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The Essential Ellen Willis$
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Ellen Willis and Nona Willis Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816681204

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816681204.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

Sisters under the Skin?

Sisters under the Skin?

Confronting Race and Sex

(p.216) Sisters under the Skin?
The Essential Ellen Willis

Nona Willis Aronowitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines issues of race and sex from a feminist perspective. Like talk about sexuality, discussions of the racial-sexual nexus radiate danger and taboo—a sign that the participants are on to something. In such discussions, black women raise the heartening possibility of connecting, and in the process revitalizing, the unhappily divergent discourses of feminism and black liberation. This could be the first step toward creating a new feminist radicalism, whose interracial, interclass bonds go deeper than lowest-common-denominator coalition politics. Most critics of the contemporary feminist movement have suggested that the movement has been so white because white feminists’ racism has driven black women away. However, they have not addressed the question of why it was primarily white women, rather than black women or both groups simultaneously, who felt impelled to mobilize against sexism, or why so many politically conscious black women reject the movement outright rather than insisting that it purge its theory and practice of racism, or organizing groups committed to a nonracist feminist politics.

Keywords:   race, sex, black women, feminism, racism, white women, sexism

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