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A New Set of Tools

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Aubrey K.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Examples of how the mainstream feminist movement is conforming to the standards of a racist patriarchy
  3. Forty years after the decline of second wave feminism
  4. The link between the ignorance of white feminists regarding minority women and the ignorance of men
  5. Conclusion

In Audre Lorde's article, ?The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House?, the title of the article frames her main argument. The motivation for this article was Lorde's experience at a humanities conference, at which she was one of two black women invited to speak. Lorde critiques the mainstream feminist movement for its ignorance of minority women, and women that do not fit into the white, middle class archetype of feminists. She asserts that it is impossible to ignore the many differences among women, or to claim that these differences do not exist. Instead Lorde recommends a celebration of differences; she wants women to begin to recognize these differences as potential strengths. Furthermore, she declares that as long as the needs and rights of minority women are ignored or marginally discussed, the feminist movement will not make any great changes. Thus ?the master's tools? refer to the racist patriarchy that controls America and women, and if the feminist movement uses these ?tools?, the racist patriarchy that feminists seek to dismantle, will not fall.

[...] A New Set of Tools In Audre Lorde's article, Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House?, the title of the article frames her main argument. The motivation for this article was Lorde's experience at a humanities conference, at which she was one of two black women invited to speak. Lorde critiques the mainstream feminist movement for its ignorance of minority women, and women that do not fit into the white, middle class archetype of feminists. She asserts that it is impossible to ignore the many differences among women, or to claim that these differences do not exist. [...]


[...] Lorde views this ignorance as a manifestation of racist patriarchy; therefore, white feminists are working within a system of patriarchal domination in order to further their movement. Historically, the feminist movement was linked to abolitionism. Early feminists worked with Frederick Douglass; however, at the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention in 1848, black women were asked to leave the room and were not allowed to speak publicly. Furthermore, when white women began the suffrage campaign, they argued that they should be given the vote because black men were ?savages?. [...]

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