It was Italian film director and screenwriter, Federico Fellini who said, “A different language is a different vision of life.”
That quote struck me most notably when I read this movie review of Get Out. The author of the article, Kendra James, maintains that the scariest facet of the horror/black comedy film is “its realistic depiction of racism.” Specifically, the danger people of color face when befriending and loving white women.
When I read the article, at first, I was battling defensive feelings and the urge to grossly exclaim, “Not all white women!” Then I decided to shut up and listen. I should not use my white and very privileged experience as a lens for someone else’s experience. In order to bridge the communication gap, listening is key.
The review (and the movie, too) made me feel uncomfortable more than anything, but that’s OKAY! If more white women would allow themselves to experience those less-than-stellar emotions like guilt and anxiety, there would be more cohesion between women of all color. Throughout the ages, white women haven’t done a good job of including WOC into their campaigns for equality because they weren’t able to remove themselves from their own experience.
It’s tough enough being a woman, regardless of race; we need to move beyond our different “languages,” so we can move toward complimentary visions of life.