This article explores the position of women of color in the affirmative action dialogue. Affirmative action has come under attack locally, statewide, and federally. During this same period, critical race feminists have brought into sharp relief how women of color are marginalized or erased in discourses over sex and gender, as well as over race and ethnicity. Despite these protests and warnings, the current debate over affirmative action continues this history of invisibility, perpetuating America's spoken and unspoken conceptions about where women of color belong. For example, most discussion of affirmative action focuses on race, more specifically on African-Americans. Some discussion looks at gender. To date, however, the affirmative action dialogue has not focused on women of color, resulting in a continuation of the "nobodying the other" phenomenon described by Professor Anthony Farley.' This article attempts to rectify this omission by demonstrating that women of color constitute a category of identity uniquely implicated in the affirmative action debate. The story of women of color told in this article shows that without affirmative action the odds are greater that they will remain in the economic underclass, their acquisition of power will be hampered, and their subordinated status will be perpetuated." In telling their story, this article strives to change the status of women of color in two ways. First, by ensuring that the ongoing discourse over affirmative action includes women of color as vocal participants, storytellers, and agents of active change. Second, by arguing that various forms of affirmative action should remain in place specifically for women of color.
Laura M. Padilla,
Intersectionality and Positionality: Situating Women of Color in the Affirmative Action Dialogue,
Fordham L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.law.cwsl.edu/fs/326