When we talk about feminism and women in general, we need to rightly acknowledge that all women are different, and experience life differently. But there is one intersection where all women's experiences meet, where no woman is going to claim a difference.
That intersection is violence.
Sexual assault and domestic violence are felt in the same way by every woman. There is no difference between rich or poor, able-bodied or disabled, black or white. Every woman feels equally violated by the acts of violence that are perpetuated against her just because she is a woman. This ties into the many and needed conversations about the systematic rape of black women by white men, while segregation was fueled by the fear of black men raping white women: when men fight for supremacy among themselves, women get sandwiched between them. As a result, women are either overprotected from the (non-existing) threat of violence or exposed to real violence. And while this is going on, no one is asking what the women think; they are simply expected to cooperate on either side of the aisle. A woman who refuses to cooperate will feel the consequences, and they are dire.
I've seen a lot of people use the rape of black women by white men as a reason why white women should listen to black women first and foremost. It is a valid point from the perspective of seeing how patriarchy affects us differently, but at the same time it places an unrealistic burden on someone who is herself subjected and oppressed. How could such a person possibly defend the rights of another oppressed group? This is not to say that white women have not been complicit in the most heinous of crimes against people of color. Women aren't saints or devils; they are just a human as men are, and capable of the same kind of cruelty as men are. What I'm trying to say is that we shouldn't expect people who are themselves oppressed, and often through violence, to be the ones to rectify the injustices done by others. When it comes to the systematic rape of black women, we should place the blame squarely at the feet of white men. White women may have turned a blind eye to it, but they didn't commit the act of violence themselves; instead, they were often the recipients of male violence themselves. We need to recognize that all women are the targets of male violence because they are women. Expecting a battered woman to defend another battered woman is to say that victims have the responsibility to end violence. They would if they could. Usually that kind of resistance ends up in the death of the woman instead.
None of the above is to say that black women didn't experience something truly horrendous during the godless and soulless Jim Crow era. There are no words to convey the horror of systematic sexual violence and what it has done to black women. The witch craze had a similar effect on the European psyche. What I'm trying to say is that we shouldn't hold women responsible for the crimes of men. If we want to fight patriarchy, we need to come together as women, affirm our common experiences, and end violence against women by holding the men responsible.
Violence against women doesn't come in color.
It's the same all around the world.