The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House
By: Audre Lorde
Prospero, you are the master of illusion. Lying is your trademark. And you have lied so much to me (Lied about the world, lied about me) That you have ended by imposing on me An image of myself. Underdeveloped, you brand me, inferior, That s the way you have forced me to see myself I detest that image! What's more, it's a lie! But now I know you, you old cancer, And I know myself as well. ~ Caliban, in Aime Cesaire's A Tempest
What I believe Audre Lorde was trying to convey in her speech is that in order to fight back against the system of society, you must first educate yourself by knowing the differences in women that separate women (race, sexuality, class and age). If you don't understand and compare the differences of all women especially the minorities (poor, black, third world and lesbians) you are insulting them or as Lorde puts it committing "academic arrogance" when trying to speak of feminism. If women are going to prevail they need to address racism, sexism and homophobia as one not as separate issues.
The master's tools (racism, sexism, homophobia) will never dismantle the master's house (society) so by educating yourself, coming together and understanding the differences in all women you taken away then power of the system. Knowledge is power! In order to fight power you need learn how to deal with power.
Like Simone de Beauvoir said "It is the knowledge of the genuine conditions of our lives that we must draw strength to live and our reasons for acting".