There is a general consensus (at least in my anecdotal experience) that the greatest of all feminist thinkers were/are black women, so where are the leaders of our generation? Audre Lorde is gone and bell Hooks is advancing in age (although not slowing down a bit, for which she deserves great appreciation. Who will we look to for guidance now and in the future?
This may sound a little tokenizing and I want to clarify that I’m not saying by any means that any unspecified black woman can be bell Hooks or Audre Lorde. No one but Audre Lorde could be Audre Lorde. No one but bell Hooks can be bell Hooks. What I am saying is that no white leader can lead like Audre Lorde or bell Hooks. There is a good reason why women of color do not appear at NOW and League of Women Voters events (again, YMMV on that one, but that has been my consistent experience). It is because there is nothing revolutionary about white leadership and black accommodation of it. That is status quo. Women of color generally seem to recognize that, and white women often overlook it, or think that other priorities are more important.
Well, white feminists, we’ve had maybe a half century of lip service to this issue. That’s too long. We need to bump this to the top of the list. If that means we need to summarily and formally abolish white leadership in the movement, so be it. I’m for it. If that means we can’t hold events that black women won’t host, so be it. If that means we aren’t addressing issues that black women don’t want to address, fine. Intersectionality is a really complicated thing to mentally contain and I think it makes sense that the women who have the best grasp on it live at some of the worst intersections. The movement is shriveling without the insight of these folks. I go to a NOW event and I see an irrelevant group. I go to a league of women voters event and I see a relic of the past. Women of all races belong together, under the umbrella of feminism, but it is time for white women to step back, so we really can achieve that togetherness and community healing.