What do you think of Alice Walker's definition of "womanist"?

Lately there have been a lot of Y/A Q&As that contain the phrase "the feminists." Never positive. Always stereotypical and critical. I know that feminism is diverse. So diverse that many of us, esp. women of color, cannot relate to the stereotype. Please give me your heartfelt reaction to Alice... show more Lately there have been a lot of Y/A Q&As that contain the phrase "the feminists." Never positive. Always stereotypical and critical. I know that feminism is diverse. So diverse that many of us, esp. women of color, cannot relate to the stereotype.

Please give me your heartfelt reaction to Alice Walker's definition of "womanist." Though I do not think that this def. applies only to women of color, this is how I would describe myself. The word feminist just does not fit me. The following paraphrase is fr. In Search of Our Mother's Gardens.

Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender. A womanist is bold, universalist, committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female. A womanist is also -- and thoroughly -- erotic: A woman who loves other women, sexually and/or nonsexually and exultantly. Loves music. Loves dance. Loves the moon. Loves the Spirit. Loves love and food and roundness. Loves struggle. Loves the Folk. Loves herself. Regardless.
Update: Dear GSXRRider: You are entitled to your opinion, but if you would take the time to understand the question and the quote--maybe google it or do a little research--you would find a whole movement based on this so-called "meaningless crap." This was as honest call for dialogue ab. the ideas in it, not an... show more Dear GSXRRider: You are entitled to your opinion, but if you would take the time to understand the question and the quote--maybe google it or do a little research--you would find a whole movement based on this so-called "meaningless crap." This was as honest call for dialogue ab. the ideas in it, not an invitation for insults. Try thinking before you type and spew out your own "meaningless crap." Thank you for playing. Now how ab. a real answer?
Update 2: Dear Rio M.:

This is a typical criticism of the quote, usu. fr. people who have a narrow patriarchal idea of how women can love other women. Love can be sexual or nonsexual. Please read the entire quote. Although I have nothing ag. lesbians, this is not a promotion of lesbianism. Thanks for your answer.
Update 3: Dear Special S.: Thank you so much for your response. To answer your Q, Alice Walker is a poet as well as an an essayist and fiction writer. Her references to the moon and to roundness are both literal and metaphorical. The moon is a beautiful, luminous light in the nighttime sky, and it is also a nearly... show more Dear Special S.:
Thank you so much for your response. To answer your Q, Alice Walker is a poet as well as an an essayist and fiction writer. Her references to the moon and to roundness are both literal and metaphorical. The moon is a beautiful, luminous light in the nighttime sky, and it is also a nearly universal symbol of feminine energy. As for roundness, given a poem I once read of hers, where she writes that any one who wants to be with her will also have to be with her sun, her belly, this may also be a call for the love or acceptance of women's naturally round or curvy bodies. Finally, the moon, the sun, and the earth all round in shape--and all bear near universally symbolic meaning. Hope this helps.
Update 4: My dearest Bill: Thanks so much for your answer. "Universalist," right on. Gender distinctions upon close examination often do not hold up. As for the complexity of my questions, what can I say? I am what I am? How can a beautifully complex mind like mine come up with simple questions ab. complex... show more My dearest Bill:
Thanks so much for your answer. "Universalist," right on. Gender distinctions upon close examination often do not hold up. As for the complexity of my questions, what can I say? I am what I am? How can a beautifully complex mind like mine come up with simple questions ab. complex issues in life? (Much love...)
Update 5: Dear lady_bella, my cyberfriend, I think you are right on the money here. Alice Walker is known for her belief in connecting with the whole. So, she is not with the stereotypical radical feminist agenda of cutting women off from men, or the patriarchal women's agenda of cutting women off from each other. ... show more Dear lady_bella, my cyberfriend, I think you are right on the money here. Alice Walker is known for her belief in connecting with the whole. So, she is not with the stereotypical radical feminist agenda of cutting women off from men, or the patriarchal women's agenda of cutting women off from each other.
Ciao bella. :)
Update 6: Oh yes, lady_bella, in her poetry Alice Walker discusses the need for us to accept our whole selves, our authentic selves. She wouldn't use the word "faults," though. In one of my favorite Alice Walker poems she shares the idea of wrapping our contradictions around us to parry stones. Powerful... show more Oh yes, lady_bella, in her poetry Alice Walker discusses the need for us to accept our whole selves, our authentic selves. She wouldn't use the word "faults," though. In one of my favorite Alice Walker poems she shares the idea of wrapping our contradictions around us to parry stones. Powerful stuff. Love your interpretation.
Update 7: There are critics who have cast Alice Walker as a man-hater because of the negative images of men she created in her famous book The Color Purple. What these critics conveniently fail to take into account is the fact that all her characters, male and female alike, learn, change, and grow by the end of the novel. ... show more There are critics who have cast Alice Walker as a man-hater because of the negative images of men she created in her famous book The Color Purple. What these critics conveniently fail to take into account is the fact that all her characters, male and female alike, learn, change, and grow by the end of the novel. Moreover, Alice Walker's other books, eg Possessing the Secret of Joy, In the Temple of My Familiar, and several books of poetry have a multitude of images of positive male images, and initially negative female images. But I don't see anyone calling her a woman hater. As a writer, performer, and instructor, it irks me to no end when critics base their opinions on very little knowledge couched in a tremendous amount of prejudice and hatred. We do not all have to agree with each other here. As Alice Walker herself has said, "Conformity is not community." But can we all help to make Y/A a hate-free zone?
Update 8: Al_b: an interesting rant, but have you noticed that you did not answer the question? There is nothing in this post/question asking you or anyone to endorse a label. What I asked was for you or anyone to actually read the Walker statement and respond to it honestly. This is difficult if not impossible to do if... show more Al_b: an interesting rant, but have you noticed that you did not answer the question? There is nothing in this post/question asking you or anyone to endorse a label. What I asked was for you or anyone to actually read the Walker statement and respond to it honestly. This is difficult if not impossible to do if you are so hell bent on judging. Peace.
13 answers 13