Arrogant Perception in Lugones
In her article, Lugones discusses this idea of "world-travelling" - switching between "worlds" for the non-white woman. She writes that outsiders (whom she refers to as "women of color in the US) practice necessary "world-travelling". This "world travelling" is being able to exist and integrate in more than one culture ("world"). I do not necessarily disagree with what she says here, but I do have several criticisms of her ideas and her presentation of the fact.
Lugones refers to "world-travelling" jokingly as "schizophrenic". She says that "we feel schizophrenic in our goings back and forth between different 'communities'". Lugones, in her article, preaches understanding, loving and acceptance, which she does not demonstrate whatsoever in her use of the word schizophrenic. She uses stereotypical (mis)understandings of a serious illness in her reference to "world-travelling". Schizophrenic is not going back and forth between two states of mind, but rather having bizarre actions regarding the mind, including hallucinations, illusions, distorted speech, etc. By using "schizophrenic" she is demonstrating her own stereotypical opinion of a serious mental illness, while she simultaneously calls for a "love" and acceptance amongst women, including a disintegration of "arrogant perception". But is she not arrogantly perceiving those with mental illness in her analogy? Is she not failing to "world-travel" when she uses schizophrenic in this manner? I don't understand how I am able to take her claims seriously when she makes an incredibly offensive statement within her call for "love" amongst women.
Further more, she doesn't necessarily outwardly state, but she most certainly implies that "worlds" are defined by different races or ethnicities. This then insinuates that cultures ("worlds") are purely racially or ethnically based. Can we not say that there are multiple cultures within one race or ethnicity? Are all white Americans part of the same culture? Are all blacks in America part of the same culture? I argue no. I often find that I am forced to "world-travel" between my academic life at Bryn Mawr and my life within the Evangelical church. Are these two lives not part of separate cultures? Is "Bryn Mawr" not its own world, separate of "Evangelical"? I would argue so, and thus I would argue that, despite both worlds often being Anglo (for me, specifically, that is) I exist in two different cultures.
She also argues against stereotypes (which as I explained above, she is using in her use of "schizophrenic"). But are stereotypes not bidirectional? Do races other than whites not have stereotypes on other races that they exhibit as arrogant perception and/or ignorance? How can one argue for a need for love amongst all women, if they are not able to acknowledge that racial or cultural stereotypes are bidirectional? Lugones only calls for the disintegration of stereotypes that whites have on women of color...but if she calls for "love amonst women", should she not argue for the disintegration of stereotypes that women of color have on other races, including white?
I agree with many of her points, including the call for a disintegration of stereotypes and a love amongst women, but it is hard for me to take her seriously when, in my opinion, she displays ignorance and stereotypes in her own argument.