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Borderland/La Frontera - Gloria Anzaldúa
Transcript of Borderland/La Frontera - Gloria Anzaldúa
Who, me, confused? Ambivalent? Not so. Only your labels split me.
(Anzaldúa cited Keating 2009: 2) Fear of Going Home: Homophobia
For the lesbian of color, the ultimate rebellion she can make against her native culture its through her sexual behavior. She goes against two moral prohibitions: sexuality and homosexuality. Being lesbian and raised Catholic, indoctrinated as straight, I made the choice to be queer (for some it is genetically inherent). It’s an interesting path, one that continually slips in and out of the white, the Catholic, the Mexican, the indigenous, the instincts. In and out of my head. It makes for loquería, the crazies. It is a path of knowledge - one of knowing (and of learning) the history of oppression of our raza. It is a way of balancing, of mitigating duality.
(Anazldúa 2007: 41) La facultad
La faculdad is the capacity to see in surface phenomena the meaning of deeper realities, to see the deep structure below the surface. It is an instant „sensing“, a quick perception arrived at without conscious reasoning. It is an acute awareness mediated by the part of the psyche that does not speak, that communicates in images and symbols which are the faces of feelings, that is, behind which feelings reside/hide. The one possessing this sensitivity is excruciatingly alive to the world.
Those who are pushed out of the tribe for being different are likely to become more sensitized (when not brutalized into insensitivity). Those who do not feel psychologically or physically safe in the world are more apt to develop this sense. Those who are pounced on the most have its the strongest - the females, the homosexuals of all races, the darkskinned, the outcast, the persecuted, the marginalized, the foreign.
When we´re up against the wall, when we have all sorts of oppressions at us, we are forced to develop this faculty so that we we’ll know when the next person is going to slap us or lock us away. We’ll sense the rapist when he’s five blocks down the street. Pain makes us acutely anxious to avoid more of it, so we hone that radar. It´s a kind of survival tactic that people, cought between the worlds, unknowingly cultivate. It is latent in all of us.
(Anzaldúa 2007: 60-61) To live in the Borderlands means you autohistoria y autohistoria-teoría. . . . (re)writing self, (re)writing culture “Autohistoria is a term I use to describe the genre of writing about one’s personal and collective history using fictive elements, a sort of fictionalized autobiography or memoir; an autohistoria-teoría is a personal essay that theorizes” (Anzaldúa “now let us shift” 578 cited Keating 2005: 5-6). Anzaldúa, Gloria (2007 ): Borderlands/la frontera: The new mestiza. 3. ed. San Francisco: Aunt Lute.
Keating, AnaLouise (2005): Entre mundos/among worlds: new perspectives on Gloria E. Anzaldúa. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Keating, AnaLouise (ed.) (2009): The Gloria Anzaldúa reader. Durham: Duke University Press. So, if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity - I am my language. Until I can rake pride in my language. I cannot take pride in myself. Unitl I can accept as legitimate Chicano Texas Spanish, Tex.Mex and all the other languages I speak, I cannot accept the legitmatcy of myself. Unitl U am free for write bilingually and to switch codes without having always to translate, while i still have to speak English or Spanish she I would rather speak Spanglish, and as long as I have to accommodate the English speakers rather than having them accommodate me, my tongue will be illegitimate.
I will no longer be made to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my serpent´s tongue - my woman´s voice, my sexual voice, my poets voice. I will overcome the tradition of silence.
(Anzaldúa 2007: 81) The U.S.-Mexican border es una herida abierta where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And before a scab forms it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country - a border culture. Borders are set up to define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them. A border is a dividing line, a narrow strip along a steep edge. A borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. It is in constant state of transition. The prohibited and forbidden are its inhabitants. Los atravesados live here: the squint-eyed, the perverse, the queer, the troublesome, the mongrel, the mulato, the half-breed, the half dead; in short, those who cross over, pass over, or go through the confines of the „normal“. (Anzaldúa 2007: 25) The actual physical borderland that I’m dealing with in this book is the Texas-U.S. Southwest/Mexican border. The psychological borderlands, the sexual borderlands and the spiritual borderlands are not particular to the Southwest. In fact, the Borderlands are physically present wherever two or more cultures edge each other, where people of different races occupy the same territory, where under, lower, middle and upper classes touch, where the space between two individuals shrinks with intimacy. (Anzaldúa 2007: 19) Anzaldúa 2007: 216-217