by Meghan Foulk
Now, more than ever, do we need to hear from the greater community within America. Polarization and pointed fingers widen division and crumble our foundations; we see each other as enemies rather than members of the same community. Being a Women and Gender Studies minor, intersectionality of identities is crucial to understanding who we are to ourselves and our existence within society. I have been previously scoffed at in regards to such studies: for some reason a rejected submitter thought that if they had hit more “diversity boxes” they could have had their story accepted to the journal. While this is frankly false, it does bring up an important point. In labeling this special issue “American Identities,” our mission isn’t to find works that tick off more identities to represent. Addressing that diversity is more than who we are in terms of race, sex, class, or gender–we can begin to have nuanced discussions about how these identities inspire, shape, and challenge our daily assumptions.
When looking to American society, we are bombarded by labels and stereotypes that claim to be the “true” American identity. So often “American” is believed to be a singular thing, or a sum of things, which creates tension when there are those who do not fit the mold of expectations. Diversity has been one thing that has made America unique and strong, but these days it has become increasingly difficult to see that. When I read for this issue, I want to see assumptions challenged not only for our greater society, but for myself. This special issue aims to be thought-provoking and a testament to what we are as a nation: a people of many backgrounds, colors, identities, and ideologies. America is not one thing, and and we as individuals are not one thing. That’s what this issue is representing.
The deadline to submit work to Vox II is January 1st. View our submissions page for more information.
Meghan Foulk is the Assistant Fiction Editor for Rock & Sling.