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la puta malinche . which me will survive these many liberations

la puta malinche . which me will survive these many liberations
.

There are so many roots to the tree of anger
that sometimes the branches shatter
before they bear.

Sitting in Nedicks
the women rally before they march
discussing the problematic girls
they hire to make them free.
An almost white counterman passes
a waiting brother to serve them first
and the ladies neither notice nor reject
the slighter pleasures of their slavery.
But I who am bound by my mirror
as well as my bed
see causes in colour
as well as sex

and sit here wondering
which me will survive
all these liberations.

Audre Lorde, "Who Said It Was Simple"


The speaker who can name herself "I who am bound by my mirror/ as well as my bed," who does "see causes in colour/ as well as sex" is an individual not manifestly generalizing or wryly bemoaning the obvious.

No, this is the voice of a woman who sees—and represents—all her selves: the personal, the sexual, the exterior and interior. Audre Lorde did so, throughout the entirety of her life and career.

We have often spoken, over the last generations—particularly since Audre's passing—of the interlocking oppressions of race beliefs, color systems, gender assignments, and the still unending battles over community and personal sexualities. Some queer women of color have long termed this state of being a "triple" or "quadruple" oppression. I continue to say: I see no value in the ranking of oppressions. "The slighter pleasures of their slavery" is how Audre phrased the nebulous "ranking" of today's "light-skinned privilege."

There are many amongst us women of color who represent ourselves with magnificence. While it is inarguable some were "never meant to survive," as Audre schooled us, the same is true for all povertized, enslaved, raped, and traumatized women, worldwide—many of whom are white.

In the United States, we face a particularly arduous history of ignorance, with respect to the true histories of people of color. Our struggles for justice are not to be ignored or belittled. Engaging those battles as a queer woman of color cuts deeper than most people will ever know. Still, there are those who understand.

As I've often said: If we don't represent ourselves, we will be represented by others.

Yo soy hija de la puta Malinche, Malintzin, Malinalli, otra niña vendida, violada, abandonada por su madre, arrojó para la basura de un hombre. Y qué. Tengo orgullo en mi gente mestizo.

Let every aspect of our selves—the mundane, the arcane, the potentially insane—survive these many liberations.

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