By Amber Laraque
As a woman of color, and a writer, I was able to identify with Gloria Anzaldua’s letter Speaking in Tongues.
Anzaldua highlights the challenges of being a woman of color in the writing world. While reading the other theory pieces, it seemed that the topics were more based on the idea of male and female, man and woman. Reading Anzaldua’s piece, she speaks not only of being a woman in a man’s world, but being a woman of color in a white feminist world.
The points that Anzaldua addresses are eye opening and important because, though women face a lot of the same issues, when race and class come into play, a lot of those issues differ. Anzaldua says: “The dangers we face as women writers of color are not the same as those of white women though we have many in common. We don’t have as much to lose—we never had any privileges.”
Anzaldua also goes on to write about the lack of understanding when it comes to white people and people of color. Her title, Speaking In Tongues, reflects that. In her letter she says, “Because white eyes do not want to know us, they do not bother to learn our language, the language which reflects us, our culture, our spirit.”
It is interesting to think about what Anzaldua is saying in terms of the work Push by Sapphire. Anzaldua speaks of white people “learning our language. Could the feminist literary world of today be more united if cultural languages were understood? Though Anzaldua addresses her letter to 3rd world women writers, it gives all women writers a lot to think about.