Politics of Reality Reaction

2 Dec

Carolyn Shafer introduces her piece by explaining a lesbian does not exist. There is not definition for this type of woman. The author resorts to looking up the word lesbian in multiple sources even well known dictionaries yet they define a lesbian inaccurately. She takes a small example of how even the Webster dictionary cannot define a lesbian and stands back to take a glimpse at the larger picture. Women do not exist. “The word ‘woman’ was supposed to mean female of species, but the name of the species is ‘Man’.

Shafer goes into detail of the different ways and tactics lesbians and women have been oppressed but in the conclusion she grants hope for them. She wants women to understand there is power in defining who you are and there is power in oppression.

The conclusion of the piece relates back to the activity performed in class.  The Politics of Reality states, “The woman, feeling herself seen, may learn that she can be seen; she may also be able to know that a woman can see, that is, can author perception (p 172).”

As our class was broken up in groups we were arranged in different environments: the stage, the outsider and the observer. As women we fulfill all these roles. We were placed on the stage and we felt ourselves being on the spot light. We also were oppressed when we were placed outside of the classroom. But once we were moved back into the room as observers we felt empowered. Shafer wants women to know when women are seen (on stage) they have authority and oppression actually benefits women because it eventually leads to liberation.

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