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A Critical Response Essay of Audre Lorde’s “I Am Your Sister”

In Audre Lorde’s essay, “I Am Your Sister”, she talks about many aspects of recognizing our differences and not ignoring them, but she also describes the dichotomy between the plight of Black and white feminists. While both fight for women’s rights, it is not a unified front. She explains that issues that are uniquely experienced by Black women are omitted from the conversation of women’s rights because white feminists do not share the space with others outside of their race nor do they feel any comradery with them. Lorde even goes as far as saying, that white women don’t see Black women and other women as color as women at all. Black women are fighting for injustices such as lower wages, poorer healthcare, and other inequalities unique to them to be abolished. However, whether white feminists realize it or not, they use their privilege of race, class, age, and sex, to fight for a seat of power within the patriarchy of white supremacy, rather than truly fighting against it. In many ways, white feminists have made themselves just another face of white supremacy. This is unfortunate because instead of being one entity pushing forward for women’s rights, the selfishness of the white feminist movement pushes the entire movement for all women several steps back. This is largely due to that white women consistently keep in place the systematic problems that affect Black women and their families.

Classism directly affects the difference between white and Black women’s rights because in a capitalistic world, where people can purchase their audience, whoever has the deeper pockets, and not the more humanitarian intent, can afford the larger platform to amplify their cause. In Lorde’s essay, she uses a relatable example of poetry written on pen and paper being the medium of choice by poorer communities because it’s cheap, portable, and easily accessible as opposed to an expensive typewriter that wouldn’t be as easily available to those without the financial means. In this day and age, we can still see this same equivalence in the media, where poorer Black activists, artists, etc. have to rely on gaining a slow and steady following for their movements through social media or grassroots events, while people with deeper pockets can just buy a speaker spot at an event, or pay to be on Joe Rogan or even pay an influencer to spread their cause faster and wider. Or if they’re white, blonde, blue-eyed, and pretty enough, they can get a spot on Good Morning America with no higher education than high school. We saw this grossly played out on a worldwide stage with Elon Musk’s purchasing of Twitter, turning it into his personal megaphone and Mark Zuckerburg also axing Black activists’ Facebook pages for “hate speech”.

I agree with Lorde’s notion of ageism that if the younger generation finds the older generation in contempt, then they are destined to repeat the same mistakes because they don’t reach out to the old for guidance. We see this today with millennials and other generations having disdain for the boomer generation for buying up real estate for pennies and then reselling it to everyone at exorbitant prices. All while this same boomer generation, also owns the cooperations and hasn’t raised wages to keep up with inflation since the 70s, but telling everybody to stop being lazy and work in the same breath. Unfortunately, this is really a white issue in the sense that Black people didn’t own any homes, businesses or real estate to begin with, but the fallout from white peoples’ problems, once again overflowed into the Black community and now we have Black youths not listening to the older generation, just because it’s what’s popular and loud among the white population.

Womens Rights March 2017

Race greatly increases the divide between Black and white feminists, because there are factors in the Black community that white women ignore since they don’t affect them. They don’t see the Black woman’s angst of protecting their children from street violence, the education system, or law enforcement as their problems, so those conversations are never heard of when addressing women’s rights, and Black women are often left fighting for those on their own. As a result, this puts white women as a problem for Black women because they will continue to do things such as voting for more law enforcement and politicians that are against Black people’s interests and puts the Black family at further risk; 53% of white women voted for Trump! When Black activist Angela Peoples was interviewed about her viral sign at the Women’s March in 2017 among the sea of pink vagina hats worn by the white women at the event, she responded “I don’t think it’s a matter of White women becoming interested in our issues; I need them to recognize they are implicit or complicit benefactors of systems like White supremacy and patriarchy—and that’s a problem,” Moseley, By Mariya. “Woman Behind Viral ‘White Women Voted for Trump’ Sign Speaks on Why More People Need to Trust Black Women.” Essence, 26 Oct. 2020,

In closing, Lorde’s essay still holds true for all the issues going on today in the United States when it comes to race. We are not changing because no one is listening. Her food for thought is that we must seek out the roots of our distortions and look for ways to combine all the issues between white, Black, and all people of color’s problems into one movement, and not ignore one over the other simply because one group has dominance. White women must make a radical change in including non-white people or else they’re just another form of white supremacy with a female face. 🦉


Artist. Gamer. Writer. Cello. Techie. Introvert. Realist. Sarcastic troll. 📖 Computer Science major at City University of New York All the things Social Media: 🦋 Bluesky 📸 🎥 Hobbies: ✍🏾 🎨 Gaming 🎮 Discord Battlenet Gör#1270 💼 Entrepreneur 📍NYC 🔗 📅 Joined the Internet September 1997

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