« Week Five Blog | Main | Week 5 Blog »

Blog Five

How a person 'does gender' is usually copied from the conventional actions of people surrounding them; they learn the appropriate gestures, phrases, reactions, and manners for a situation that fits their expressed gender by watching. For simplicity's sake, lets refer only to women. A woman learns to convey herself correctly by watching and producing, yet the process becomes more complicated as other factors mold what type of woman she is. Her age group, class, ethnicity all hold her to different standards; these standards then modify her expression of herself as a woman. These make limits, each woman's limits are different depending on her race, class, and age. As my limits may be different than those of Lourde as I am white, young, heterosexual female. As she sees it, she has more limits in society due to her disadvantageous race, sexuality, and age. But the bottom line being our oppression is not the same, yet we are both opressed. As exemplified here, oppression does not only exist through sex. Oppression exists between classes, races, and ages; naturally the oppression of these groups are carefully tied with patriarchy to give women the illusion their struggle is a united one, when in reality each suffers individually. Patriarchy is not the only form of oppression, its the most widely recognized form though. Its often too difficult to acknowledge some of the others exist though their influence is just as widely felt as patriarchy. According to Lourde, oppression is much different. It spawns from the fact we see the differences between us as either inferior or superior, we cannot relate them as equal, therefore these differences produce separation. She suggests we redefine these differences and identify ourselves, we can change the pattern of oppression by seeing ourselves as equal, but different individuals. Her idea of how to overcome such oppression directly reflects her status as a black lesbian as she continually stresses differences between each woman. As a minority in multiple contexts, Lourde's experience as a woman has been a much different one than I have ever known. We are women, but how can you say we are sisters and we've had 'homogenous' experiences? Yet to overcome this oppression, she is my equal; society must acknowledge none of her traits are inferior to the next woman. Overall, I truly appreciate this attitude on overcoming the male power in our nation. For once, its okay to not identify with your fellow female, yet still have a sense of unity with her.