Labels Re-visited

After posting “Don’t judge my labels” a few weeks ago, I got to some deep thinking. Lately I feel like my brain is about to burst with thoughts, there is so much exploration to do. The hardest part is sitting down to articulate all the things that continue to rack my brain.

First off, I have realized that I am not the only who has struggled with various identities. I guess that is the beauty of the humanities in a way, there is never one “correct” answer and it’s better to appreciate this dynamic instead of painstakingly trying to conform perfectly to one aspect of my identity (since it is neither static nor universal). I know that I am not the only one who has criticisms about and/or against anthropology and feminism, I’ve discovered a lot of bloggers have raised their own issues. Yet I cannot distance myself from the complexity of these disciplines, my education has made me increasingly reflexive over the last few years.

So I figured it out. The reason why I’ve become so drawn to these areas is because they represent what I sub-consciously, and now more consciously see as some major gaps in my life.

While traditional anthropologists have launched into explorations of other people and other ways of life, I have used anthropology to explore myself. To explore my culture, my history, my people, all of the things which have been conveniently left out of my formal (i.e. Western) education since primary school. Its like I’m developing my own curriculum and teaching myself. In a way, I feel like I am backtracking and that I’m so behind. But I’m committed to learning nonetheless.

I share close to the same feelings about feminism. Feminism remains problematic for me because I still feel under-represented and excluded somehow. I know that we cannot essentialize all women into one group, but I feel like I haven’t really found “my place” in the women’s movement, not as an African (Kenyan) women who has spent most of her life at home, yet spent many years studying in Western institutions. It’s very confusing. Maybe soon I will find my niche. Still, I have used this lens to identify and explain many of the discrepancies of my experience as a woman who is constantly going back and forth between two different societies.

I like my labels, and I’m glad writing about them has helped me realize what they truly represent.

Check out this article on Afropolitans, the new generation of hybrid Africans. Explains a lot of the mixed identities people like myself experience today.

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~ by misswretched on August 27, 2008.

One Response to “Labels Re-visited”

  1. I love that Afropolitan site!

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