“Much of Western European history conditions us to see human differences in simplistic opposition to each other: dominant/subordinate, good/bad, up/down, superior/inferior. In a society where the good is defined in terms of profit rather than in terms of human need, there must always be some group of people who, through systematised oppression, can be made to feel surplus, to occupy the place of the dehumanised inferior.”

Audre Lorde, Age, Race, Class, and Sex:
Women Redefining Difference

Audre Lorde speaks about the importance of recognizing and acknowledging difference, and being able to relate to each other as equals, not despite, but through difference. She sees the actual cause of division, also within political movements, not in the differences between people, but in the failure to recognize them and deal with them.2 In Western thought subjectivity is constructed in terms of sameness, in terms of accordance with a specific set of ideas or values, that are defined through being set in opposition against an Other. The Other in this sense, is necessary for constituting the subject, constructing the normative. Rosi Braidotti argues for a positive conception of difference, for a subjectivity that does not rely on sameness. Her affirmative ethics promote an enlarged, interconnected sense of the self, where difference allows for a process of learning and transformation.3

1 Lorde, Audre. “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference.” When I dare to be powerful: Women so empowered are dangerous, Penguin Books, 2020.
2 Braidotti, Rosi. “On Putting the Active Back into Activism.” New Formations: A Journal of Culture/Theory/Politics, Special Issue: ‘Deleuzian Politics?’, no. 68, 2009, pp.42-57. Accessed via https://rosibraidotti.com/publications/on-putting-the-active-back-into-activism/ on 22 May 2022.