So, I was reading Jill’s post at Feministe (and the comments therein) about “call outs” and minority voices and who writes about what in the Feminist blogosphere (and subsequently, who/ which stories get attention). And that got me thinking a bit. So, I am going to turn to you, readers, for a second.
I have already posted a bit here so, I guess regulars might have an overview of what I am up to. Still, I would like to set some facts straight so that you have a better idea of who I am and where my perspectives come from:
I am a half Hispanic, half Eastern European cis woman, living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, by way of my home town of Buenos Aires (where I was born and raised). By now, I am a truly adopted Amsterdammer capable of cursing in three languages, after living here for almost a decade and a half.
I write mostly about politics, race and feminism from my very mixed perspective of place of birth, culture and education in the Global South and current European residence. It’s a mixed bag of frameworks and references that sometimes complicate matters because I have to remember that none of these issues are coded identically in each of the places I write about/ from. To quote myself, from a blog post I wrote a while ago:
Let’s assume a Turkish child moves to Argentina or Uruguay or Chile (etc.). That child settles down with her family, and because she is young she learns the local language (Spanish) like a native speaker and carries on with her life. She will be coded as White and belong to the dominant culture because she is Caucasian. When she grows up and looks for jobs, she will be treated like a local White woman.
Now, this same Turkish child, moves to The Netherlands instead. She also learns the local language with fluency and speaks it at Native level. However, in The Netherlands, she will be coded by the state as a WoC and her entire experience will be different. Yes, I said that right, there is a state sanctioned classification that labels the same woman as a PoC and there are specific laws that she and her family need to comply with.
Now, this doesn’t mean that South America is this enlightened and magical place where people suffer no discrimination. Oh no. Far from that. It just means that race, color, ethnicity and who gets to be part of the dominant culture are not universally constructed. Certainly skin color plays a role (and that’s why I chose an example of a Caucasian person), but the construction of what it means to be labeled “Person of Color” is not the same in Europe than it is in North America than it is in South America.
So, you see, things are not that simple when one becomes an immigrant. It so happens that then, the world can sometimes resemble a prism: every person will be seeing a different facet of it depending on where they are standing and it can be difficult to convey what that facet looks like when others cannot see it or have no experience with it.
Of course, in the Feminist blogosphere we all write from our personal experiences. I suspect even more so than in any other political blogs. “The personal is political” permeates our entire culture. But, in the interest of a) genuine curiosity and b) the ubiquitous “room for improvement”, I want to ask: what are the readers of Tiger Beatdown interested in? What kind of voices and stories do you wish got more coverage, particularly given the kind of perspectives I can provide? I won’t be writing on command; after all, these are not school paper assignments but, given the fact that I know I am a minority voice for several of the reasons listed above, what are you interested in?