Tonight on twitter I was having an emotional outburst about filling out the census. I feel frustrated that I can't mark off "Latina" and that I have to mark White, American Indian, or other. What the hell?
I mentioned this on twitter and a few people mentioned that I should just mark White and American Indian, or just write in Other. It's a tad bit offensive to me for me to mark other, because I am not an other. And I am not White, necessarily. Nor am I American Indian.
It's frustrating to me that Latina/os are the majority and are one day projected to be a majority in many states, yet I have to write Other to describe who I am?
It reminds me of when in California at one point they used to segregate Latina/os and labeled them as "Indian", because it was legal to segregate Indians. And then when they weren't allowed to segregate us anymore, they labeled us as White, so that they could put all of us over in a segregated school and not get busted for it because we are all technically white. You know?
This is the same old identity crisis that keeps rearing its ugly head. A while back, I blogged about it and discussed in Language, Culture and Feminism. It's frustrating to feel that sometimes you don't belong and that you are invisible.
I've always felt this sense of invisibility and the frustration is beginning to grow unbearable for me. My whole life I have looked for representations of myself in popular culture, literature and other places and I often fail to see anything that represents my experience. In college, I gravitated towards feminist studies, and I would often see representations of white women (not that there is anything wrong with that--love them, too), and also sometimes black women. But we never studied latina feminists.
One of the few latina/chicana feminists that someone MIGHT slip into the college curriculum was Gloria Anzaldua, and I devoured her Borderlands book over and over and over again. She was such a unique blend of radical latina feminist and lesbian that she was one of a kind. But who has taken her place since she has passed away?
Maybe I have been out of college for a while now, so maybe some of you in college can step up to the plate and let me know if any bad ass latina feminists have entered the scene.
Because I'm dying here wanting so desperately to find a representation of myself in something. And the hypersexualized representation of Sophia Vergara on Modern Family sure isn't helping my mood.
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