Audre Lorde: poet, scholar, 1934-1992
o "a 49 year old Black lesbian feminist socialist mother"
o "Certainly there are differences between us of age, race, sex, but it is not it is not
those differences between us that are separating us. It is rather, our refusal to
recognize those differences and to examine the distortions that result from our
misnaming them and their effects on human behaviour and expectation."
"Interlocking systems of oppression and domination affecting how one experiences
gender." (Taylor, Whittier, and Rupp, 2)
"Matrix of domination." (Patricia Hill Collins) -theorizing on the lives of African
Intersectionality: the Double Bind of Race and Gender (Kimberlee Crenshaw)
o "Intersectionality simply came from the idea that if you're standing in the path of
multiple forms of exclusion, you are likely to get hit by both."
The Bird Cage Analogy (Marilyn Fry)
o Consider a bird cage. If you look very closely at just one wire of the cage, you
cannot see the other. If you look with this myopic focus, you could look up and
down the wire and be unable to see why the bird cannot simply fly around it. It is
only when you step back, and stop looking at each individual wire
microscopically, and look at the whole cage macroscopically, that you can see
why the bird doesn't go anywhere.
o And then it is perfectly obvious that the bird is surrounded by a network of
systemically related barriers, none of which would be the least hindrance to its
flight individually, but in their relation to each other are as confining as the solid
walls of a dungeon.
The Mountain Metaphor (Eli Clare)
o "We hear from the summit that the world is grand from up there, that we live
down here because we are lazy, stupid, weak, and ugly. We decide to climb that
mountain or make a pact that our children will climb it. The climbing turns out to
be unimaginably difficult. Our wheelchairs get stuck, we speak the wrong
languages with the wrong accents, wear the wrong clothes, carry our bodies the
wrong ways, ask the wrong questions, love the wrong people. We decide to stop
climbing, or we decide to climb back down. Or we find the path again, decide to
continue climbing only to have the very people who told us how wonderful life is
at the summit booby-trap the trail. Maybe we get to the summit but probably not.
And the price we pay is huge."
"Situated" Differences and Intersectionality
a biological category (historically)
a social and ideological construction
a justification for hierarchical division
a political device to differentiate the "savage" from the "civilized"
a discredited generalization of Enlightenment Science- with assumptions
of humanity divided into fixed, genetically determined biological types emerged as a way of distinguishing and creating a hierarchical division
division between Europe and its colonized "others"
the term "races" is usually used to denote the supposed differences, based
on brain size, skin colour, and other physica