to be a leader does not mean that you have to fall into one certain template. For this
article, many of the authors whose work I draw upon are women of color. As a white
woman in a society where race, along with gender and class, are very real considerations,
I must be upfront to myself and those who read my work about why I use the authors I do
and give credit to the many reasons that I find particular authors’ ways of thinking
important. I acknowledge a history of white women assuming they speak for all women.
At best, this assumption ignores differences raised by women of color and at worst it is
active in shutting down voices that need to speak those differences.
In her work on film critique, bell hooks (2003) speaks to this idea of difference
saying, “Despite the significance of race, many feminist film critiques continue to
structure their discourse as being about ‘women’ when it actuality speaks only about
white women” (p. 99). hooks reminds us that unless specified the subject of woman is
assumed to be white creating a “totalizing narrative of women as object whose image
functions solely to reaffirm and reinscribe patriarchy” (p. 99). By looking to the work of
women of color theorists, we find where the “critical thinker [can] search the margins,
gaps, and locations on and through the body where agency can be found” (hooks, 2003,
p. 94). I do not want to use the words and work of women of color authors without
recognizing that the ways we are different can be as important as the ways we are similar.
The key text that highlights this argument for why women of color writers have
“problematized many a version of Anglo-American feminism” (p. 357) is Norma
Alarcón’s (1990) “The Theoretical Subject(s) of This Bridge Called My Back and Anglo-
American Feminism.” Her writing pushes back on the idea that all people could come
together under the term woman and that all women are assumed ultimately to be the same