Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Hierarchy of Oppression

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Like Lourde, I have assigned many identities to my person, though only a few stand out the most.  I am a woman; I am a lesbian; I am Catholic.  I have found, though — like Lourde — that when I enter any one of my identities, the others fall away.  For example, when I am a woman in a lesbian context, my Catholic identity falls away.  In contrast, when I am in a Catholic setting, my lesbian identity is lost.  This is both my fault and the fault of society.  It is my fault because I have allowed society to make me fear the aspects that make me whole.  Since it is difficult for society to place a lesbian Catholic or a Catholic lesbian together, it simply does not exist anymore.

At this point in my life, my lesbian lifestyle has become more prevalent than my Catholic self.  I have chosen to do this because I am more comfortable in my home with my girlfriend than I am at Church with my girlfriend.  It is easier and more natural for me to leave my religion at the door.  Because the media has an extraordinarily loud voice, it overpowers any small group of religious peoples who claim to accept everyone, because we are all made in God’s image.  The media is telling me that “God hates fags,” and even though that is the WBC saying that particular quote, it has become mainstream in “Christian” society today.  This is a huge problem, for I am not one identity without the other.  I cannot ignore one for the other.

Because I am like Lourde in the fact that I am a human being who has many important identities that make me whole, I relate to her plight to make individual civil rights just basic human rights.  Honestly, that’s what I think makes the most sense.  If we band together in one unified team, we cannot lose.  No freedom ’till we’re equal.


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