On Virginia’s room of one’s own

Posted: August 2, 2007 in All and Sundry, feminisms, Musings

Gloria Anzaldua’s “Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to 3rd World Women Writers” may have been an indirect reply to Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” especially when Anzaldua takes into account the glaring difference of the realities and politics of locations between white-privileged women writers like Virginia and 3rd world women writers of color. Virginia had a valid reason to ask for a “room of one’s own” whether metaphorically or physically because she was a “stifled” woman writer, a product of her time and personal circumstance. For Anzaldua, however, a woman writer from the “3rd world” doesn’t have the luxury to wish for a “room of one’s own” because the reality is that it might never happen. One’s socio-economic status prevents one to even write, much less make me money out of writing. Writing in fact is a privilege–one that is shared by a few who have “rooms of their own.” Most however, suffer from multiple burdens to even think of writing down a thought here and there. Most just lose hope. Most just ran out of ink.

So Anzaldua says that these seemingly “insurmountable” problems that 3rd world women writers face will no longer be so once “we make up our mind that whether married or childrened or working outside jobs we are going to make time for writing.”

She then calls on us, “3rd world” women writers  to “forget the room of one’s own–write in the kitchen, lock yourself up in the bathroom. Write on the bis or the welfare line, on the jon or during meals, between sleeping or waking…While you wash the floor or clothes listen to the words chanting in your body. When you’re depressed, angry, hurt, when compassion and love posses you. When you cannot help but write.”

  1. bananachoked says:

    hi maam. add teka sa akong list. muwahhh…

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