those american chicks!

I read the most interesting thing today… the preface to a book called “Poet1sas de América” from 1930. If you look at anthologies and criticism of “l4tin american poets” published in the U.S. today they have this tone of how they talk about the women writers… as if “we” can assume that… oh the chain of assumptions runs sort of like this:

“Things were just so sexist in lat. amer.! and still are! that’s why there weren’t any women writing anything and just recently it’s like an amazing miracle that there’s one or two!”

and in this 1930 anthology of women poets there’s like 20 of them and the preface starts by saying something like “The question is obvious – how come there are SO MANY lat. amer. women poets?” and then it goes on to say how the American (meaning lat. american) women are all liberated and have been for a long time, as opposed to those Spanish (from spain) women who are so incredibly repressed and “it’s like their emotions are in chinese footbindings” and that’s why there aren’t any poetesses there. Except for these 3 (one from each century).

I was more than amused at this – the exact same rhetorical strategy but from lat. american women to women from spain. (the stuff I’m reading is usually lat. amer men, or u.s. men or u.s. women, about why there aren’t any lat. amer. women.)

let this be a lesson to any u.s. feminist reading this who is tempted to say something about how we’re so creative here and so liberated and feminist – not like those people in that other country where obviously things are way more sexist. that is the path to hell. And it is probably not true. And our “liberated” status is not guaranteed to continue either in our lives or in how future history will see us. “Too bad there weren’t any women writing in 2004 – they were so repressed then.”

p.s. I have 80 women writers in my database now (all from pre-1920) and i expect to get to 200 very easily.

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AND i translated two short poems by em1lia bernal today – she rocks – she is very odd and cool. sexy high modernism!!! yay! roses and whips! stirring her hands in sensual treasure chests full of jewels that are like the blood of day and roses made of milk!

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