Alright y’all, for my first Wednesday Warriors, get ready for a good ol’ lesson in feminists you should know.
Audre Lorde was a black, lesbian poet, essayist, and novelist born of immigrants in New York City. She wrote on many injustices, such as racism, misogyny, and homophobia. Her position as outsider led to her poetry frequently dealing with issues of difference between one’s self-understanding as well as one’s interaction amidst groups.
She is recognized as a starting point for the concept of intersectionality, arguing in her essays that while feminists made the distinction between man and woman, class, race, sexual orientation, among other things, were also deeply important issues in understanding one’s experience a woman; these things could not be separated from each other.
I talk about her now as a white feminist because of the proliferation of White Feminism™. It is important right now to commit to issues of rights in regards to race, gender, and sexual orientation, and for those white people who find their activist identities in feminism, it is important for us to understand exactly where we stand among multiple intersections. Audre Lorde’s work in this area is insightful, digestible, and enlightening, and I highly suggest reading, at minimum “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference” (available with a google search I won’t link you to because legality is a whole question I don’t want to get involved in).
And of course, as we cannot forget that she is a poet, we can end on a poem of hers titled “A Woman Speaks”
Moon marked and touched by sunmy magic is unwrittenbut when the sea turns backit will leave my shape behind.I seek no favoruntouched by bloodunrelenting as the curse of lovepermanent as my errorsor my prideI do not mixlove with pitynor hate with scornand if you would know melook into the entrails of Uranuswhere the restless oceans pound.I do not dwellwithin my birth nor my divinitieswho am ageless and half-grownand still seekingmy sisterswitches in Dahomeywear me inside their coiled clothsas our mother didmourning.I have been womanfor a long timebeware my smileI am treacherous with old magicand the noon’s new furywith all your wide futurespromisedI amwomanand not white.