Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
This is more a question than a post- what responsibility does an individual have in overcoming the isms and obias of the world? I think it’s interesting because people take such different approaches.
In the old days the solution was passing. Gay men had to not seem gay. Women in leadership positions were expected to masculinize themselves. Remember the power suits of the 80’s? Many Jews changed their names through the ages to protect themselves from persecution.
My personal method was propriety; to an obsessional degree. In many ways it still is. Perfect house, perfect table, perfect clothes, perfect grooming, perfect timing, and thank you cards, and holiday cards, and Christmas baskets, and a somewhat contrived smile that seems to be almost permanently on my face once I leave the house.
It’s worked very well for me, particularly because when you do certain things for a lifetime they become part of you. Of course I know a black person can’t unblack themselves, except for Michael Jackson– but how much can or should anyone do to give themselves the absolute best chances in the world? Could an argument not be made that people in certain groups could have a smoother ride if they adapted a little? Or is that a betrayal of one’s identity? Is it a worthwhile betrayal?