"Within women’s and gender studies, the language of intersectionality is often appropriated to mean putting together already existing theoretical frameworks, or including the experiences of those “left out” of white feminist projects, in a way that evades theoretical consideration of race altogether. Thus, grappling with intersectionality is often mistakenly reduced to a call to include the experiences of women of color. Sidestepping the challenge to feminism inherent in the theoretical and political project of intersectionality, this framework of inclusion fails to confront racism for a number of reasons.
First, to include women of color into women’s and gender studies leaves the core concepts of the field intact and suggests that the lives of women of color are just another area of study that can be analyzed in the same way that white women’s experiences have been. Rather than take seriously the theories of race and gender and the feminist politics that emerge when the experiences of women of color are centered, inclusion simply invites women of color into a project that has already been defined in relation to the experiences of white women (Alarcón 1991; A. Smith 2004). Instead of taking intersectionality as a call to fundamentally transform (or abandon) frameworks that cannot grapple with racial difference, inclusion frequently preserves those frameworks as they are by simply adding to them.
Second, inclusion often fails to take into account the relationality of different women’s experiences and instead repositions white women’s experiences as the norm from which experiences of women of color differ. As Elsa Barkley Brown notes, the point is not just that women of color and white women have different experiences but rather that racism is a structure of power in which ‘white women live the lives they do in large part because women of color live the ones they do (E. Brown 1992, 298).
Finally, including the experiences of women of color does not require the development of theoretical approaches that demonstrate how race is gendered and gender is raced beyond the scale of individual experiences. What emerges from inclusion is a focus on accounting for different identities rather than on critically interrogating the mechanisms of power by which particular identities are produced as such."
Priya Kandaswamy (via wretchedoftheearth