The Convention at Storrs was not only my first experience of the NWSA in action but also my first experience of the United States. Having followed Storrs with trips to women's studies centers in New York, Washington, and Boston, I found two facts emerging:
1. There are three estates of persons in the United States: taxi drivers, hotel workers, and feminists. This last is by far the largest of the three.
2. There are very few men in America.
So much for cross-cultural perspectives!
In Irish society there is little racial diversity, though much latent racism. "Otherness" is defined more by national, political, linguistic, and religious differences than by color. I was therefore ill-prepared to enter a new category of "otherness" at Storrs, that of "white women." Other white women at the Convention whose origins provide experience of political or religious oppression may also have felt ill at ease in this large and undifferentiated category. Indeed, they may well have identified more strongly as women with oppressed racial minorities than with the guilt of "white women."