with the same wishes, desires, experiences, and stories. By confronting the myth of a
unified feminist subject, many women of color writers have “helped open the way for
alternate feminist discourses and theories” (p. 357).
Alarcón (1990) and the writers in this work build a strong case for a critique of
the assumed subject of feminist thought. Jane Flax notes, the “model ‘person’ in feminist
theory still appears to be a self-sufficient individual adult” where the philosophical
understanding of an individual excludes women of color because white women have not
“explored how our understanding of gender relations, self, and theory are partially
constituted in and through experiences of living in a culture in which asymmetric race
relations are a central organizing principle of society” (in Alarcón, 1990, p. 357). Norma
Alarcón’s piece has been cited by many authors in various fields including Anthropology,
Women’s Studies, Chicana Studies, Organization Studies, Higher Education, and
Sociology (Narayan, 1993; Zin & Dill, 1996; Benhabib, 1999; McCall, 2005; Holvino,
2010; Quijada Cerecer, Ek, Alanis, & Murakami-Ramalho, 2011; Pérez Huber & Cueva,
2012; Puar, 2012). Some of the authors have used this work to critique the feminist
subject as Alarcón did, but many subscribe to the call for “a multiplicity of positions”
without a critique of the “subject of knowledge” that was central to her argument.
I feel Alarcón’s call for multiplicity has been heard, but I am not sure that the
critique of the subject of feminism has been fully explored. That is not to say that authors
like Puar (2012), McCall (2005), and Zin & Dill (1996) have not written about
subjectivity, but an overwhelming tide of information being written about women,
gender, and the field of women’s and gender studies, as well as other fields like
leadership, have not paused to “problematize the subject of knowledge” (Alarcón, 1990,
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