N O T E S
INTRODUCTION: OTHERNESS AND SILENCE
Words printed in uppercase letters indicate the interviewer's comments and
questions. Some quotes from interviews we conducted have been edited to preserve the meaning of verbatim speech. The names of participants of the Listening
Partners program and some facts have been altered to protect the women's identities.
We use the terms white, black, and people of color because these phrases are
used by many of the people we interviewed to describe themselves and their
counterparts. We understand these terms to suggest different cultural communities, not fixed biological entities as implied by conventional but unscientific notions of race. To suggest the ambiguous nature of these concepts, we have chosen
to use lowercase letters. A similar notion about cultural communities undergirds
our thinking about gender differences. When we speak of women's ways of
knowing, maternal thinking, maternal practice, and women's leadership traditions
(as we often do), we refer more to the cultural achievements of women than to
the biology of their sex. Women's ability to create public homeplaces and nurture
the development of people, families, and communities is rooted in the work of
raising up the most vulnerable members of society, generation after generation,
throughout human history. Even though biology contributes to the ways in
which many social roles are assigned to men and women, we believe that these
roles and abilities grow out of engaged practice more than biology. We are quite
certain that men are as capable as women of developing similar approaches. Indeed, many have.
Omolade and many other African American women use "womanist" to distinguish their approach from "feminist" visions more common among European
Americans. (See Walker, 1983.)
CHAPTER 2: CONFRONTING OTHERNESS: PREVIOUS RESEARCH
In Women's Ways of Knowing this outlook was named "silence." We have
taken the liberty of changing it to "silenced." The added "d" helps distinguish
this way of knowing from the approaches others have observed in several non-
Western cultures ( Goldberger, 1996), where silence gives rise to powerful modes
of connecting with and apprehending the world that do not depend on language.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: A Tradition That Has No Name:Nurturing the Development of People, Families, and Communities.
Contributors: Mary Field Belenky - Author, Lynne A. Bond - Author, Jacqueline S. Weinstock - Author.
Publisher: Basic Books.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1997.
Page number: 331.
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