For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support. — Audre Lourde
The quote, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” was a statement used to demonstrate that the patriarchal system that oppressed women was only being transferred to women of color. Lourde warned tools of oppression created by the patriarchal system will never allow for the freedom and equality they desire. By silencing different women’s experiences, white women at the time were effectively using the same tactics that were used against them in order to achieve equality for themselves.
From the moment I read Audre Lourde’s speech the message has always stayed with me either through my own personal life or through my research. She has consistently reminded me that equaity cannot be achieved through selfishness. Her writings have inspired me to understand that differences between people should not be a road blocks that separate us but instead bridges of communication.
Audre Lourde speech does not only apply to feminist issues but can be applied to your everyday life. The problems that we face in our families, in our communities, in America, and in the world can follow the same message Audre Lourde stressed. Be inspired make a change. Take up a cause and undersrand that in order for any real change to happen we must first understand how other people’s lives and experiences differs from ours and understand how we can allow these differences to unite us and not separate us.
Elena is a student at Hunter College majoring in Anthropology with a specialization in Africana and Latino studies.