Inclusion and Separation Oneself

Blog Post-round 1-Amy Nguyen

 

In “Queers Read This” by Anonymous and “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism” by Audre Lorde, these works address the lack of acknowledgement of intersectional identities in equal rights in gender and sexuality. In the beginning of “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism,” Audre Lorde refers to personal experiences as she remembers “a well-known white American poet interrupts the reading if the work of women of Color to read her own poem, and then dashes off to an ‘important panel ‘” (Lorde 126). Because this act occurred “at an international cultural gathering of women,” she refers a white woman leaving during a reading of the work of women of color to show the racism within feminism as the white woman shows a lack of respect by interrupting a presentation for women of color. This shows how feminism does not acknowledge how gender and race intersect. However, Lorde separates herself from certain women as she refers white women in third person as “[she and other women of color] are moving on. With or without uncolored women,” giving the sense that she is speaking for other women of color at white women.

Although Audre Lorde and the writer of “Queers Read This” believe anger is an important tool when advocating for equal rights with Lorde saying “anger is loaded with information and energy” and “be[ing] outraged” is encouraged in “Queers Read This,” unlike Lorde sounding as if she speaks on the behalf of women of color, the writer of “Queers Read This” is speaking to a person in a community that both the reader and writer belong in by calling the reader as “brother” and “sister.” In addition, “Queers Read This” gives off an Us versus Them mentality with how “the straight world has us so convinced that we are helpless and deserving victims of violence against us” as in general, the straights have been doing all wrongs at the LGBT+ community.

 

Questions

  1. Because “Queers Read This” was distributed in a pride march in New York while “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism” was a presentation in the National Women’s Studies Association Conference, how does the setting influenced the tones of the works?
  2. With knowing the author for one of these works, does knowing the background of the writers important when speaking about identity?
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One thought on “Inclusion and Separation Oneself

  1. I feel the uses of anger in both pieces is an important distinction. Lorde structures her argument with a lot of anger, but it is tame. “Queers Read This” however, is very unbridled anger, speaking about terrorizing straight people on the very first page. Answering your first question, I think that the setting plays an important part in this. Lorde’s setting was much more academic and official, making the tone of her piece much more tempered. “Queer’s Read This” however, was distributed at a pride parade, allowing the anger to spread to every individual there for them to bring home and act upon it.

    One similarity in the two pieces was that they lumped together all of their targets into one group. (“white people” in Lorde’s and “straight people” in “Queers Read This”). This is not the most effective way of creating a constructive conversation about the issues or even recruiting help from the other side.

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