A short reflection on Partha Chaterjee’s “Nation and its Fragments”

The purpose of Chatterjee’s book “The Nation and Its Fragments” seems to explore the idea of “community” nationalism Bengal, apart from political nationalism of India, especially in terms of India’s diverse history. This reflection just touches on a chapter of the women of Bengal and their struggle in the shift of a new era and new thinking of preserving the traditional Identity from colonialism and British takeover.

“The outer and the inner world – Women as keepers of Identity”


When dealing with cultures unknown to the self, an imaginary third eye would be useful to keep an open mind on the things we might not be able to see fully. It would raise the possibility of understanding the differences from another point of view instead of insisting on our terms of beliefs and its definitions. Pratha Chatterjee’s Nation and It’s Women touches upon the western systems of dichotomies of separating Bengal’s nationalism for preserving its identity as communities versus the political nationalism of India and how these definitions by both parties- fighting for and against colonialism- positioned women in the central party of preserving the house in her “spiritual” feminine self which carries the traditions of Bengals before Western modernization took place, all without her consent.

While the traditionalists were surrendering to the notion of modernization in the “outer” world, they were confident in preserving their identity through the “inner” world which embraced the home as being the true keepers of Bengal’s identity. Chatterjee argues that due to this resistance, women’s position in the modern world was compromised by prioritizing the national identity of their community which worked to enforce women to be keepers of the identity. This was soon defined through “the spiritual signs of her femininity”… “Clearly marked – in her dress, her eating habits, her social demeanor, her religiosity” pg 130. While all at the same time, men were able to camouflage into both the inner and the outer worlds and maintain their prideful identity in the modern world with their wives and daughters by their side. This is similar to the United State’s political structure upon which the private and public sphere is divided and the patriarchy system has allowed men to be privileged in walking amongst both the private and public sphere will full rights to their lives while women play catch up in history’s disparity. Though the comparison of the private and public sphere can be relative to this story, the underlining matter is not the similarity amongst the two, rather, the difference upon which the two systems were created and why their origins took place.

The anti-colonial nationalism that arose in an attempt to defy the western modernization taking place in Bengal at that time defended their traditional identity through social construction of two spheres defined as the “material” versus the “spiritual”. In the material outer world, they would adapt to the modernization colonialism has brought over through learning the structure upon which western society ran its “market place of ideas” type of theory which made the economy run, however in the spiritual inner world, they would maintain their traditional identity which was represented by women and family life composed of religion and the old caste systems.

“Fundamental elements of social conservatism such as the maintenance of caste distinctions and patriarchal forms of authority in the family, acceptance of sanctity of sastra (scriptures), preferences for symbolic rather than substantive changes in social practices- all these were conspicuous in the reform movement of the early and mid-nineteenth century” pg117.

The statement above clarifies our understanding of what type of system was created and the value for this particular system bent upon the prideful self identity wanting to prioritize the perception of the self rather than the actual self; community resistance. This becomes another example of how most patriarchy systems are built on the standard of pride in resisting and exterior force only to burden the women of their society to be inferior to themselves, by force or negligence, in either case, the result ends in the same way. Although women were presented to be safe keepers of the traditional identity at home, they were also chastised if they did not fit or meet the standards of the particular femininity which represented their whole community, thus leading to excluding women the chance to modernize with the rest of the world.

There will always be fights over power and beliefs around the world, history is apparent in repeating itself again and again, lets get “Herstory” along with it, shall we? However, it seems that women will always end up in the ladder because we are gifted with being the safe keepers of our traditional identity by baring, nurturing and preserving it, while fighting for our own identity and modernizing all with the national identity. It becomes a burden when we vigorously try to achieve all or are forced to choose one above the other.

Woman’s inhumanity to woman!

“Are women oppressed? Yes. Do oppressed people internalize their oppressors’ attitudes? Without a doubt. Prejudice must first be acknowledged before it can be resisted or overcome.” Phyllis Chesler

Chesler urges us to look within, to treat other women realistically, ethically, and kindly, and to forge bold and compassionate alliances. This is a necessary next step for women, without which they will never be liberated.

The patriarchy system has been overpowering men and women on both sides. It makes it impossible for some men to realize the sexism that exists and makes it almost impossible for women to be counterproductive and overcome it. Perhaps Buddhism has some insight in allowing us (all sexes) to understand each other better. Separating women and men work against the core foundation of equality that feminism was built upon. It doesn’t help to unity and understanding to the table. It might be more productive to take out the aspects of the biological differences and theories we were born into and focus on behavioral studies of individual men, women, transgendered people around the world and hear them out. Listening might help in this case- more than judgments deciding conclusions. We all have our demons, our bad habits exists by mostly circumstance so we need guidance from each other and from ourselves to direct the bad habits to an exit sign and find the right entrance, one that works for us anyway. It’s not women or men that bring us down, its our own self, and though it might be extremely difficult for us to overcome our demons, making the attempt is a start, and with every start you begin a journey. My way of overcoming sexism is to fight the system, not its people. Perhaps i’m a dreamer, but really as Lennon said “I’m not the only one.” Oh yes, Yoko helped too… of course she did, she is a hero in her bad self, not a heroine or a damn SHERO! She’s a hero, and yes she does deserve the title. I’ll end this entry with a good video of diversity working for the better with all worlds of music, race, gender and nation – all for one good cause!

A second look @ the homeless around the corner!

Standing by her shopping cart, tired, dirty and winded, the homeless woman with a stack of newspapers walks slowly to almost everyone in the passing only to find them walking away from her with strange looks mixed with some shy awkward smiles.

She has her dirty blonde hair tied up with a thick black sweater and torn jeans in the middle of Shattuck, Downtown Berkeley- that also on a sunny Sunday morning when almost everyone is in smiles trying to enjoy the day.

“Please take a paper and spare some change”… “I have not had anything to eat today,” said the poor homeless lady trading newspapers for dimes at a busy corner.

Curious to know her story, I stood next to her and traded a quarter for a paper.  The newspaper was titled Street Spirits. According to their website, its a “publication of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) that reports extensively on homelessness, poverty, economic inequality, welfare issues, human rights issues and the struggle for social justice. For the past 10 years, Street Spirit has been dedicated to empowering poor and homeless people and giving a voice to the voiceless, at a time when the voices of the poor are virtually locked out of the mainstream media.”

Her name was Joann Knott, 46 years of age and a single mother of a 16-year-old boy. The two were living in a nice house back in Detroit, Michigan just five years ago before becoming homeless in Berkeley.

Ms. Knott was employed as a “Professional Petitions Consultant” with a firm that works to organize and operate petition drives for organizations wishing to gain support on bills introduced in the area.

Ms. Knott arrived in California four years ago in pursuit of a job as a Professional Petitions Consultant here, and hoping to start her own business.

“Berkeley and the Bay Area in general is highly active in the process of creating petitions for voters in demand of various changes in the law,” she said.

“I thought I could easily land a good job in the local market.”

However, despite her numerous attempts to secure a job here, she failed and instead ended up spending all her money and became homeless.

Though Ms.Knott is homeless, she is still in pursuit of a job in Berkeley and interns at the local chapter of Peace Action West to advocate for nuclear ban and peace.

“I’ve protested against nuclear weapons since the early 60’s and it was my fortunate luck to able to intern and get paid at Peace Action West” she said.

Peace Action West is an organization dedicated to building a citizen’s movement of sustained political power for fundamental changes in United States foreign policy. They are also one of the largest grassroots peace and justice lobby in the country.

According to an article in the American Journal of Public Health, over 7% of persons living in the United States, which equals 2149045.85, have been homeless (defined as sleeping in shelters, the street, abandoned buildings, cars, or bus and train stations) at some point in their lives.

Testing those statistics, I walked across to the café shop to a man sitting outside with a cup of coffee, and his New York Time puzzle on the table. After a few minutes of explaining my project to him, he agreed to talk to me.

“Homelessness in Berkeley is at rise because this city is so liberal and keen to paying for the homeless,” said the 36-year-old Wells Fargo Banker Marcus Reading.

“Why should we support a bunch of people that just sit around downtown begging for money, when the rest of us are working our butts off” he said.

Ms.Knott has her son enrolled at the Berkeley High School where there is funding available for families without homes.

“The diverse range of people here is what makes the city of Berkeley attractive and the people are just too nice” she said. “They never let you go hungry”.

Cross Roads at Intersectionality with Gender Identity – A Tibetan feminist perspective

Our multicultural society at large is so diverse that we struggle to define or identify people in categories. We are all taught not to judge others, and treat others the way we would like to be treated. However, in practicality it’s often the case that due to the lack of information about others, we depend on stereotypes of their communities and practice racial profiling. In most cases we look directly at the physical features of a human being to try an guess their identity. We approach them in the manner that fits the definition of our very own standards – the unconscious bias. One common struggle of inequalities appears when we judge others by their gender. Intersectionality has been accepted by many feminists as being a key to understanding the gender divide that exists in our society.[1] Race, nation, gender has been amongst many other factors that assist in categorizing people into objects of commodities accessible for judging and positioning. The fact is even women don’t believe that all women want the same equal rights because everyone has their own priorities that follow their social surroundings and their beliefs and values in their individual personal lives.

What we fail to realize is that many people are so inter racially linked now that only the dominant traits appear in their physical features and we cannot define them properly or even fully define ourselves. All that knowledge however does not come forward in our consciousness when we use just our eyes to define others. Perhaps it is meant to be that people shouldn’t be approached differently based on their physical appearances – which often times leads us to manipulate their identity in small categories.

“Since critics first alleged that feminism claimed to speak universally for all women, feminist researchers have been acutely aware of the limitations of gender as a single analytical category. In fact, feminists are perhaps alone in the academy in the extent to which they have embraced intersectionality—the relationships among multiple dimensions and mo- dualities of social relations and subject formations—as itself a central category of analysis. One could even say that intersectionality is the most important theoretical contribution that women’s studies, in conjunction with related fields, have made so far.”[2]

The United States Census Bureau estimated that just in California alone 6,798,406 people are currently mixed with two or more races.[3] Surely it would be very difficult to define all these people based on just their physical traits and it would take ages to find definitions that they would all comply to.

Understanding intersectionality is a necessity in understanding our own identities. We believe that our identity is meant to express ourselves. Thus, when others decide to do it for us, we feel a discomfort of forced or coerced silence. A simple factor of acknowledgement would be that an individual’s social identities profoundly influence one’s belief based on their experience of gender.  It’s important to look into their surroundings, and acknowledge their individual wishes to define themselves on their own terms without being coerced into categories of subjects. The mere factor that there exists so many forms of identities within each individual should be a major underlying factor in the feminist movement’s attempt to unify all women rights into positions of consideration for change – In compliance and agreement to the right priorities that women deserve ofcourse.

When Melanie M. Hughes, a PHD candidate at Ohio State University did a study on “Complications at the Intersection: Overcoming the Challenges of Cross-National Research on Minority Women’s Legislative Representation”, she stated that “Differences such as race, ethnicity, religion, and language not only impact women’s identities and interest, but form intersecting social hierarchies that shape women’s access to power.”[4]

In Ella Shohat’s article “Dislocated Identities”[5], she shares her personal experience of having to choose between two of her identities in order to serve the purpose of the war that had taken place. Shohat describes the syncretic identity that formed within her as an Arab Jew in the United States.  Shohat’s priorities to her womanism might not be the same as Mimi Nguyen; a Vietnamese American carrying a load of history with her physical appearance in the United States. Ngugen talks much about how “everything changes when she travels”[6] because of the perception of her identity defined by the “othering” factor.

Though Ella Shohat and Mimi Nyugen both share similar feminist ideals in wanting equal rights for women their priorities are separate than mine.  China occupied my country, Tibet in 1959 – forcing my grandparents to escape into exile. Though I have this opportunity to excel in education and various other professional fields in this free country, I have also lost a lot of my traditions, my culture and my history back home and often feel dissembled within my own small community of Tibetans. Though I am an advocate for equal rights, I will not use all the rights handed to me for I want the choices in life which work to identify my authentic individuality.

In the end, it is our determination to have various choices in our life that portray our personal accountability and responsibility for our actions without the feeling that YET AGAIN we have become victims of oppression. Instead we must take on the role of survivors who will work for progress of choice for women and men all over the world while promising that we will not make the choices for them. Instead, we owe it as a universal responsibility to all mankind to advocate for others rights! The right to make their own choices in their personal inhabitant that fits their personal surrounding identity – as with ourselves.

______________________________________________________________________________

1)      McCall, L. “The Complexity of Intersectionality.” SIGNS -CHICAGO-. 30. 3 (2005): 1771-1800. (Online); http://www.rochester.edu/college/psc/news/intersectionality_readings/mccall.pdf

2)       U.S Census Bureau, “M0207. Percent of the Total Population Who Are Two or More Races”. U.S Census Bureau. 11/29/2009

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ThematicMapFramesetServlet?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-tm_name=ACS_2008_3YR_G00_M00633&-ds_name=ACS_2008_3YR_G00_&-_MapEvent=displayBy&-_dBy=040#?126,262

3)      Grewal, Inderpal, and Caren Kaplan.  Gender in a Transnational World.”Dislocated Identities”; Ella Shohat, pg 440; Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2006.

4)      Hughes, Melanie M. Politics at the Intersection A Cross-National Analysis of Minority Women’s Legislative Representation. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University, 2008. (online); http://sociology.osu.edu/people/mmh/APSA_paper.pdf

5)      Grewal, Inderpal, and Caren Kaplan.  Gender in a Transnational World.”Viet Nam: Journal/Journey”; Mimi Nguyen; pg 435, Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2006.


“The Tibetans in Tibet are waiting and they will remember!”

Tibetans all over the world are feeling the after math of the earth quake right now.

A Newsweek article titled “A Sympathetic Hearing” written by Isacc Stone Fish in Newsweek today reported the following statement “This week’s earthquake—and footage of the devastation—is allowing the average Chinese to see both the poverty and humanity of a region they’re used to seeing only in political terms. “It’s very hard to see real Tibetans” through the media, says Yang. “On TV, they’re dancing all the time, shaking hands with leaders, celebrating, or shown as troublemakers. This is an opportunity to realize that Tibetans live and suffer like we do.” In addition, the sensitivity about minority issues—especially Tibetan ones—in China has choked off civic opportunities for Tibetan-Chinese connections. The earthquake is bringing “unprecedented” Chinese-Tibetan grassroots understanding, “and this could be a very good thing,” says Yang.”

Below is a comment posted by SopheapAng on NewsWeek’s article :

I really wonder how this writer Issac Smelly Fish who was employed to bad-mouth China for a living and those despicable so-called exiled Tibetans would use such a natural disaster to bad-mouth China. One thing I want to ask these disgusting and despicable people is this: Where is your help?

The Tibetans in exile needs to answer this question. We need to tackle it head- on and communicate to the rest of the world and SHOW them that we are helping. The Tibetan associations around the world should fund-raise money, donate money, and support the Tibetans in Tibet. Most of the Tibetans in exile have already donated money, but have failed to reach the masses to announce that Tibet is at our top priority and we are helping our people.

Here is comment by TenzinZ on the same article:

I hope China will help rebuild this region and give the Tibetans greater opportunity and freedom, maybe it’ll be a start for us Tibetans and Chinese to gain a better mutual understanding. Also, I hope international community will donate as they have so generously done in Haiti -because the Tibetan people need your help so desperately. Please consider giving to Tibetan charities as the funds will go directly to those affected by the earthquake as opposed to other infrastructure development or get lost somewhere! I know we Tibetans have a resilient spirit, may we continue to believe in hope.

It is wonderful to see that the Chinese government are aiding the Tibetans during this devastating tragedy.

The Wall Street Journal reported “China’s leaders took a high-profile, hands-on approach to dealing with the disaster that struck one of the country’s most troubled ethnic-minority areas… and quoted Wian Jia Bao saying “We will make all-out efforts to build a new Yushu,” Mr. Wen, a member of China’s majority Han ethnic group, promised residents Friday, according to state media. “Whether you are Tibetan or Han, we are all from one family and we need to take care of each other.. Your suffering is our suffering,” Mr. Wen told townspeople in Jiegu, where most residents are Tibetan.

One would hope that Mr Wen’s words are genuine and heart felt to the current situation of Tibetans in Jyekundho, Tibet.

In fact, if one accessed the statement correctly, the message behind the “one unity mantra” carries precisely the same universal message that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been stating for over 51 years. We are all the same, and our suffering is your, suffering. In fact His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s statement  at the TIBETAN-CHINESE CONFERENCE IN GENEVA ON AUGUST 6, 2009 read the following statement “I request your help in carrying a message to the Chinese people that we Tibetans harbor no hatred against our Chinese brothers and sisters, and that we Tibetans are neither anti-Chinese nor anti-China. I seek your help and cooperation in preventing the issue of Tibet being turned into an issue of racial prejudice and antagonism between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.”

When such natural disasters hit the poorest countries of the world, one thing is for certain; people react!

We can raise funds, individually, or with our community or even with our co-workers or even online. We can raise funds, we have seen it done before and we know it is possible.  Here are some ways in which Tibetans in exile can help the Tibetans in Tibet and let the know that we are thinking of them!

Write an email to your local businesses, foundations, friends, family members and co-workers. ASK FOR DONATION! It might be $5 from your neighbor and $5 from your friend, but if one person from the community gets even $100 and contribute to an association or a network of Tibetans, they will know.

Twitter, Facebook, youtube, etc- all social networks which carry thousands of friends, strangers, supporters and PEOPLE- make an URGENT call and ALERT THEM!

It is my personal belief that a community donating together will make a bigger effect on the Tibetans inside Tibet. Announce it on your association’s website, blog that you are doing a fundraising drive for the recent quake that hit Tibet. Once we have the money, we need to advertise, YES i said advertise- Let the whole world know, we are in support!

We cannot stop these natural disasters from occurring it seems, but it is definite that we can do something to help in the aftermath of such events to assist the vicitims and help them survive.

Kennedy once said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.. . Perhaps it is my own fear….  I fear that the Tibetans in Tibet will remember if we don’t come through for them now. One thing is for sure, we need to reach them and let them know, we are helping, we are definitely helping and trying our best.

I was informed today that four NGO’s based in the US – working in Tibet have networked together and formed a FUND for the Tibet Relief Fund which is provided by the SSG.

Update from Program Director of SSG: Snowland Services Group (SSG) is the best known Tibetan NGO in the earthquake area and is likely to lead many local NGO efforts there.  It is difficult to assess the situation: around 80% of building houses have collapsed, the water dam has been damaged, people are afraid that it might collapse and flood the city. Most people moved to the house festival ground this evening where some tents have been installed. SSG is trying to organize emergency services: water, food, medicine, tents, clothes and beddings. Our cashier who was seven month pregnant has died. It is hard to assess the number of persons who died. SSG believes it is much more probably above 3000. One important issue is that people have stopped rescue after a couple of hours, due to lack of hope and equipment. I still need time to asses to situation as today we have mainly been trying to find survivors….people fear that another earthquake might occur this evening. The needs are huge… The situation , here is critical.”

You can donate to feed, shelter and supply food and medical aide to the victims of this earth quake by donating to the following organizations. 100% of the donation goes directly to the Tibetans in Tibet.

Please visit the following sites to donate!

  • Yushu Earthquake Response
  • Tibet Village Project
  • Tibet Relief Fund
  • Machik
  • Tibet Foundation
  • If you cannot donate, then please send this letter to all your friends, co-workers and family members.

    Also Visit Students for Free Tibet’s blog to find other ways to make a difference during this devastating time!

    MORE WAYS YOU CAN HELP – Students for a Free Tibet


    Bookmark and Share

    GODDESSES, WHORES, WIVES, AND SLAVES

    In Sarah Pomeroy’s book titled “Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves”, copyright; 1975, she aims in writing a social history of women through the centuries in Greek and Roman worlds over the period of fifteen hundred years. Compared to the classical and medieval periods, relatively little has been written about women in late antiquity (the 3rd through 6th centuries). The sources for the period pose several problems for understanding the lives of women: they are dominated by law codes, medical texts and patriotic writings by the dominant males of that society which tend to be prescriptive rather than descriptive. I write these words, as a brief short analysis, reflecting on the roles women played at that time and their participation in the cultural, political, and economic life in comparison to the women of Greece and Rome.

    The author starts her book with the history of the goddesses and their origins in Classical Mythology. She then continues by mentioning one of the greatest human influencers of that time; Homer. Through Homer’s epics, came the first perceptions of what role women were to play in society. Pomeroy refers to the story of Pandora and how it plays a huge role in the attitude towards women’s role in society reflecting back to the Bronze ages. She then carries a discussion over the roles of powerful goddesses such as Athena, Aphrodite, Hera, and states the influences these goddesses had over the modern women of that time being confused on form their roles as a woman.

    “That fact that modern women are frustrated by being forced to choose between being an Athena- an intellectual. Asexual career woman- or an Aphrodite- a frivolous sex object- or a respectable wife- mother like Hera shows that Greek goddesses continue to be archetypes of female existence. If the characteristics of the major goddesses were combines, a whole being with unlimited potential for development- a female equivalent of Zeus or Apollo- would emerge.”

    Pomeroy provides a good discussion of marriage patterns alluded in the epic cycles, based on the marriages of such royal women as Helen, Clytemnestra and Penelope. In a patrilocal pattern, the suitor would bring back the bride to his own house and she would be the material emblem of alliance between the households of her father and her new husband. In a matrilocal pattern, the wandering warrior would settle in the country of his bride. A great warrior like Achilles might find many chieftains offering their daughters in marriage in hope of obtaining a powerful alliances.

    The next few chapters focus on describing the women of Athens and, later, of Rome. She points out that there is more material, literary, epigraphic and archeological information in this time to discuss the Athenian women. This is particularly valuable not only for the information conveyed, but perhaps even more for the method used. At all times, in her discussion, she carefully maintains the distinctions of class and economic status. At the same time she speaks on the strong female characters of tragedy. Pomeroy states that the mythology about women is created by men and, in a culture dominated by men; it may have little to do with women themselves. The women of Athens and Rome are the focus; the wives and the prostitutes. The Wife Archetype portrayed social respectability, a role that centered on the affairs of domesticity and childrearing. More importantly it was the prostitutes, whores or courtesans who received special status of being the most notorious and sophisticated. The famous courtesan, Aspasia, was vilified by later writers for influencing the Greek General Pericles of Peloponnesian War fame in the 5th century B.C.E.

    In comparison to Greek Women, Roman women could be considered more liberated and emancipated. On of the main differences are named by Cornelius Nepos. He says Greek women mainly stay in the house, while Roman women accompany their husbands to dinner parties. Aside from social differences, there were also the economic advantages held by Roman women. They could own property beyond their dowry and inherit from their kin. This was a factor in the kind of marriage contracted, at least in the upper classes. Marriage severed the bride from her father’s control and placed her under her new husband’s, making her a member of her husband’s family and thus eligible to inherit from him. Reviews allowed the women of Rome more freedom, since she was nominally under her father’s control but removed from his direct surveillance. Also, both were allowed to keep their property (the upper class women of wealth) and it remained in her family. The various legal intricacies of marriage, divorce and inheritance were further complicated by the penchant of the upper classes at Rome to use marriages as an adhesive for making alliances in the political arena. The most interesting section in her book is the discussion on the freedwomen and working women of Rome. Most occupations available to women were of domestic service; they were prostitutes, maids, launderers, and cooks. There were also many accounts mentioned of market women from the East importing and exporting luxury goods and selling them. These women would be considered entrepreneurs in these modern times.

    In the book’s last chapters, Pomeroy points out the connections between the different cults and myths of that time and how it impacts women of the Classical and Hellenistic period. The cults of Ceres and Isis are among the major cults mentioned. It is particularly interesting to note, that Isis, who became one of the most popular deities in the Greek and Roman world, was praised for making “the power of women equal to that of men.”

    Despite the extreme social restraints on women in classical antiquity, it is interesting that they had a number of powerful female goddesses of the type that were never available to women of different dominant religions of that time, such is the case with Christianity. Demeter was able to retrieve her daughter Persephone, Artemis could send a fatal arrow, and Athena had the ability to resist marriage and motherhood, and to provide advice to respected Greek heroes. Aphrodite, Hera, Hestia, and Hekate were also powerful goddesses, intensely honored and greatly admired by women and men alike. Such women exist today and perhaps even more so in history, however were never accounted for, as much of history has been paved by the patriarchy system serving the “protectors” of our human species, the warriors, the lords, priests, nobles, all adhering to the housing of fathers and sons.

    I will rise – No one identity “Intersectionality”

    Interdependency being the goal OR
    Perception defining the reality

    Not a tomboy, not quite the girl next door, not your hot chick and definitely not a simple quiet girl

    Not my make up, not my hair, not so much even to claim a natural beauty

    This or that got to pick a side
    Wall street or main street, or just a street in fact

    hour-glass, ticking bomb… quick profit- hurry now it’s up for grabs!

    Politics or development or rather, rebel for both or against

    Tibetan or American or perhaps even a bit Indian and Nepali or maybe even African American- No- perhaps Japanese or Filipina from Hawaii?

    Raw, beautiful, pretty, cute, no-no I know “exotic” ooooooh different

    From the land of the snowy utopia?

    Oh idealist, democratic, socialist, no no activist?

    This or that maybe even both or maybe Neither but certainly something?

    DECONSTRUCT-

    colonialism, nationalism, feminism, individualism, liberalism, ismmmmmmmms humanism?

    Post me in your dictionary

    Again and again bring on the terms

    Pick a name, categorize me, place me in an order, label me with a tag line, prioritize me with your needs and then Define my character according to your “intelligence”

    QUICK-

    I too will be your study, all with history, so dot me up and place me in the line

    Benefit from my existence to uplift your position

    Wisdom or ignorance – OR OR OR this or that stay on one side- force a choice

    Share your data: Statistics can satisfy your need

    Quantify my worth and sell my identity

    Binary divisions do not solve anything it does not work for me, I will not choose a side, I do not have one identity, importance of my rights cannot me measured and my experiences of inferiority will not be the same as yours-

    Succeed only in Satisfying your thirst to feel you have served some knowledge

    Your purpose for me

    No validation will be concluded on my side. You may do as you wish with my story but I have felt it always in others’ terms

    POINTLESS!

    I KNOW!!!! How about an example?

    Still I rise

    You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may trod me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

    Does my sassiness upset you?
    Why are you beset with gloom?
    ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
    Pumping in my living room.

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I’ll rise.

    Did you want to see me broken?
    Bowed head and lowered eyes?
    Shoulders falling down like tear drops.
    Weakened by my soulful cries.

    Does my haughtiness offend you?
    Don’t you take it awful hard
    ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
    Diggin’ in my own back yard.

    You may shoot me with your words,
    You may cut me with your eyes,
    You may kill me with your hatefulness,
    But still, like air, I’ll rise.

    Does my sexiness upset you?
    Does it come as a surprise
    That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
    At the meeting of my thighs?

    Out of the huts of history’s shame
    I rise
    Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
    I rise
    I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise
    Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
    I rise
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise
    I rise
    I rise.

    Maya Angelou