Monday, May 28, 2012

W.E.B. Du Bois called it "double consciousness." Some current scholars say "epistemic privilege."

What I see is that the struggle for recognition as whole entities is the struggle for recognition as whole entities, no matter what particular version of wholeness you're fighting for. Not that individual and group differences don't matter--that's a statement that would never ever come out of my mouth and y'all know it--but that we should be able to recognize our strivings in the strivings of other people(s). Maybe not equate them, but support them as we support ourselves. For how can you ask to be seen if you refuse to see?

"I don’t think it’s terribly controversial to note that women, from a young age, are required to consider the reality of the opposite gender’s consciousness in a way that men aren’t. This isn’t to say that women don’t often misunderstand, mistreat, and stereotype men, both in literature and in life. But on a basic level, functioning in society requires that women register that men are fully conscious; it is not really possible for a woman to throw up her hands and write men off as eternally unknowable space aliens — and even if she says she has, she cannot really behave as though she has. Every element of her life — from reading books about boys and men to writing papers about the motivations of male characters to being attentive to her own safety to navigating most any institutional or professional or economic sphere — demands an ironclad familiarity with, and belief in, the idea that men really are fully human entities. And no matter how many men come to the same conclusions about women, the structure of society simply does not demand so strenuously that they do so. If you didn’t really deep down believe that women were, in general, exactly as conscious as you, you could probably still get by in life. You could probably still get a book deal. You could probably still get elected to office."
—Jennifer duBois, Writing Across Gender (via florida-uterati)
To apply a bit of intersectionality to this…women of color and the many marginalized communities we belong to—especially communities of color—have been saying this for a minute.
(via Racialicious)

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