Essay on Woman and Gender Studies

3 pages
612 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
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"The master tools will never dismantle the master's house by Audre Lorde focuses on feminist movement and how it is imperative for women to support each other and stand together. Audre Lorde (1984) states that "the feminist movement as a whole, mainly white privileged women disregards lesbians, black women, and poor women as legitimate feminists." This statement is provocative of western feminists and questions their homophobia and racism. Therefore western feminists do not care to legitimize lesbians, black women, and poor women by allowing them to be part and parcel of their independent groups. Michelle Cusseaux (2016) states that "the reality is that African American women face discrimination through both their race and gender." The feminist movement has poor women, black women, and lesbians under its umbrella of oppression making the oppressed stand alone because they do not have the sense of uniting since they are scared or under pressure. This root means that survival is a belief in superiority and domination over others. Michelle Cusseaux (2016) names a few African-American women such as Mya Hall, Tanisha Anderson, Aura Rosser and Natasha McKenna, who were victims of police brutality in the United States. She explains the devastating underrepresentation of violence against African-American women in media, politics, and activism (Cusseaux, 2016). She further states that why it that the lost lives of African American women do not generate a similar amount of media attention and communal outcry (Cusseaux, 2016). This means that anti-racist groups and feminist organizations were more involved in the master's tools by largely ignoring women of color's experiences of police violence. Thus, racial solidarity was critical in betraying feminist causes because Black American women, lesbians and poor women had no place in anti-feminist activities and feminist politics.

Women of color exist at the intersection of gender and race, and their experience is not that of gender oppression or racial oppression. When the master tools of the racist patriarchy are used in examining the same patriarchy, it means that change is allowable and possible. According to Audre Lorde (1984), "to deny interdependence among women as a whole is just insanity because the overall goal of the feminist movement and the right of independence of women from men, cannot be achieved without relying on one another." The unity of all women in the fight against racism and oppression is the main fear of the patriarchal society. As long as the white feminist movement and privileged feminists deny lesbians, black women and the poor women as legitimate feminists, the right of independence of women would never be achieved (Lorde 1984). As long as the feminists continue to use the same master tools they fight against, we will never dismantle the master's house. To break the master tools, the white feminist movement needs to see and act beyond the culture that despises and allow difference put on black women, lesbians and poor women. White feminists should join in the struggle and critic classist, racist and homophobic behavior directly. Intersectionality would allow white feminists not to stand against a narrow version of justice for lesbians and black American women.

Audre Lorde and Michelle Cusseaux created space for differences and plurality among "Second Wave" feminists in the United States. They exposed the false dilemma, which forced one form of oppression and persecution over another. The difference among women of color should count as a strength, rather than a weakness, in making way for multiculturalism and intersectionality in black feminism.


Crenshaw, K. (Director). (2016). The urgency of intersectionality [Motion Picture]. Retrieved from

Lorde, A. (1984). The Master Tools will Never Dismantle the Masters House. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/USER/Downloads/Master's%20Tools%20(2).pdf

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