When we people ask, "How do we deal with difference?" I always refer them back to what it means to fall in love, because most of us have had an experience of desire and loving. I often say to people, "What do you do when you meet somebody and are attracted to them? How do you go about making that communication? Why do you think that wanting to know someone who's 'racially' different doesn't have a similar procedure?" It's like if I saw you on the street and thought you were cute, and I happened to know someone who knew you, I might say to that person, "Oh wow, I think so-and-so's cute! What do you know about them?" I think that often the empowerment strategies we use in the arena of love and friendship are immediately dropped when we come into the arena of politicized difference--when in fact some of those strategies are useful and necessary.
I mean how many of us run up to someone we are attracted to and say, breathlessly, "Tell me all about yourself right away!" We usually try to feel out the situation, we don't want to alienate the person: we want to approach them in a manner that allows them to be open to us, giving to us. I think it's interesting that often when difference is there (like a racial difference or something), people panic and do crazy, bizarre things... or say crazy, stupid things.
Crazy, stupid things... like announcing someone who has written countless radical feminist books is not a radical feminist?
I'd say so.