Note from Editor:
Every year the Narciso Martinez Cultural Events Center hosts “Women’s Night at the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in the month of March, which is officially designated as Women’s History Month.

Writers of the Rio Grande has attended for the last few years and it has always been quite the success. Good attendance and at times very impassioned poetry and literature and opinion have been the rule.

Now on the dogmatic, must be fair to all, and can’t abide hypocrisy side of this reporter, something always felt wrong about having a women exclusive, or any kind of exclusive, be it Chicano exclusive, or African-American exclusive event, or club, organization, whatever it may be. From the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to whichever exclusionary organization you can name. What is it that elevates one “insider group” over the “outsiders” or “the others”. One famous example is the congressional black caucus. You can imagine the uproar we would have if there was a “congressional white caucus”

After all wasn’t the civil rights movement about treating people as individuals; basing opinions upon a person relative to the content of their character, the extent of their abilities, and the right to transcend race, ethnicity and class to be treated as an individual just as worthy of rights as any other individual?

At one time in years past, all these groups were untainted by any tinge of hypocrisy, racism or ethno-centricity. At that time those that were to become their members were not welcome to the white country club, or social, civic or fraternal organizations that were part of the Anglo-Saxon power structure. So, as they were excluded they could also be exclusive as well. In reality there was no choice. They formed their own.

Exclusionary auxiliary and ancillary religious groups are accepted today, for among many reasons “Congress shall make no law respecting a religion” which is in the Constitution. Social and fraternal organizations are another thing, and civic organizations something else.

My suggestion is that the ethno-centric clubs and the sexo-centric clubs change with the world and the ever new evolving consciousness that is always in the process of coming to pass. If not they inevitably evolve, or should I say devolve into a reflection of the oppressive and exclusionary organizations that they had rebelled against in the distant and not so distant past. With time and inertia and tradition comes power, and eventually all power corrupts.

We can become that which we have overcome. Happens all the time.

I’m hopeful that in the future in theme nights, at least in literature, the participants will not be determined by ethnicity, race, or sex, but more so by merit and the qualities of the individual that of whatever background they arise from, it will be the quality of their work and their ability to address the theme, not their racial or ethnic origin that is the over-all determinant.

For instance, I know many a man that knows more about women, than many a woman knows about women. Not so much the other way, but then I might just be instigating.

Author: Editor

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5 Responses to Women’s Night at the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center

  1. Beto Conde says:

    mis dos centavos,
    I agree with Edgar’s comments in general. I do have a different viewpoint that merits comment. On a call for Chicano/Mex-Am/Tejano poetry the intention is to bring out, expose, and reveal that which a specific identifiable group of people have extensive knowledge and memory of. If the call is for “Chicano” poetry a none-Chicano has little or no in-depth knowledge of and therefore may not be able to express in poetry form its intrinsic nuances. I don’t see this divide on a literary level as ethnic but more as cultural. It is not a call for a specific ethnic group, but a call for those who are aware of a specific identifiable part of history and society and can express these in their poetry.
    The call is for Chicano poetry not Chicano poets.
    A city boy is probably not able to write poetry about life on the ranch if he has never lived in one. Possible, but not probable.

    Edgar is instigating, He doesn’t know any more about women than anyone else man or woman. First of all not all women are the same just as not all men are the same therefore no one knows more about them than anyone else does. I think.

  2. Beto Conde says:

    Mis dos Centavos,
    I agree with Edgar’s comments in general. I do have a different viewpoint that merits comment. On a call for Chicano/Mex-Am/Tejano poetry the intention is to bring out, expose, and reveal that which a specific identifiable group of people have extensive knowledge and memory of. If the call is for “Chicano” poetry a none-Chicano has little or no in-depth knowledge of and therefore may not be able to express in poetry form its intrinsic nuances. I don’t see this divide on a literary level as ethnic but more as cultural. It is not a call for a specific ethnic group, but a call for those who are aware of a specific identifiable part of history and society and can express these in their poetry.
    The call is for Chicano poetry not Chicano poets.
    A city boy is probably not able to write poetry about life on the ranch if he has never lived in one. Possible, but not probable.
    Edgar is instigating, He doesn’t know any more about women than anyone else man or woman. First of all not all women are the same just as not all men are the same therefore no one knows more about them than anyone else. I think.

  3. Editor says:

    Nice to hear from you Beto.
    Just to keep the dialogue in play, this reminds of issues that were big in the world of the arts, that have been pretty much put behind us now, and now are only memories of distant times.

    At one time, there was much dissension over whether a non African-American could sing the blues, or what was defined as “black music” Also, even it wasn’t bruited about much, could “black” people sing opera, or play classical music?…
    Today, there may be more Caucasians and Chicanos and other than “black” musicians playing the genre of blues. Same goes in reverse for classical and opera. And here there was definite discrimination and exclusion in the past.

    The theory at Wotrg is to express what is in your heart and imagination as best you can, and if it is true and worthy, the universe will take note. Contemporaries, sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    No one here at Wotrg claims to know women all that well. But I do know guys that do. Some of them are master manipulators, some are artists and writers, and poets.
    Thanks so much for your input.

  4. Enriqueta Ramos says:

    For the reasons stated, I started a “Solo para Hombres!” in Califa…it was very well received by men and youth that it continues to be a yearly affair. The men get the presenters, the sponsors and take care of all the detail. They enjoy it because they can be “hombres” and talk about men things without the interference of women. So come on men if you so desire do a Solo para Hombres…you may like it and even enjoy it. There are all kinds of groupies in the USA; it’s only when minority groups get together and form a group that there all of a sudden, that becomes a discriminating group…think about it! Queta, Chicana, Tejana y muy Mujer!

  5. Editor says:

    Very good to hear from you Enriqueta. With your men’s night event you have obviated all charges of unfairness,
    and preferential treatment. Now, how do we deal with the congressional black caucus? And is there such a thing as an
    Hispanic congressional caucus. Should we have a Caucasian Congressional Caucus?

    I think I want to deal with all this at a later date.

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