Huffington Post Blogger, Irene Monroe, reminds us of Audre Lorde’s struggles and many contributions to womanist theory. Lorde pioneered the appreciation for African American womanhood and motherhood through poetry, essays, and living a life well served.
Lorde was shaping contemporary feminist and womanist thought well before her seminal 1984 book, Sister Outsider, a collection of speeches and essays unflinchingly depicting black lesbian women’s lives as interlocking oppressions — sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and classism — and a clarion call for change and activism:
As a Black, lesbian, feminist, socialist, poet, mother of two including one boy and member of an interracial couple, I usually find myself part of some group in which the majority defines me as deviant, difficult, inferior or just plain “wrong.” From my membership in all of these groups I have learned that oppression and the intolerance of difference come in all shapes and sizes and colors and sexualities; and that among those of us who share the goals of liberation and a workable future for our children, there can be no hierarchies of oppression.
Among scholars and activists today, Lorde’s depiction of “hierarchies of oppression” is lauded as an important theory on intersectionality.
This isn’t something new, in the Soviet Union, a systematic political abuse of psychiatry took place and was based on the interpretation of political dissent as a psychiatric problem. Mental illness has been used for political repression, those who were/are non-conformant and do/did not accept the beliefs of authority figures like government agencies face labels that do not represent them at all, and have no scientific backing what so ever.
I have always maintained that women should have the right to choose what they want for themselves, as far as their lives go. I believe that if a woman wants to work and focus on her career, she has every right to, and where possible, I believe a woman should be able to stay home and focus on her family and home, if she so chooses. If a woman wants to remain single all her life, so be it. If a woman does not want children, I say “more power to [her]“.
Margaret Atwood’s visionary work Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth is the basis for this riveting and poetic documentary on “debt” in its various forms-societal, personal, environmental, spiritual, criminal, and of course, economic.
“How we think about it changes how it works.”~ Margaret Atwood