Thus Sayeth The Lorde
Audre Lorde knew. And also theorized what we now know as “intersectionality”–as coined and conceptualized by Kimberlé Crenshaw–before Crenshaw’s prominent paper Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color, and after earlier theorizations by Combahee River Collective and Sojourner Truth.
There is no generic social class of women who all experience the totality of gender in the same way, even as we all face misogyny and sexism, in general. There is no reason to deny the intersections of race (i.e White/WoC; non-Black/Black), gender (i.e. cis, trans, femme non-binary), sexual orientation (i.e. hetero, lesbian, bisexual, queer, pansexual, asexual), class, ability, complexion (i.e. Whiteness, light skinned privilege), weight, citizenship status etc. and their impact on our womanhood. To suggest women oppressed at multiple axes must ignore this lived reality to play “unity” (usually under the control of cis Whiteness) is erasure and oppression. Why does “unity” require White control? Why is this type of “unity” more important than equity, justice and freedom?
Audre Lorde knew. Her incredible writing, especially gathered in Sister Outsider, are critical. May her words live on.