Women of color who shared feminist goals faced dual obstacles, from their own communities and from women's movements. Black nationalists, for example, urged women to align with racial rather than sexual politics, primarily by supporting men through women's roles as wives and mothers. Asian American feminists were criticized as traitors to their race for threatening ethnic identity, just as Chicana feminists risked being labeled vend idas, or sellouts, in the Chicano movement (Chicana Feminism). Yet when women of color did join the women's movement, they encountered overt and subtle racial bias. Given their small numbers, they often felt the discomfort of being treated as tokens, expected to represent their race but not to bring their own issues to the table.
Inclusion without influence, Lyne t Uttar called it, or as Bernice Johnson Reagan explained, You dont really want Black folks; you are just looking for yourself with a little color in it. (Donovan, Josephine). The title of the collection of African American women's writing captured well the exclusion: All the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men, but Some of Us are Brave (1982). In response to this dilemma, women of color initiated a redefinition of identity politics. They refused the pressures from both men of color who would degrade women's issues and white women who would put down race issues. When the Chicano movement called on the women of La Raza (the race) to reject feminism, Adelaide del Castillo insisted that true freedom for our people can come about only if prefaced by the equality of individuals within La Raza.
(Chicana Feminism). Just as women had separated from men within the New Left, women of color established their own groups. One of these, the Combahee River Collective, issued a black feminist statement in 1974 that pledged to struggle together with black men against racism, while we also struggle with black men about sexism. Asian American Women United, Women of All Red Nations, and the National Black Womens Health Project served specific groups. Women from a variety of racial backgrounds formed Kitchen Table/ Women of Color Press to present diverse women's stories. In 1981 the published an influential anthology.
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981) edited by Chicana feminists Cherries Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, opened a cultural space for further explorations of multiple personal identities. (Chicana Feminism). The intense conversations on identity and privilege encouraged some U. S. feminists to form coalitions across line of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.
So did the political conversation of the 1980 s, which put the feminists on the defensive. Facing common opposition and learning to trust across difference, though never an easy task, helped sustain grassroots feminism in the face of opposition. WORK CITED Chicana Feminism. Accessed 3 April 2006 at: web Donovan, Josephine. Feminist Theory.
A Frederick Ungar book. Continuum. New York,.