Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Breaking Out of the Box

I've often wondered: What's the point of labels anyway? Conservative or liberal… black or white… gay or straight… man or woman… As if we're all one thing or another, rather than a point on a scale that changes with time. As if we all fit in tidy little boxes that always look the same inside and out.

I've never been a big fan of labels. Ever since high school, I've been silently protesting them whenever I see the word "Optional" next to a question asking me to check the appropriate box. The only label I've ever been comfortable giving myself is "Feminist" because it always grows with me.

Perhaps that is what drew me to The Women's Mosaic.

As an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, and the oldest of three daughters, I grew up very sheltered. Whether or not we have ended up with the "American Dream" can be debated, but living here has caused a great disconnect in my beliefs or passions, and those I am supposed to have.

With The Women's Mosaic, I was suddenly able to connect with women of various backgrounds who were open and eager to share their range of experiences. These women were also not afraid to say they don't fit into boxes and admit they can't live their lives according to traditional labels. You can never know just by looking at someone at a TWM event what their story will be. I LOVE THAT!

So hopefully you're okay with the fact that you'll never really be able to figure me out, because I am. And hopefully you didn't already start preparing a box just because I call myself a feminist — you may need to throw that out.

Though, if you insist on keeping me in the box, make it a nice, bright, colorful one with a big purple bow on top!

1 comment:

Pauline Karakat said...

I am excited to leave the first comment on this blog! I understand what it is like to not feel comfortable with labels...I think many of us feel that way. I am happy that we are living in this century rather just a few decades ago. Hopefully it will only get better from this point onwards!

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