As a self-described “[B]lack lesbian feminist warrior mother," Audre Lorde’s intellectual strength and biting critiques of white feminism forever changed society. Through her many books and essays, her influence can’t be understated.
When she eloquently argued for more understanding of “difference” within feminism in the 1970s, it was extremely controversial. It still is.
“Without community there is certainly no liberation, no future,” she argued. Women of all experiences have to fight together for liberation.
But we can’t ignore those different experiences.
“As women, we have been taught… to ignore our differences,” she explained in her (in)famous essay, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House.”
Any Black woman who has ever tried to discuss the experience of being Black AND a woman, and received criticism from both Black men and white women for being “divisive,” knows that her words remain relevant.
She argued that embracing and understanding our differences – across lines of race, gender, disability, and sexuality – is essential for liberation. In this respect, we still have a lot of work to do.