what are you??
published Wednesday, February 01, 2006 by j | email this post
this is a great piece
in the village voice about one woman's 'mixed race experience.' i think she hits it on the nose, though because i'm white/asian i think my ambiguity is less polarizing than her black/white mix.
the author gets it totally right when she says that failing to fit into some people's carefully drawn boxes, you become scrutinized. i can tell instantly upon meeting a person if they are going to ask 'the question.' i can immediately see the confusion on their faces, and the subsequent attempt to hide that confusion.
"Let's just say that if you appear racially indeterminable, you are read all over. As in from head to toe, as in wherever you go. Like any other unstraightforward or indecipherable text, ambiguous bodies are given a close reading, between the lines. And if that fails to clarify matters, any serious reader will consult a primary source: you. You become an informant, other people's resource for more information. It's an intervention into your everyday existence that can happen anyplace, anytime, by anyone. You are interpreted, your body a sign, forever decoded and discerned."
the ones that shock me the most are those who ask 'what are you' with indignation, as though my very existence or ambiguity were a deliberate assault on them.
speaking of ambiguity - sexually, the kids are all over the place these days
, and it's great. the new basement cryers
are the 'cuddle puddle' and they're all making out.