“No one is a household name.” I have no idea who said this.
“Your silence will not protect you.” Audre Lorde
Ironic that the best place to whisper a secret is the world wide web.
But I like it here. Here I can be anonymous, a mirage; bodiless and intangible—just a bunch of words coming from a “me” you can’t be sure is not simply a creation.
Of course to some extent the latter is always true. We present ourselves in clothes, tones of voice, and the like according to how we want to be seen. In that way, we create who we are; who we want the world to see when they look at us.
Tragically when the world sees me as a woman or man; teacher or student; Hispanic or Jewish whether I believe myself otherwise is of little consequence; their definition is who I become because it determines so much about my life. Whether I like it or not. It can determine the jobs I get or don’t get; activities I can comfortably participate in—the expectations established for us are generally those we meet.
So about the whispering part: I think of it as whispering when I write here. Stuff I say out loud—yet to myself—in my truck, as I lay in bed at night, and sometimes to people’s raised eyebrows and subsequent fear (!), as I walk through parking lots and up and down store aisles is not real different either.
Question is: what’s the impulse behind whispering these ideas; if they’re for me only why can’t I think them quietly? Kind of like learning in elementary school to read without your finger sliding along the lines pointing out each word; your lips fluttering over your mumbles? It was unnecessary, we learned, because as our own audience, we did not require oral speech, the kind used to communicate between two or more people. Unless we saw ourselves as separate and individual entities then we did not need to communicate with ourselves that way.
But I do communicate with myself that way.
The same way I got to whispering here a couple a months ago, writing junk into the world wide web where there is the potential for no one to read it as much as for a massive audience to read it. The whispering is that there are massive amounts of speakers, so even with a massive audience, I’m still pretty much a speck here.
Out loud, I am just as anonymous and intangible. A bit of a creation but mostly I can get to be as honest as can be since I know that the potential is that the “you” on the other end; the audience is like me when I talk to myself, not interested in creations of the “me” behind the words but of the words and ideas—who or what ever they come from.