Continuums, Mobility, Places on the Train
This afterword describes two notions of segregation that were published in the form of memoirs in the New York Times Magazine. In the first essay, “American Dreams,” food becomes the occasion to recall racial segregation in South Africa in its global context. The second essay is about a western woman's experience in Egypt. In “The Comfort of Strangers,” G. Willow Wilson narrates how women find a safe haven in gender-segregated train cars. In the American context, these essays are separated by a moral gulf. South Africa's example is meant to confirm what Americans already know about racial segregation, while the Egyptian anecdote is meant to level American superiority by asking a presumably biased audience to consider a benefit of gender separation: the erasure of other divisions.
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