Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hyperlinks: Lorde; The Master's Tools...

Faith Ringgold-The Flag Is Bleeding #2
In reading Audre Lorde's thoughts it became very clear just how different each person's experience in life can be.  Not that this thought isn't one to have crossed my mind previously, but in reading her perspectives reflecting the lack of complete representation in the continued feminist movement, Lorde clearly conveys frustration in the current state of communication.  Feminists of color, as well as lesbian and poor representatives rarely find an equal opportunity to lend a voice to discussions of oppression and the need for change.  The conference which Lorde was in attendance exemplifies her points in this area.  Those in attendance of such gatherings and discussions appear to be somewhat exclusive within a limited socioeconomic frame work.  Representatives in Lorde's experience tend to fit a mold of white academics of at least middle class society.  This club lacks the experiences and ideas of a great range of individuals with a voice to be heard. 

I came across a video on youtube which promotes a strong message of support for feminism.  The way in which this video is perfectly related to Lorde's literature, is that while it may not be possible to identify sexual orientation or economic class, there is an EXTREME lack of representation of women of color.  Only one image at the end of the series in all of those displayed in the over 4 minute video is of a woman who is clearly other than white.  Respect is paid to those women of the suffragist movement which we discussed in class (clean, well dressed, white, upper-middle-class).  This video clearly supports Lorde's position on diversity in expression. 

In searching related topics online I found an artist site for Faith Ringgold who is an artist, author, and professor.  Her painted quilt work is beautiful and extensive covering her over 35 year career.  Beyond viewing her artwork and brief biography the artist has a link under "Racial Questions and Answers" that relates to the frustration of identity found in Lorde's article; "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master's House."  These questions at least in small part, allow the participant the chance to consider their life and identity if waking up one day as another race and gender.  Questions such as "Whom would you tell first?", and "How do you feel about your new identity?" got me considering my comfort level in my own skin and how this, and in large part, my identity as I'm accustomed to it would change based on gender and ethnicity.  Answers collected by previous participants are available based on participant gender and race.  The questions posed led me to wonder of the feelings of those who feel oppressed.  Would you ultimately choose, if given the choice, to permanantly assume the identity of another race or gender to gain the expected privileges that accompany such an identity?  Would you instead choose to live with the characteristics which you're already familiar?  I believe that most would choose to remain who they are, as they are.  Though challenges may vary from one person to another, I don't believe sacrificing the person you have grown to become for the chance at some possible privilege benefit is a worthy cost.  At any rate, the short series of questions is worth a minute or two, and may even help broaden considerations on identity and perspective. 


  1. Great job with this. I really liked the video about feminism you put in here. It brings up a lot of good points that I normally wouldn't realize.


    I appologize, it took a while after posting to realize that I didn't end with a point to share in class.

    What I would like to speak on in class is the quetion I found sticking in my mind after reading the literature. It's listed in the questionnaire attached to the Faith Ringgold artist site that I linked in my post. Though it would be impossible to correctly assume what life would be like in the skin of another race or gender, I found it interesting to at least try and imagine this after being asked. The list of questions ultimately lead to what appears to be a somewhat vague, but also seemingly specific question. This question asks "If you had one dream that was quaranteed to come true, what would it be? To me this seems purposely placed at the end in order to put the participant in what for some may be an uncomfortable position. I see the intended struggle in this question being one of deciding to answer with a dream to change humanity for the better, or simply to want your original identity again. I was wondering what other students might honestly say if asked this question.

  3. Nice job. That video speaks for itself. I liked that question you brought up about having that one wish come true, would you change yourself or humanity. Nice job.