The Alcoff writing was shorter in length but for myself more dificult to read. I actually had to re-read it acouple times to make sure I understood where she was coming from. One point throughout this article that stuck out was on p. 287 where she states, "It should be clear, then, that identities are not analogous to scripts that we are consigned to play out. Nor are we boxed in by them, constrained, restricted, or held captive--unless, that is, one thinks that it makes sense to say that we are boxed in by the fact that we have bodies....."
One other statement, also on p. 287 was, " To say that we have identities, histories, social locations, experiences, cultures, and so on is simply to say that we exist."
Our own indentities are shaped by what is going on both internally and externally. Our perception of what our own identity is will most likely be different from another persons when they see or interact with us.
The Collins article I latched onto much faster. I can see the conflicts that come into play for Black/African American females within society and with the males of their own community. The statement on p.159 that talks about "the black female being the white man's mule and the white female being his dog" caught my attention. It is the truth, sad to say, even in 2009. Being a white man in society, there isn't too much more one needs to have power over others. It shows the oppressive nature of our society. One's skin color and gender automatically puts them in a place where they will have to struggle more than a white man does(if he really has to at all) for his position in society. It's my own opinion when I say, it's not right.
Trying to come up with something as to how I relate the articles to my own life, other readings, films etc. was difficult only because I could think of quite a few examples. A conversation I had with my father-in-law over the weekend helped me to decide. Very current to say at least.
He asked me about school and how things were going & I was telling him about my classes and the accomodations that I am grateful to have. He told me that he just found out(he's 60 years old) that his grandfather became deaf due to illness as a child and lived within both the deaf community & hearing community. He married a woman(his grandmother) who was deaf from birth & raised 100% in the deaf community. My father in law recalls seeing them using sign language when he was young. He said that unlike his grandfather, who could speak and also used sign language to communicate, she used only sign language. Therefore people, not him personally, often referred to her as being"Deaf and Dumb".
To say the least, I was shocked to hear this, but then again not really. I have had my own experiences where, even though I can speak, people tend to think that I am not as intellegent or educated as a "hearing person" may be. Questions I have been asked(not recently)has also shown me that there are some who doubt the extent of my hearing loss. I give credit to having really strong lip reading skills which is a good thing and "bluffing" which is not a good thing. I can relate very well to the Collins writing due to being an "outsider". I'm stuck in between two cultures. There are pros and cons to each. Some days I wish I could just be in one or the other. Most days I am glad to be stuck.