I Am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities (Audre Lorde) – A Critical Reflection Paper – Personal Review

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Tara BrennanStudent # 3745834Prof. Marie-Katherine Waller, Ph.D.FEM 1100 C24 March 2005I am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities (Audre Lorde) - A Critical Reflection Paper - Personal ReviewAudre Lorde, in the article I am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities, provides a clear assessment of the traditional and contemporary difficulties that Black Lesbian Feminists have to deal with everyday. Lorde illustrates, for the reader, among her own personal experiences and stories, the struggles that not only Black women, but Black lesbian women and gay men continuously live with. She explains that we should not try to become identical to each other in order to attempt to solve the differences between us, as different races, colors, genders, and sexualities, but rather understand each other. As her article unfolds, Lorde states that she believes heterosexism and homophobia are two very severe obstacles to the "organizing among Black women" (Lorde, 255). She defines the two terms as such: "Heterosexism - a belief in the inherent superiority of one form of loving over all others and thereby the right to dominance; Homophobia - a terror surrounding feelings of love for members of the same sex and thereby a hatred of those feelings in others" (Lorde, 255). The clear definitions of these two highly controversial and often misunderstood words are important to the mutual understanding between Lorde and her reader. She continues her story by outlining some early 1960s oppression movements against Blacks. She feels that people should stop judging her and other lesbians through "false judgment", as she calls it. Furthermore, Lorde strongly states that because she is a confident lesbian, does not mean she has developed any hatred for men. She wants to dissolve the miscommunication between the homosexual and the heterosexual Black communities. Lorde explains that lesbians are not abnormal and this stereotype falls under the same idea of racism - when Black and any non-Caucasian race were considered abnormal. She believes that in today's day and age, people must redefine family, for it is normal now for a family to contain a gay couple, a single unmarried mother, or children born out of wedlock. She wants to assure her readers that being a lesbian is not a contagious disease, to which you can give to others, being a lesbian is simply who she is, it is an identity. She explains that homophobia is what creates problems between different communities and keeps them cruelly apart. "What does homophobia mean", Lorde asks? It means fearing the unknown, fearing what you do not know and what many refuse to understand - but this fear only makes us weaker, as a community, as a society, as inter-connected human beings. To stop fearing will mean extinguishing its stereotypes and accepting others around you as you would like to be accepted yourself. Ultimately, to stop fearing, will mean to recognize a woman like Lordes and...

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