I am currently reading the book Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex by Alice Domurat Dreger for another class, and Dreger similarly discusses the violence of misrepresentation committed against intersex and hermaphrodite individuals in the 18-1900's and the postmodern movement of reclamation that is now underway as intersex persons reclaim autonomy, authority, and voice, all of which had previously been relegated to medical authorities.
Dreger outlines five aspects of postmodernism that make this reclamation possible, and I thought I'd share them with you all, as it seems to me that the reclamation of voice Cooper advocates for black women similarly benefits:
1. "Postmodernism has sen the valuing of voices previously considered nonauthoritative" (Dreger 170): both groups would definitely fall into this category.
2. "Postmodernism has brought with it the recognition that there can never be a single, self-evident, 'true' story to be told" (Dreger 171). I think this also plays into Cooper's point that different groups should be able to tell their own stories- i.e. that black men should not tell the story of black women, but rather that black women should be relegated the authority to tell their own story (and medical authorities should not tell the stories of their intersex patients).
3. "Postmodern sufferers share a sense that their bodies have been 'colonized' in ways that compel them to resist and object" (Dreger 171). This relates to point 5...
4. "The modernist conception of the active-physician-hero... has given way to postmodern challenges of the doctor-patient balance of power" (Dreger 172). This could also be applied to gendered and racial power imbalances.
5. Postmodernism recognizes the social construction of concepts like sexual identity, normalcy, and race, which allows individuals to "see their experiences as culturally, historically specific and therefore not inherent in or necessary to their bodies" (Dreger 172). Awareness of the social construction of these identity categories allows subjects to recognize and fight against oppressions of misrepresentation.
Granted, these tenets could be applied to most minorities/oppressed groups, but I thought it rang true with Cooper's arguments.