Women Redefining Difference By Audre Lorde

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No one enjoys being called out for a wrongdoing or urged to confess a mistake. However, that is exactly what Audre Lorde does in her paper “Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference.” She discusses the role of the oppressors and the oppressed while both reprimanding and sympathizing with her readers. At a first glance, Lorde’s paper may seem like it attempts to tackle too much, from race and gender to socioeconomic class and sexuality, all at the cost of potentially ostracizes those in positions of power. Because of that, Lorde must work to not divide her readers between the privileged and those less fortunate while also answering the question of whether or not society can combat prejudice programming without falling into the paralyzing…show more content…
She even makes an allusion to Virginia Woolfe’s A Room of One’s Own, in which she discredits the homogeneity with which the mainstream feminists try to tackle women’s issues by saying “A room of one’s own may be necessity for writing prose, but so are reams of paper, a typewriter, and plenty of time” (116). Not even established authors can escape the blunt reality with which Lorde writes. She blatantly declares that her female readers will never understand each other’s struggles: “Some problems we share as women, some we do not” (119). Some might ask then how can we work together if we do not share the same issues? It seems as if Lorde’s attempt to shed light on social inequalities has only allowed the oppressors to fall further into indifference. She seems to have finally cut the string that her audience was balancing on. Why should they do anything about these issues if we are all trying to tackle them in different ways? This far into the reading and it appears as though Lorde has not offered any form of reconciliation or solution. Will there ever be a way for us to all come…show more content…
As Lorde puts it, “change means growth, and growth can be painful” (123). Guilt, while being highly uncomfortable and at times distressing, acts as an integral part to developing. That is why Lorde does not shy away from acknowledging it’s existence. The remorse that her privileged readers feel represents the first step in their journey to full acceptance. Lorde uses guilt as a tool to awaken her readers to their own identities and to reflect on the identities of others. Guilt itself serves no purpose, it simply distracts from the real pain. Yet, coupled with recognition of entitlement, guilt can become the catalyst for change. Lorde slowly gets her audience adjusted to feeling uneasy before she nudges them towards feeling guilty. However, before she let’s them fall into the pit of remorse, Lorde reminds her readers that there are still ways that they can
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