Shaw & Lee. Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings 6th edition.
Students should post 2 short excerpts on our class blog throughout the semester using the short pieces at the end of each chapter.
Blog posts should be a minimum of 350 words and maximum of 400 words.
The posts should include the following:
Author and title of reading
Author’s background information
What was the piece about? What chapter and key words are linked to the piece?
Your opinion on the piece before reading and after reading
Food for thought- question that engages classmates to respond.
Part two: Comments on blog entries should be at least 150 words to receive full credit.
Other student’s blog:
Audre Lorde (2009) – There is No Hierarchy of Oppression (Shaw & Lee, pg. 70)
Before Reading: I chose this piece as my reading because I often find myself trying to rank my oppression based of minority groups. I typically realize that it is hard to rank which oppression is “worse” and have always wondered if other minorities with memberships to multiple groups have tried to evaluate which aspect of their life brings them the “most” oppression.
Summary: This short reading discusses a black woman’s life. She is black, female, lesbian, socialist, poet, mother of two, and in an interracial lesbian relationship. She highlights how we cannot create a hierarchy of our oppressions because not one aspect of our lives can profit from the oppression of any other parts of our identities. In other terms, our oppressions cannot outweigh each other. She goes on to discuss how systems of inequalities and privilege (sexism, racism, heterosexism, etc.) believe that the inherent superiority of one group over all others gives right to it’s dominance. Being a member to many disadvantaged groups creates unity among the oppressed in that each of their problems are linked – many black women are lesbian, many lesbians are black, per her example. She uses her intersectionality as an example to show that she is oppressed in many aspects of her life, but those oppressions cannot be ranked because each minority group is connected – therefore, there is no hierarchy of oppression.
Keywords: Intersectionality, systems of inequality (sexism, racism, heterosexism), hierarchy.
After Reading: After reading this piece, I found comfort in knowing that others have taken a look at their oppression and tried to compare them, often coming up short. As a liberal, queer, latina woman, in an interracial relationship with a transgender man – I can see how many problems within my separate groups are connected to one another.
Food for thought: In what ways are your own group memberships related? If you are privileged in one category, can your privilege outweigh the oppression of another? How do you think your life would change if you woke up tomorrow with a privileged aspect of your life changed to a more disadvantaged one, and vice versa?