Each of the readings this week focuses on having a voice, particularly as a minority woman. There were aspects I identified within each essay as a woman, but I do not wish to take away from the impact of the message these women are attempting to get across as women of a minority.
Some of the places in which I identified were:
Near the end of Bell Hooks piece (chapter 3) of Talking Back, she quotes a young black female student, “I am not relieved by voicing my opinions…My fear is that I will not be understood…I will not be respected…they will disregard me” (17). As a woman, I’ve felt this from not only men but other women, particularly those who have some measure of authority over me. I think most of us at some point has had their comments dismissed or misunderstood. The harsh response of indifference or dismissiveness hurts, and it silences us. We get the message that we and what we have to say are not important. Why do we do this to each other?
This question leads me to the second article How to Tame a Wild Tongue by Gloria Anzaldua. Her article expresses such inner conflict, not only with being a woman but also with how to identify herself by her language. She repeatedly mentions how depending on where one lives the language is different, and Chicano is an evolved language for a people that carved out their own place, not being Anglo nor Spanish; to claim an identity. She goes on to say, “There are more subtle ways that we internalize identification, especially in the forms of images and emotions. For me food and certain smell are tied to my identity, to my homeland” (83).
This hit home for me because as I read it, I thought about how roses remind me of my grandma, and pot roast of being at her house, where so many wonderful memories were made. These smells take me home to where I was loved and accepted. They remind me of who I am. It is strange, but I think this is exactly what Anzaldua was getting at. I think the overall impression is, how did we let the world or another culture take our identities?
Moreover, how can a writing center help students of other nationalities, and women find their unique voice? I do not have the answer for this. It is as complex as the number of individuals that impact a student.