The first time I heard, "They're different than us, don't value human life the way we do," I was in high school in Central Florida. The man speaking was an army recruiter talking to a bunch of boys, telling them what the army was really like, what they could expect overseas. A cold angry feeling swept over me. I had heard the word they pronounced in that same callous tone before. They, those people over there, those people who are not us, they die so easily, kill each other so casually. They are different. We, I thought. Me.
When I was six or eight back in Greenville, South Carolina, I had heard that same matter-of-fact tone of dismissal applied to me. "Don't you play with her. I don't want you talking to them." Me and my family, we had always been they.Who am I? I wondered, listening to that recruiter. Who are my people? We die so easily, disappear so completely-we/they, the poor and the queer (Allison 1994: 13).
In this paper, you are asked to provide an informed, well-argued analysis of this passage on the basis of the feminist scholarship and conceptual ‘toolbox’ that you have developed in the first four weeks of our course. How does this quote illustrate some of the themes we have discussed so far in our class (e.g., sex/gender system; intersectionality; identity politics; privilege; etc.)?
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