The piece we read by Spivak was difficult to read both logistically and emotionally. I am not incredibly sure that I understood the complexity of the issue at hand, but from what I did grasp, I saw a large parallel to McMillian’s “Performing Objects.” For example, let us look at the following quote by Spivak: “This legally programmed asymmetry in the status of subject which effectively defines the woman as object of one husband, obviosuly operates in the interest of the legally symmetrical subject-status of the  male.” This quote refers to the specific oppression of these women; this oppression is specific to their identity, culture, and lived experience.  McMillian speaks of a similar specific oppression based off the historical racialization of the black female body in America. Because the oppression is specific to lived experience, the resistance to this oppression is also site specific. McMillian talks about how black women use performance arts as a site of resistance. In this case, Spivak explains the response to the oppression of the female widowed body, “even as it operates the most subtle general release from individual agency, the sanctioned suicide peculiar to woman draws its ideological strength by identifying individual agency with the suprainvidual: kill yourself on your husband’s pyre now, and you may kill your female body in the entire cycle of birth.” Spivak notes that this phenomenon is “profoundly ironic” and “paradoxical.” But, it is not my place to determine whether or not self-immolation is in fact a site of free will. I have not nor will I ever be subject to this exact oppression. And thus, I am unable to determine whether a response to an oppression I am not subject to is valid, although this phenomenon does provoke the question of whether or not suicide is an act of agency or lack of agency. Regardless, one striking difference between performing objecthood that McMillian describes and the form of resistance taking place in Spivak’s text, is that one is incredibly permeant, and the other is simply a performance. This performance is exaggerated by the implicit distinguisher between performer and artist, by the use of the avatar. In this example, the resistance is indefinite. The performance becomes reality, and takes one out of reality permanently.




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