Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich: Recognizing Difference

The Gender Press

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AUDRE LORDE: “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference” (from Sister Outsider, 1984) Lorde is a crucial figure in second-wave feminism. The title of her book Sister Outsider was a criticism of the feminist movement’s definition of “sisterhood” (and a dialogue with Robin Morgan’s landmark book Sisterhood is Powerful. In this essay, she exposes the tendency of white feminists to “ignore their built-in privilege of whiteness and define woman in terms of their own experience alone.”

  1. According to Lorde, why are Black lesbians (or “women-identified” Black women) interpreted as a particular threat to Black nationhood?
  2. Lorde reminds us that “white women face the pitfall of being seduced into joining the oppressor under the pretense of sharing power. This possibility does not exist in the same way for women of Color…for white women there is a wider range of pretended choices and rewards for identifying with patriarchal power and its…

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