Cherie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua Introduction

We want to express to all women - especially to white middle-class women - the experiences which divide us as feminists; we want to examine incidents of intolerance, prejudice and denial of differences within the feminist movement. We intend to explore the causes and sources of, and solutions to these divisions. We want to create a definition that expands what "feminist" means to us. 
 According to the Introduction to This Bridge Called My Back, written by Gloria Anzaldua and Cherie Moraga, these words were from the original soliciting letter they used to invite writers to contribute to the anthology. They saw racism and elitism in the ranks of national feminist organizations and sought to bring about revolution. Not just change, but revolution.

The use the term Third World women as well as women of color, acknowledging, perhaps, that appearances do not wholly exclude a woman from the white middle class. Poor immigrants can have difficulties no matter their skin color, and any woman who does not conform to a heterosexual norm of femininity also runs the risk of being seen as a lesser form of other.

Anzaldua and Moraga did not seek perfectly edited and curated essays for this book. "The book is intended to reflect our color loud and clear, not to tone it down. As editors we sought out and believe we found, non-rhetorical, highly personal chronicles that present a political analysis in everyday terms" (xxiv). They call it non-rhetorical, but I think that the works expand the definition of rhetoric to include themselves. Shatter the traditional definitions of rhetoric and rebuild it to be the communication, personal or not, emotional or not, a politic, a philosophy or a work of art.

"We see the book as a revolutionary tool falling into the hands of people of all colors. Just as we have been radicalized in the process of compiling this book, we hope it will radicalize others into action" (xxvi). The idea of radicalization seems to me to be the changing of comfort into discomfort. When that bubble of discomfort outgrows the bounds of our hearts, then we have to confront whether we will be radical or drown in a flood of silence.

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