By Aryana Goodarzi
As a Black lesbian woman, Audre Lorde’s writing has been very formative in political thought and queer theory. She is most known for her quote, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” This quote has never been more applicable than it is today, with Senators Romney, Portman, and Johnson’s letter, along with the West Virginian state legislature stating that they do not want the Equal Rights Amendment.
When oppression is defined within the very oppressive systems whose foundation has been formative to our oppression, our oppression will never truly be seen. It took the West Virginia Senate 75 seconds to tell us what they think of the status of women with the passage of SCR 44.
Some may think that opponents of the ERA do not know all that the ERA would do for women – especially those of us whose other identities are equally definitive to our womanhood. However, what Lorde so often talked about is that many of us have never had the right to think that way. With that being said, let’s take what West Virginia and Senator Romney, Johnson, and Portman (White men), are saying for what it is: they are doing whatever it takes to keep the ERA from becoming law because they know exactly what it will do for women.
To honor Lorde on what would’ve been her 88th birthday, think of how often the master’s tools have really been used to dismantle the master’s house as to why women are not yet equal. It will make you see that in having our rights legislated rather than in the Constitution, it is also the basis from which our rights can be taken away.