I should begin by acknowledging that I spent far more time constructing, deconstructing, and reconstructing my brief comments for this panel than for any similar presentation. The reason, I suspect, has much to do with issues of difference that are central to this Conference and to feminism more generally. My discomfort reflects the sense of being something of an outsider. This is not, of course, my first experience of that kind. But what makes this experience different is the nature of my difference. I had the sense that in this company I'd be a token not of some subordinate or marginalized group-women, left, academic-but of the mainstream-white, heterosexual, economically privileged, and blonde to boot. For the first time that I can recall, my response was a conscious search for something safe to say. As I discovered myself pulling together favorite quotes from favorite authors-many sitting in this room-I was struck by the pointlessness of the enterprise. It may well be that in many contexts where I am a token of a different sort it would make sense to preach to the unconverted with texts from hooks, MacKinnon, Matsuda, Romany, Williams, and others here. But for this audience that strategy didn't seem likely to advance the conversation.
Rhode, Deborah L.
Yale Journal of Law & Feminism: Vol. 4
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlf/vol4/iss1/5