I had initially started this Web site as a creative outlet. I wanted to have a space where I could practice my web design skills and publish some writing at the same time. I decided to make weekly updates to force me to practice my skills regularly.
At the beginning, and every once in a while, I had a lot of trouble coming up with topics. Writing is, of course, my first and dearest love. It beckons me, calls my name and holds me in its grip. And I enjoy every minute of it. But if you don’t write regularly it becomes difficult to start up again.
Somehow, though, I have been able to offer a variety of topics from fluff to culture. I never thought that anyone would visit my site. It was just a place for me to play around. And now I receive e-mails from people who visit regularly. I receive comments and criticism and suggestions. And I’m aware that my playground is turning more public than I had realized.
As a writer I crave the attention. As a designer I enjoy the idea that people see my work. As a person, flawed and vulnerable, I cringe at the idea that strangers are reading my words, interpreting my ideas and opinions and discussing them. this site has taken a life of its own. So here I am, in the fifth month of existence, and I’m at a loss. Where do I go from here? My site is still my site, but now I have to remember that I have an audience. A *small* audience, but still, somebody is out there. Oh well, I’ll cope.
September 15 marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. Programs in schools, communities, and the media will run thru October 15 to celebrate this month. I don’t want to seem ungrateful for this generous time allotted to remembering that the Hispanic population is not only one of the largest segments in the U.S., but has also made many contributions to the history and prosperity of this country. Yes, the goal of trying to get to know us better through dance presentations, news specials, and the occasional parade is very nice. One month, however, is not enough. I don’t mean that there should be an emphasis on Hispanic Heritage every month, I don’t think I could handle the tongue-in-cheek news specials all year long, what I mean is that we should have equal representation always.
There should be some truthful mention of our roles in American history. There should be some believable interpretations of our culture in the media. There should be some real respect for us as a major component of the U.S. society and economy. We should be applauded, not criticized, for our desire to keep our traditions and the language that goes along with them. We should be given our due as people with love and law, flaws and beauty, beliefs and pride, variety and acceptance. We are brown, white, black, and every hue in between. We are Catholic, Christian, Jewish, and an assortment of other beliefs that defy stereotypes. We are laborers, philosophers, writers, doctors, students, housewives, and even misfits. We are traditional, old-fashioned, mystics, modern and radical. We are Hispanic, Hispanas/os, Chicanas/os, Latinoamericanas/os, and other labels that define us and divide us.
One month of superficial attention after 11 months of pretending we’re not here is not enough to understand who we really are. It never will be. And, in the meantime, we’re not going away.
Congratulations to the winners of last night’s Emmy Awards. As an avid television watcher I knew who was nominated for the categories and had an opinion on almost every award.
Of special mention is Hector Elizondo, who won Best Supporting Actor in a Drama (the only Hispanic to win an award and one of two to be nominated — the other was Jimmy Smits). Gillian Anderson, who plays one of my favorite characters, Dana Scully, in The X-Files, won Best Actress in a Drama. She won an Emmy last year in the same category. I thought it was a great touch that Helen Mirren, of the Prime Suspect movie series, presented the award. One actress who plays a tough-as-nails police chief in England, and doing it well, presenting to another actress who plays a no-nonsense forensic pathologist with the FBI. Not a bad pairing. Too bad they represented a minority — actresses playing strong female roles.
I belong to several listservs and have been participating in a debate over the meaning of the word “Feminist,” why some people choose to use it and some people don’t. The opinions that have been presented have both enlightened and saddened me.
I am a Feminist but didn’t always use that label to describe myself. And that’s exactly what it is, it’s a label. It’s a label that describes one of my beliefs and how I act upon those beliefs. It’s a label that I have willingly chosen as a definition of myself. But it doesn’t accurately reflect who I am because of the preconceptions and stereotypes people have about Feminists.
I am a Feminist, but that is only one part of what makes me uniquely me. And my ideas and values are different from my sister and from my best friend and from her sister, although each of them is also a Feminist. And I will continue to be a Feminist for reasons I have stated too many times to count. And I will always be aware that too many people will let that label misinform them about who I am and what I stand for.
The Death of Princess Diana shocked the entire world last weekend. While many will argue that Diana only accomplished living her privileged life as badly as possibly, others will argue that she used her notoriety to make an impact. Whatever your opinion of Di may have bern, one thing is for certain: the world is mourning the loss of its fairy-tale princess.
I remember my mother waking me up at 5 am to watch the royal wedding. It was something out of storybooks, something that wasn’t supposed to happen in real life. But there she was, a 19-year-old becoming a princess. Though through her life we learned that fairy tales cannot come true. We learned that if your prince comes for you, you had better look at him closely. We learned that “happily ever after” doesn’t exist. And we learned that fame and fortune do not bring peace and harmony. Good-bye Diana.