors in their fields.
About the Talk
In Tommy Curry's recent book The Man-Not, he argues that Black men are oppressed in virtue of being men. Curry draws upon a wealth of examples and empirical data to show that Black men have historically been targeted for their gender, not just their race. However, Curry's thesis contradicts classic feminist theory, which holds that no man, of any race, can be oppressed in virtue of being a man. While Curry is right to think that the unique conditions of Black men have been overlooked in feminist theory, I disagree with his view that Black men are oppressed on the basis of their gender. I argue that we can better understand the plight of Black men if we have a more sophisticated framework for analyzing oppression. Specifically, we should distinguish between (a) the reason why an individual is oppressed, (b) the way in which an individual is oppressed, and (c) the degree of harm or privilege resulting from oppressive social structures.
About the Speaker
Kevin Richardson is an Assistant Professor in the philosophy department. His current research concerns the nature of the social world. He focus on two broad questions. How are social kinds (like gender and race) constructed by social groups? And how do linguistic practices (like assertions about racial identity) shape social reality?