Friday Feminist – Maria Lugones

Extract 2 in a series of 3: extract 1, extract 3

In an Hispana voice …We and you do not talk the same language. When we talk to you we use your language: the language of your experiences and of your theories. We try to use it to communicate our world of experience. But since your language and your theories are inadequate in expressing our experiences, we only succeed in communicating our experience of exclusion. We cannot talk to you in our language because you do not understand it. So the brute facts that we understand you language and that the place where most theorizing about women is taking place is your place both combine to require that we either use your language and distort our experience not just in the speaking about it, but in the living of it, or that we remain silent. Complaining about exclusion is a way of remaining silent.

Elizabeth V. Spelman, “Have we got a theory for you! Feminist Theory, Cultural Imperialism and the Demand for ‘The Woman’s Voice’ ” by Maria C. Lugones and Elizabeth V. Spelman, in Women’s Studies International Forum, 1983

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One response to “Friday Feminist – Maria Lugones

  1. How well-timed.

    I called someone on using the phrase “he’s such an old woman” yesterday.

    I tried to explain to him that while I wasn’t particularly offended, I am aware that the language we use is important, and that saying things like that is, while unintentional, (for the most part) constantly reinforcing those ideas.

    I hadn’t thought about it from the other side.