On Who or What is a ‘Valid’ Writer?

I’m starting to feel that because I’m a Caucasian North American born in Canada with Italian roots from the 20th century that now in the 21st Century–2016 I should not be writing, that my place as a creative writer is outdated sociologically, politically. I am no longer a valuable voice because I am second to other backgrounds, other people, and races who’ve been silenced for centuries, for example, our Canadian First Nations (Native). Yet, this is merely a shadow feeling (of) –somehow these persons have more to say, that suffering does and maintains a hierarchy according to what makes a social humanitarian statement by individuals, communities, artists, and media. It’s fair and good to see the reasons why and yet, this still makes me question the following about what is just? Do other races have more relevant stories to tell as per the current media trends? People like Roxane Gay, people who have LGQT backgrounds that (without comparison to myself or anyone) though alluded to, have suffered in ways I cannot possibly imagine? 2omen with stories of ‘victimization’ vs. becoming ‘survivors’, no matter their race or background, are somehow being measured against what’s been done before and what has not had ‘voice’ in lieu of racial and various oppressed societies by the colonial European caucasian human (seeking to conquer worlds?). Today, women like Beyoncé (whom I’ve never been a fan of but understand that all pop stars do what they do for their own choices and attempts at survival) are ridiculed and disembodied by various critics of marginalized super-intelligent groups because she is a pop star with money and fame. What does that tell us about how and why we measure artists? The simple fact and truth that there are other people of a similar race who comparatively know more and understand more than a pop star ever could is not only valid, it is also shaming. It is the attempt to shame humanity. Any humanity. It is both problematic and conscious raising. Has it become about measurement more than anything else? There’s a population of millions upon millions of teenagers, tweens, young women and men (globally) of ‪#‎black‬ or ‪#‎mixedrace‬ and caucasian who are deeply influenced and affected by her. They listen to her. They observe. They mimic. There are teachers in colleges, universities, teaching, interacting with these younger adults. This is very thing that many teachers are subject to, fragile inexperienced adults who are experiencing hormonal changes. Mentally, psychologically, emotionally developing, growing their sexualities. They see Drake and B as something to enjoy or defile in the rawest of ways. They are influenced by them (for better or worse) and here I remain as a Caucasian, not a minority, though a woman, watching it unfurl and flare up before me. I am left with profound watery waves of feeling–the discomforts of knowing and being subject to all of these complex juxtapositions, paradoxes, and ironies. Knowing that Knaussgard is revered and so is Zizek and Wallace. Whereas, white women who want to have a writing relationship with Virginia Woolf, with Black writers like Toni Morrison or Caucasian writers who have influenced me, such as those of other times who have hit the ‘English’ literary canon. Those writers of generations ago who no longer bring value. Myself, I remain, wanting and eager to pursue an understanding of the written creative through my own experience. Rather than researching and attempting to authenticate something that has no relationship to myself, though it may buck the trend of issues now drawn out by the media. I see the me being tossed aside for understanding all sorts of points of view on race and difference in a mixed up world where everyone has a right to see or say something though only a few are with the right to be validated. Yes, I do write about my experience as a caucasian Canadian woman. Yes, I will write about my relationship with Virgina Woolf or Carol Sheilds or the Brontes or to Italo Calvino or John Irving or Zadie Smith or Gwendolyn MacEwen or Patricia Louise Lowther or Daphne Marlatt or Nella Larsen as I am white but I am also human. I am European Caucasian by way of my genetic makeup, by way of my nurturing and conditioning. Those writers that influenced me an age ago I continue to feed off them, to share them. Love them. Work through them despite the awareness and improved movements of ‘today’, our 21st century time. No one wins when it comes to having a voice, to writing and no one fails less than better. Opinions are worth so little. To be moved is priceless. However, I have come to feel and continue to feel that somehow, as a caucasian woman writer (myself) no longer requires a voice. How sad. How strange. How small. I know ‘better’ but is all I’ve written above about failing worse? Is it irrelevant, perhaps both?

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