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Tiger Lily: Terese and Tiffany Respond

Well, of course the post I wrote yesterday ruffled some feathers. Just as much as my own were ruffled by the pieces that caused me to write about the two articles I disagreed with. But, while I'm not interested in getting into a fighting match, I also don't want to just ignore these two authors' reponses and move on. Why? Because, just like me, Tiffany Midge and Terese Marie Mailhot have every right to express their own opinions as they see fit. And, more importantly, I am statistically more likely to have my opinion heard, listened to, and respected because I am a man and they are women. I may disagree with what they wrote on this topic, but that doesn't mean that I don't respect their own experiences, or their rights to share how they feel, or that I don't read and enjoy other work they have written.

So. I will post below their initial responses to my blog post. You can go to the original to see how I responded if you choose, but I'm not going to include any sort of rebuttal here. That's not what this particular post is about. And then I'm also going to include links to some of their other work, because I know these women are much, much more than any disagreement we may be having over this specific topic. And because their voices are worth listening to.

Terese responded first:

"It disappoints you I'm not a positive role model for Indigenous womanhood? You and my mother both. I don't aim for that in my writing. I get paid to be guileless, self effacing, and brutally honest. Quote me, I don't like the taking back tiger lily issue, but I like the interface. I don't like skinny margaritas. I don't like that Kara Walker work you posted up, not because it's a reclaimation, but because I don't like it. I don't like shit, and that's subjective. Never in my life has disliking something related to my role as a positive Indigenous role model."

And you should certainly read "Sweat Lodge Out Back, Nintendo in the Den" that she wrote for Indian Country Today Media Network. Also, "Heart Berries" that she wrote for Carve Magazine.

Tiffany followed up with:

"Shouldn't there be a trigger warning for the Kara Walker sculpture? I am very offended and disturbed by that iconography. What is your positionality for using that image? Is that from your own source culture? Also, I am drafting a petition to remove this blog entry, and also a petition to remove the zine. Freedom of speech and expression is only applicable to ME.(These were all "arguments" and devices repeated over and over re: my critique--should they or should they not apply for this, your response?) I checked the Native Writing Community Handbook and I did not find the tenet where it supported the idea that all Native writers are expected to support each other without question, however, if that is your thesis, then it stands to reason that I should expect the same support from you. No?"

And you should definitely check out her four poems (Savage Ghazal, Desire: An Inventory, Hinhan, and Evening Meal) in As/Us Journal. Also, A Girl Named Turquoise, where she blogs.

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