15 March 10

You Win When They Call You a Bitch: Followup

In the next few days I will be posting all of the text, slides, and links I used to create my panel here. I want to share information about all of the resources and groups that I referenced and provide links to those I couldn’t include because of time.

But I wanted to begin a conversation here based on a question that was asked at my panel. A brave (talking in front of large groups while criticizing a speak is hard, yo!) woman of color stood up and asked me a question that she said was most likely semantics but that I think is a very valid and very good question.

I’m paraphrasing here, but “Using the phrase women and people of color implies that women of color are excluded. What is a better way to say this?”

I totally bombed the question, but more than 12 hours later I don’t have a better answer. I don’t know what a better way to say this is, but I want to have a better term to use. I don’t want to exclude anyone women of color from the description. However, because I’m a white woman I don’t think I should have the right to say what that better term is. I’m happy to brainstorm, I’m happy to tweak linguistics and semantics to make them work in a more inclusive fashion.

I asked people to take the conversation to Twitter if they had suggestions, but that excludes people who don’t have Twitter accounts and it limits what people can say because of the brevity of the format. However, because of Twitter I came across a suggestion from a woman living in Australia @tiaramerch girl who dislikes the phrase “people of color” and prefers “culturally diverse” or “ethnic minority” and then followed up with how in “Australia they’re officially Culturally & Linguistically Diverse (CALD)”.

But I think saying “women and the culturally and linguistically diverse” implies exclusion instead of inclusion as well.

So this post isn’t a better answer, just a recognition of the women who asked and a request for a more inclusive term from people who are more expert in this area than I am.

Even if you don’t have a Twitter account you should be able to go to this site and see all of the Twitter comments that people have created about the panel. I’m thankful for the compliments, am grateful that I’ve touched people, and look forward to the criticism. I have much to learn and am eager to do so.

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