in my previous post, tim jones-yelvington brought up this important point (somewhere along the comment stream) about this us v. them dichotomy: “my kind of writer” or not, with us or against us, etc etc.
this is important because this isn’t just an “innovative” v. “traditional” writer question. even within our little world, small though it may be, there’s this split, where we have to “prove” our coolness. i mean, look who we promote. look who htmlg promotes. it’s totally a cool club. (i admit my egotism: i troll hoping to see my name. who doesn’t?) but it’s more than just that.
at &now (a conference for “innovative” writing), i found myself an underwhelming minority. when we (“my kind of writer” which we all were there) went out, i was consistently the only female, among fifteen to twenty males. when we went out, james yeh & i were the only “non-white” people. when we went out, almost all of us had academic affiliations in one way or any. (yeah, here, there was a bit more of a split, but come on!)
let’s just say: there’s a mold.
“my kind of writer”: turns out he’s not really “my kind” at all. so then it becomes problematic for me, where it’s impossible to NOT question whether i’m just a “them” being paraded with “us,” a poster child for diversity & open-mindedness. (ok. i get it. asians are, after all, the “model minority.”) i don’t want to be a token. nor do i think i’m being too sensitive about this.
ok. this isn’t where i wanted this post to go at all. but this is where it went. i want to ask about clubs & exclusivity. i want to ask about the hip factor. i want to ask about gender and class and race and heteronormativity. i mean, let’s just admit it: we’re a privileged crew, whether monetarily or educationally.
so what’s “us” anymore?