Lorde believes that age, class, race, and sexuality further limits the way we â€śperformâ€? gender. She states on page 17, â€śIgnoring the differences of race between women and the implications of those differences presents the most serious threat to the mobilization of womenâ€™s joint power.â€? Since these factors limits her way to â€śperformâ€? gender, she, as a â€śblack lesbian feminist,â€? always feels â€śencouraged to pluck out some one aspect of myself and present this as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying other parts of self.â€? This means, (according to Johnsonâ€™s â€ś+5 Systemâ€?) that being black, not white; homosexual, not heterosexual; and a feminist, not a man-rule-all woman, will always oppress her. These factors will always limit her because she is not a white male heterosexual first world middle class citizen.
However, Lorde acknowledges beyond the â€ś+5 System.â€? On page 17 she mentions how ageism, race, and sexuality within the female gender can further a womanâ€™s chance to equality. She mentions young white heterosexual women receive more equality, thus showing that age; race, class, and sexuality further the limits.
With this, Lorde broadens the idea on patriarchy. Not only do the typical white, heterosexual, first world, middle class men are privileged, but also a system where women are limited too. Women oppress other women depending on this plus five system, as she states on page 118, â€śwhite women face the pitfall of being seduced into joining the oppressor under the pretense of sharing power.â€? Thus, Lorde suggests she must recognize the systems of oppression within oppression itself, because if looked broadly, we forget the other contributing factors in which others are oppressed.
Lorde knows she is not privileged. She knows being a black lesbian feminist limits herself in our culture. But from her experience, she understands more than just how the â€ś+5 systemâ€? limits women. In order for us to progress as women, we as women must recognize these â€śsmaller limitsâ€? to get us out of this oppressive system.