Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Older, Lesbian Feminists...More
Okay, so this has been a banner month for seeing older lesbian feminists who inspire me. Last night a friend of mine and I went to see Dorothy Allison speak at St. Mary's College in Moraga (or Orinda, not sure it all gets murky and bland in those parts of Northern California). And while I never finished Bastard Out of Carolina because of how real the violence, poverty, and abuse was as I read it, I was struck by something she said about marginalized groups, which I repeated to my class today. She said that as a writer and as a member of marginalized communities (poor, queer, female), she was most interested not in the violence that happens, but in what happens after the violence. What happens for people after we've survived? What are the questions that we ask ourselves? How does it affect our identities and who we fashion ourselves to be? Personally, I was really struck by it because I think as members of marginalized groups, our lives are so constructed by violence in its various forms, as well as fear, and oppression that it's difficult to think about what's on the other side. What are our lives like outside of that? I know that personally I am often caught up in "the struggle" of everyday life that I don't pay attention to how rich it is in the aftermath of the struggle--and that maybe it's not happening right now. That doesn't mean that we don't have things to fight for, challenge, and demand change, but if think about what we have individually and collectively already been through as marginalized peoples, it puts a different face on our experiences and our lives. So, bring on more of the older lesbians, I am eager for your wisdom.