I’m writing a paper about the extent to which women challenged prescribed gender roles in colonial Latin America. In class we’ve been looking at the role of gender and sexuality in colonial times, too, and I’m shocked to realize how close to home these topics are, how vivid they are in my life, despite the fact that centuries have passed. How double standards, the discourse of virgins and whores, the suppression of agency and basically all of the domination that I read about in articles are things that were (and continue to be) all too close to home. I realized this because I was getting really angry while listening to the prof’s lectures and while doing the readings.
The anger gives way to a sort of creative tension when I’m reading texts that actively question these things and seek to unearth from old sources the agency of women, which through omission and masking had been made invisible. Thinking about these things, entertaining these ideas in my head and writing about them is an academic exercise, but is also analogous of a personal effort on my end to deconstruct these influences in my life, be able to look at them, pick them apart. In doing so help me along the process of better understanding myself and my interaction with my past, with the experiences that shaped me and to a great extent continue to be a part of my intimate relationships.
This is an instance when I feel life is good in all its brokenness and iniquity.
“No hay nada más recto que una escalera torcida, ni nada más integro que un corazon partido.”
Rabi Menajem Mendel de Kotzk