Unit 20 : Power And Politics Excercise Solution
(An Open Letter to Mary Daly)

Working with words

A. Find the words from the text for these meanings. The first letters have been given for you.

a. reluctance unwillingness or disinclination to do something
b. repressive preventing the expression or awareness of thoughts or desires
c. mutilation the infliction of serious damage on something
d. ghettoized restricted to an isolated or segregated place, group, or situation
e. history feminist history viewed from a female or specifically feminist perspective
f. genital relating to the human or animal reproductive organs
g. hysterectomies surgical operations to remove all or part of the uterus
h. paranoid obsessively anxious, suspicious, or mistrustful
i. eventuation thrusting forward of abdominal organs through the abdominal wall

C. Consult a dictionary and define these terms.

Ans.: a.

racism (n.): Racism is the unfair treatment of people who belongs to a different race and usually with discriminating violent behaviours towards them.

lesbian (n.): A lesbian is a homosexual woman.

radical (n.): A person who advocates thorough or complete political or social change is called radical.

feminist (n.): A feminist is someone who supports equal rights for women.

patriarchy (n.): Patriarchy refers to the system of society in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.

D.Underline the consonant clusters in the following sentences.


a. Fluffy went flip-flop all over the floor.

b.The whites sing a song about the striking stars.

c.Here are some flowers and a flask of tea of your favourite flavour. 

d.Smita fell ill with flu.

e.My friend is frightened of frogs. 

f.Thumbelina stumbled out of the green bush.

g.She heard a rumble and a cry.

h.’Climb up’, said Tom.

i.Freedom needs to be strived for.

j.Children were munching crunchy French fries.


Answer the following questions.

a.Why does Audre Lorde think that Mary got a sort of victory in the University of Boston? 

Ans.: Audre Lorde thought that Mary got a sort of victory in the University of Boston because many women attended the speak-out, and according to the writer she hopes that this show of joined power will make more space for her to grow and be within.

b.Why is Lorde thankful to Mary? 

Ans.: Lorde is thankful to Mary for having Gyn/Ecology a book sent to her which is full of import, useful, generative and provoking.

c.What impression has the writer had about the way white women looked upon black women? 

Ans.: According to the writer, the white women are unable to hear black women’s words or maintain dialogue with them and are discouraging the black women for a long time.

d. Why did Mary not cast black women as goddesses in her book according to Lorde? 

Ans.: According to Lorde, Mary did not cast black women as goddesses in her book because she had made a conscious decision to narrow her scope and to deal only with the ecology of western European women.

e.Why did Lorde think that she misused her words? 

Ans.: Lorde thought that she misused her words because she utilized them only to testify against Lorde as a woman of colour.

f.For Lorde, how were women, especially from the black community, undervalued? 

Ans.: For Lorde, women especially from the black community were undervalued as they were ghettoized by a white woman dealing only out of patriarchal western European frame of reference.

g.How does Mary take white women as? Does Lorde agree with Mary’s view?

Ans.: Mary takes white women as having legitimate and sole herstory and the myth of all women to upon for power and background, ignoring the reality and victimization of black women. No, Lorde does not agree with Mary’s view because Mary has shown the supremacy of white feminism over black feminism ignoring the reality and victimization of black women.

h.What is Afrekete? How does it connect to this lesson ? 

Ans.: Lorde presents Afrekete as an afro-Caribbean trickster goddess. Lorde connects Afrekete to this lesson to highlight the negligence and ignorance of black women by Mary in her work Gyn/Ecology.

Critical thinking

a.”The oppression of women knows no ethnic or racial boundaries.” Do you agree or not? Justify with your reasons. 

Ans.: Oppression is the inequitable use of authority, law or physical force to prevent women from being free or equal. In fact, it is a type of injustice where a person or people are harshly or cruelly dominated by other person or people. It has been a fact for a long time that the oppression of women knows no ethnic or racial boundaries.

Throughout the world and throughout history, women have been discriminated against greatly in one form or another. Almost all the religions, cultures, races and ethnicities throughout the world have discriminated against women though the degree of discrimination might differ from one to another. And, till the present date, we can see various forms of women discrimination, for instance, women receive lower payments in comparison to men for the same work that men and women do in various parts of the world. There are still existing practices such as child marriage, polygamy, ‘honour killings’ and female genital mutilation throughout the world and the more heartrending part is that there are still many nations who do not have strict rules and laws to check them, rather they support these malpractices directly or indirectly. This shows that women have struggled for equality and against oppression for centuries, and although some battles have been partly won – such as the right to vote and equal access to education – women are still disproportionally affected by all forms of violence and by discrimination in every aspect of life and almost in all religions, cultures, races and ethnicities.

b.Why is it important to question our beliefs and values? How are they set up in a person’s mind? 

Ans.: Values and beliefs refer to the qualities and characters that are embedded in a person and that determine the goals and actions of a person. Our values and beliefs serve as guiding principles in our lives. They directly or indirectly represent a person’s character, culture, civilization and his/her familial and other socio-educational backgrounds. Not only this, every person in society is guided by some sort of beliefs and values that he/she endows. Therefore, it is very important to find out and analyze what are your beliefs and values and how you are guided by them. Analyzing and being aware of our values and attitudes is important because it helps us to identify: what we are doing, why we are doing, what are the consequences of our actions and how will these actions impact ourselves and others in the long run. Because of this reason, it is very important to question our beliefs and values.

A personal value is a broad concept and one particular value can be applied to various situations.People’s values, beliefs and attitudes are formed and bonded over time through the influences of family, friends, society and life experiences. Every person possesses values within himself or herself, but they differ from person to person. These differences are affected by an individual’s culture, personal upbringing, life experiences and a range of other influences. Thus, our beliefs and values are set up in a person’s mind.


A.Have you ever faced or witnessed cases of racial or sexual discrimination? Write a short account. 

Ans.: I and my friend, Joseph who was from South African, were taking part in an exhibition in

China. We were walking around the exhibition centre and then a lady with her son approached us and wanted a picture with my friend together with her son. Some more people were also using the opportunity to snap pictures because most of the people in that particular region of China have never seen a dark-skinned person from Africa. However, Joseph was ignorant of these things and was rather happy to answer a few questions of those people. Our conversation with local people was possible since both Joseph and I have learnt Mandarin a few months earlier and could have a basic conversation in that language. Suddenly, another little girl with her mother indicated my friend Joseph and told her mother that indicating she wanted to take a picture with him. To our surprise, the mother responded to her daughter angrily saying, “No, you can’t take a photo with him because he is too black and looks like a demon”. If she feared for her daughter’s safety or something like that, it would have been different, but her emphasis was on the colour and his structure. Joseph was heartbroken to hear this and so was I. But, Joseph was so cool person that he ignored this all with his own smile. However, this event made me sad for a long. This was the racial discrimination that I have witnessed in my life.

B.Write an article for a national daily on the Status of Women in Nepali Society. 


Status of Women in Nepali Society

A single generalization or statement is not adequate to represent the status of all women in Nepal since the women of different races, religions, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds in Nepal are possessing different statuses. For instance, Hindu women and women belonging to indigenous ethnic groups have different rights and have different types of suffering too. Different studies in Nepal have shown that indigenous women have relatively a higher degree of social mobility, and possess freedom within the private sphere. They are, however, unable to participate in the public realm due to the dominant ideology of culture being practised. In contrary to this, Hindu women have no autonomy within the private sphere, but enjoy limited positions in the public sphere.

In Nepal, the discrimination and oppression of women is based on the concepts of hierarchy, the caste system, traditional thoughts about food and marital value. Although women belonging to different castes, religions and cultures have different statuses, one thing is certain that they are being oppressed with respect to the economic, socio-cultural, political and legal status which cannot be analyzed into isolation because each is intrinsically tied to the next. The reason behind such types of discrimination existing in our Nepalese society. is illiteracy and ignorance, lack of strict rules and regulations, cultural values and beliefs, existing male-dominated society and so on. The low literacy rate among females of Nepal, i.e. 59.72% (78.59% of male) only is another reason that women face discrimination and oppression in Nepal. Some of the major factors that determine the status of women in Nepalese society are presented below in brief. 

Poverty: Let’s discuss economic status. The majority of religions, ethnic groups and that women should be dependent on men for income from cradle to grave. Men are considered the sole breadwinners of families and women are viewed only as domestic materials. Women’s work is confined to the household. Their responsibilities are thought to include cooking, washing, collecting fuel and firewood, fetching water. engage in agriculture, maternity, and service to males and other family members. Although their work plays a vital role, it is normally left uncounted.

Women involved in wage labour: The workload of Nepalese women is immense. They work about 16 hours every day. Nepalese women are mainly engaged in agriculture work, carpet industries and wage-labour activities. Because of modernization, their workload has certainly increased. Thus, they are now forced to perform triple roles: that of mother, of a traditional wife and of a community participant. In addition to this, we can observe discrimination between the wages, i.e. the males receive more and the females receive less for the same kind of work.

Dowry system: The dowry system is a mal social practice prevalent throughout Nepal, more concentrated in the Terai region, especially there among Hindus and Muslims. In this system, the groom family demands a lot of money and property from the bride’s family during the marriage. And, if the bride’s family becomes unable to provide the demanded property, the marriage either get broken there or the bride is tortured in her husband’s family throughout her entire life. There have been some incidents where women are even set on fire owing to the dowry. This evil system shows that the dowry system stays as one of the major obstacles to women development in Nepal.

Women in politics: In Nepalese politics, Nepalese women have been involved in political movements since the fifties but several factors have prevented them from actively participating in local and national politics. These factors include the dominant ideology of patriarchy, male chauvinism, criminalization of policies, lack of equal rights, restrictions on women’s mobility, and domination of men in all the political parties. Only a few women have gained higher public positions. An encouraging trend is the presence of a lot of elected women representatives in the local bodies, owing to the provision of seat reservations at this level. However, women lack the power to contribute significantly even within these roles as most of the resources are controlled by their male colleagues. 

To sum up, we can reach the conclusion that though there have been some reforms and awareness activities lately, still many Nepalese women are withstanding the oppression and dominance of patriarchal and male-dominated society. And, in order to eradicate this and provide equal rights and opportunities to women, it is very essential to educate our girls. In addition to this, awareness generation programmes should be conducted in our society and our government too should formulate and implement strict rules and regulations against those who promote women discrimination and oppression in the society.


B. Choose the correct alternative.

a. an old foreign car/a foreign old car

an old foreign car

b. a beautiful white dress/ a white beautiful dress

a beautiful white dress

c. a nice tall young man/a tall nice young man

a nice tall young man

d. a big black wooden desk/ a black wooden big desk

a big black wooden desk

e. a delicious Italian pizza/ an Italian delicious pizza

a delicious Italian pizza

f. a huge brown bear/a brown huge bear

a huge brown bear

g. a purple cotton sleeping bag/ a cotton purple sleeping bag

a purple cotton sleeping bag

h. a beautiful old Indian village/an old beautiful Indian village

an old beautiful Indian village

i. a cute little kitten/ a little cute kitten

a cute little kitten

j. an expensive antique /an antique expensive table

an antique expensive table

C. Put the adjectives in the following sentences in the correct order.

a. I bought (red/ a /comfortable/new) scooter.

I bought a comfortable new scooter.

b. She reached home and sat on (relaxing/old/her/wooden) chair.

She reached home and sat on her old relaxing wooden chair.

c. We ate (Chinese/delicious/some) food.

we ate some delicious Chinese food.

d. I need (golden/delicious/some/round) apples.

I need some delicious round golden apples.

e. We like to live in a (calm/unmediated/remote) place for some time.

We like to live in a calm unmediated remote place for some time.

f. She is wearing (silver/beautiful / a(n)/ old) ring.

She is wearing an old beautiful silver ring.

g. I am looking for (golden/stylish/a/Japanese) watch.

I am looking for a stylish Japanese golden watch.

h. She dropped (old/china/attractive/a(n)) cup and smashed it.

She dropped an old attractive China cup and smashed it.

i. He wants to marry (young/pretty/educated/a(n)/rustic) girl.

He wants to marry a pretty young educated rustic girl.

j. We stayed in a (luxurious/five star/new) hotel in Dubai.

We stayed in a new luxurious five-star hotel in Dubai.