A Birthing of Self
Not long ago I needed to contact a colleague for a rather important matter concerning a project on which the two of us were working. I had never needed to call her at home before and, hence, had not thought to ask for her home telephone number. On this particular evening, I tried calling two other colleagues who I knew would have her number; neither of them were at home. Since I go to bed fairly early, I certainly didn't feel like waiting on my prospective informants, so I broke down and used the telephone book. It dawned on me by then that the number was no doubt in her husband's name--and for the life of me I could not remember his name. Even if I'd known where the couple lived, the number of Smiths in the directory was too great to search by address. Indeed, for that moment, my colleague was totally lost to me. Hidden between the lines of over twelve thousand Smiths was my wonderful, hardworking colleague, and I could not find her. I wondered how many of the Smiths listed concealed the identity of a fully grown, productive woman person. How many names in the entire directory did? I shuddered.
Of course, as a feminist scholar, I had discussed, read about and even written about invisibility; however, it had never been as stark and as absolute as it was for me at that moment. I literally could not find my