Womens Studies

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Journal #1: Is This a White Country, or What?

Rubin brings up some fascinating points on her argument on essentially whether this is still a white country, and how white animosity toward immigrants has not only grown but also flourished. The most notable point to myself was when Rubin stated, “until the new immigration shifted the complexion of the land so perceptibly, whites didn’t think of themselves as white in the same way that Chinese know they’re Chinese and African-Americans know they’re black.” (Rubin, 1994, pg. 94) I found this particularly interesting, the implication that whites were never forced to think of the selves as a race until immigration forced them to think about it that way is fascinating. I myself rarely think about as of the white race, although I typically don’t associate with my white side. However, the fact of the matter is that I look white, and yet I never think about being white and the privileges it affords me unless it is thrown in my face the way the author is suggesting that it is done now with the way immigration is shifting the complexion of the land. What I find most interesting about this though is that, for hundreds of years in America white has been the norm. That is what most white people tend to not realize. It is not until something comes along and threatens the white way of life and the white norms that were established over hundreds of years that white people begin to see themselves as a white race. It is not until white peoples position in society is threaten with some form of oppression that social norms that were once overlooked by white people become a reason for white people to cry foul and demand that immigrants be throw out.

Journal #2: Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference

One of the few things I knew about Audre Lorde before reading this article was her famous quote “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” (Lorde, 1980, pg. 366) I was very pleased to actually read the article in which this quote was first stated and the context with which it was stated. This statement to me is incredibly powerful. This quote by Lorde essentially is stating that oppression cannot be fought with oppression, and to me this is a fundamental truth if the fighting of oppression. To fight oppression with further oppression is to simply replace the current oppressors with another set of oppressors. Lorde seems to be suggesting by stating this that if we do not realize the differences between the people or our world and attempt to change it, we will end up in a never ending cycle of oppression, where oppressors will replace oppressor and oppressor will replace them. For example, the USSR or many of the communist revolutions that took place, where the revolution took place allowing the oppressed to arise out of poverty only to be thrown back into oppression by the same oppressed leaders that lead them out of oppression in the first place. This cycle cannot be broken unless we realize that these tools of oppression only lead to further oppression and that true change must take place. However, that cannot take place until we realize and resolve the differences between the races and sexes. As Lorde states “as a tool of social control, women have been encouraged to recognize only one area of human difference as legitimate, those differences which exist between women and men” (Lorde, 1980, pg. 365) and while only this one recognition of difference, one that is a tool of subordination oppression, remains true liberation and equality of the people our world cannot be obtained.

Journal #3: Race and Racism

Racism has been and will be in our society for along time. Those who think that racism, or any other ism for that matter, can simply be forgotten do not know what they are talking about. This seems to be what Yamato seems to be suggesting in her article. It seems to me that his is true, because of how entwined racism has become within our society....
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