Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
And these "women of color" are determined to make sure it stays that way.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 08:06:15 AM EST
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In college, I told one of my dearest friends, a black woman, that I thought she was limiting the huge potential of who she could be as a human being by sticking so resolutely to her self-identification as a black person.  Not in so many words, and with an effort (failed) to express this "sensitively".  I will never forget the shock and hurt I saw her in her face.  So much of who she was, she told me, was tied fundamentally to her being a black woman.  What I was telling her, she said, was like asking her to abandon huge chunks of who she was.

On the one hand, I still believe what I said was right, in some way.  I saw her as this amazing human being, and compartmentalizing that amazing person into a box labeled "Black Woman" seemed like such a reduction of who she really was and who she could be.  On the other hand, who am I to tell her that she should abandon -- or "transcend" -- her black identity?  How could I -- a non-black man -- possibly understand what her experience was like, much less judge how she decided to view herself?  Virtually abstract questions for me, but very concrete, urgent questions for her.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 08:22:46 AM EST
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To some extent I can sympathise with cultural ideas of "clour". the major difference between men and women in terms of behaviour are, cultural. Yes, there is a skewing of how my mind works as a result of my having swapped testosterone for oestrogen a few years back, I can feel a "yearning" in me for other backgrounds.

But the overwhelming difference between me and "real" women is cultural. I simply don't share their cultural assumptions and aspirations. Nor can I undo the "training" I received in how to be a man enough to mimic those assumptions with becoming some ghastly parodic creation. Assuming the superficialities of female behaviour without having the deeper cultural understandings that make them whole and complete would show disrespect to the project of womanhood.

But being "black" was how your firend identified herself. We all lable ourselves to some extent. But it's important to use these as as roots for our questing and not as prisons to limit us.

That's what's so infernal about the dance teacher. She is imprisoning her culture, marking ghetto territories that are off-limits to others.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 09:07:02 AM EST
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