Pages

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

My Feminism, By Maxine Beneba Clarke

The local women’s march is pink-dressed, determined, alive.  The cheering chanting mass streams past the inner-Sydney sights. A bold sign centre-crowd floating up on high says: I’ll see all you nice white ladies at the next Black Lives Matter march, right?

My feminism is intersectional, or my feminism is a lie.

Half a million knitted pussycat hats walk angry-calm on Washington. They chant: “We’re women. United. We’ll never be defeated.” My feminism is the black sister: white cap; fierce as— you know the one. There she is, nonchalantly sucking on a lollipop while bearing a hand-painted placard that says: Don’t forget, white women voted for Trump.

My feminism will be intersectional, or my feminism is done.
My feminism does not feature in the Suffragette credit-roll. My feminism is not a scroll of the places and dates white women got the vote; does not holler across the loud promo t-shirts that say:
I would rather be a rebel.
I would rather be a rebel, than a slave.

My feminism can love Emmeline Pankhurst for what she did, and still roll its eyes at Emmeline Pankhurst’s phrasing.

My feminism can respect Germaine Greer’s legacy, but detest her transphobic ways.
My feminism will be critical, and analytical, and brave.

My feminism will not reveal itself as White Feminism at 13, Queer Feminism at 25, and POC, or Aboriginal or First Peoples, or Disability Feminism if you identify, are ultra-left, are bleeding-heart, are so inclined.

My feminism will always question.
My feminism must get wise.

My feminism will not claim that nuance is divisive.
All feminism is flawed, but my feminism will try.

My feminism would not anti-think-piece Beyonce`s pregnant glow, because my feminism remembers the brown children bought and sold.
My feminism slips unseen through the bars and razor wire.
My feminism will amplify the songs of the silenced.

My feminism is pro-choice, but does not endorse Lena Dunham’s abortion wish.
My feminism says termination is not some kind of Vintage Girl Guide Collar Pin.
My feminism does not shout down pro-lifers who shame abortion, then shame abortion grief, or regret.

My feminism will be kind.
My feminism is complex.

My feminism does not complain about middleclass childcare fees, without campaigning for the women who childcare on a minimum wage index freeze.

My feminism does not go smashing glass ceilings at the same time it builds glass walls.
My feminism will be class aware, or it will have no class at all.

My feminism screams about equal marriage rights in the country where I live, while in the country of my parent’s birth, corrective rape is still a thing.
My feminism is fierce.
My feminism crossed oceans.
My feminism learnt to swim.

My feminism is uneased by unceded land; was sung by Audre Lorde; knows Wilma Pearl Mankiller.
My feminism haloed Harriet Tubman and signed the Statement at Combahee River.

My feminism says no woman left behind.
My feminism says the strongest will go find her.

My feminism’s the underground railroad out.
My feminism will ferry us through all of the doubt.
My feminism seeks to lift all women up.
My feminism must be strong enough.
My feminism is strong; fierce; burning; alive.
My feminism will be smart, intersectional and kind.
My feminism is truth: that bold sign up on high.
It’s inevitably flawed, but will always try.

My feminism can smash glass ceilings and walls.
My feminism is wondrous, and will elevate us all.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Progress

I think I've gotten to the point where I'm no longer depressed. Just still upset. There may not be very much I can do, but it's not ok. None of it is ok. 

Also this: 

Power is like money: imaginary, entirely dependent upon belief. Most of the power of institutions lies in the faith people have in them. And cynicism is also a kind of faith: the faith that nothing can change, that those institutions are corrupt beyond all accountability, immune to intimidation or appeal. Harvey Weinstein ultimately wasn’t the one enforcing the code of silence around his predations: It was all the agents and managers and friends and colleagues who warned actresses that he was too powerful to accuse.

from: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/02/opinion/go-ahead-millennials-destroy-us.html?smid=fb-share

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

I have tried but I find that...

I am not a saint.

When you are thinking "he seems like a good guy" or "anyway there is no evidence" and "perhaps they are confused", I am remembering for a fact that facilitators are responsible for what happened to me. I'm not confused and I am not judging by how things seem. In the end you find these excuses because you want to go to the workshop. I find no excuses because for me the damage is real and already done.

I find it hard to forgive facilitators and apologists. 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

I feel...

sick of the sound of my own voice. Tired of explaining. 

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Anne Rice & Philippa Gregory

Once when I was really, really ill, as a teenager, I was taken to the hospital. I had urinary tract infection. I think I must have been 15? Or there abouts. I had a boyfriend and was sexually active but there was no one in my life who could advise me about practical matters of sexual health. When I started peeing blood and razor blades I wondered if I had STD. I went home and took a hot bath which is about the worst thing you can do. It got worse and worse and finally I was taken to the emergency. I waited for hours and hours because it's not critical, just painful. No one gave me any pain relief. I had Anne Rice's vampire chronicles and spent those hours (four or five) sitting in a toilet cubicle next to the emergency room, in acute pain and tears, reading about vampires because it was my only escape from misery.

When I think back now on all that unhappiness I know that it's because I was abused. My years as a victim of sexual abuse made me feel worthless. I dated someone who treated me badly because that's what I felt like I deserved. I chose to do things that were bad for me because I felt worthless.

Now whenever I see Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles I think of peeing blood and razor blades and confusion and misery and self-loathing and self-pity and grief.

Now I'm in my mid thirties and it's been years since I was last depressed. I have been depressed enough times that I know just what to do. Cancel everything. Find an escape novel. Batten down the hatches and stay where I know (or think I know) I am absolutely safe. Try to avoid crying in public.

The novel series this time is The Tudor & Plantagenet bodice rippers by Philippa Gregory. I think for the rest of my life Henry the VIII will remind me of being so ground down by grief I can't get up.

Some dreams I have had give me some hope.

I dreamt that I was being taunted and abused and I hit him and this time (unlike all the previous times in my dreams) my punches connected and I had power to fight back.

I dreamt that I was on a boat with people I know and they were being mean to me, and instead of fighting or feeling hurt I held the one nearest to me and spoke gently with the others.

Sometimes I feel like I need to talk to a Christian spiritual leader of some kind - a minister or a priest. I aspire to be an instrument of peace and I aspire to love the sinner while hating the sin.

I aspire to all these things when I'm not howling in grief and crying my eyes out.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

how I feel right now

剛剛回覆一個留言的時候寫了一些自己的感受,整理一下重新發文。認識我一陣子的人應該都會知道我是一個性侵被害者。我個人不是特別喜歡與人爭辯,或是挑起衝突,但是身為一個對性犯罪行為有親身經驗的人,每當這些議題出現在我的周遭的時候,我都覺得我有義務以一個過來人的身份分享我的經驗,或是表達我的意見。更何況在我們的社會中,這個話題其實很少被以有建設性,以及公開的方式討論。在對這個議題發言的時候,我每次都是萬分小心,先打草稿,諮詢我信任的朋友,請他們評論我的觀點是否理性,公平,會不會過度偏激,再請他們幫我抓錯字。

其實,身為一個性侵被害者我對這件事情的觀點是十分情緒化的。但是不管是傷心難過,還是快要氣炸了,我都會提醒自己這些情緒:
1. 發洩在別人身上不公平,而且
2. 對不了解這類犯罪行為的人沒有說服力。

所以在寫有關這些議題的文章的時候,我只能用我最理性的一面去面對。在一般生活中,這些事情卻給我帶來很大的負面衝擊。過去的傷痛不能再讓我難過,因為我已經盡力地替我自己爭取正義,而且也原諒的當年加害我的親人。好笑的是,雖然我能夠對過去釋懷,我當下所見的的自私,或是無知,卻很容易讓我再一次悲憤。

我常常很希望這是別人的問題⋯⋯ 不過人生中之有很多不如意之事,也有很多的挑戰,除了努力做對事情讓自己問心無愧之外,還能怎麼樣呢?麻煩的是,理性是一回事,心情卻又是一回事。當我理性地想要做最好的自己的時候,我的心情卻常常十分的沈重。

因為怕沈迷影響練舞,所以最近很久沒有看新的書。前兩天終於又買了幾本劇情緊湊的小說。沒有在忙的時候只想廢,想要腦海裡面空空的,不要去反覆思索那些我不能解決的問題,還有我無法幫助的人。

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Today I realized...

that the effect of my earlier life is that I assume that people won't like me (or worse - that I won't like them). 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Monday, 9 October 2017

Feeling a bit

... low these couple of days. I see my peers perform and jam and start studios and achieve success and wonder if I'm good enough - or ambitious enough. I feel like I'm driving myself pretty hard but there's no one to tell me if it's what I'm suppose to do. If I'm on track. Of course the main problem is that I have a bad habit of comparing myself to others and I'm determined to quit that. I want to look at those around me and feel genuinely proud of their success and celebrate it with them.

Another part of why I feel low is probably because I'm lonely. Recently questions or ethics and related dilemmas have been plaguing most of my waking hours. It's not driving me over the edge but it persists like a hum in the background of everything.

I don't know how to cope except keep at it and wait for things to loosen up and change on their own. 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Touché


天下沒有不散的宴席

Even the best of things must some day come to an end...

Last four gigs at Roxy J.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

From a page I like...

"Impropriety is the soul of wit"
- The Moon & The Sixpence (1919), Somerset Maugham

Sunday, 1 October 2017

逆境 and related thoughts

Recently I've been thinking about how I handle situations in class where I'm not able to get a handle on the material very quickly - especially if I'm slower than others (that really exacerbates the issue). So firstly of course what the hell am I doing comparing myself to someone else? Their performance (esp at the stage of learning) is totally irrelevant. Secondly - I've begun to see how how one handles these situations is really important. You can't expect the learning process to always be smooth. Some classes are more challenging than others, and I just need to come up with strategies that help me take things in my stride.

So my first strategy is to remind myself that challenge can lead to growth. Whenever I really suck at something big time I think to myself: I'm about to improve so much, just as well as I get the hang of this. Focusing on how rewarding it's all going to be helps me keep my spirits up. It sure as heck beats thinking things like "Omg I really suck at this. I'm so rubbish I don't even know why I try" because that's how I ended up getting so frustrated I cried in class.

The second strategy is to think of the challenge as a "take-away" project. I might not be able to get the hang of it in an hour, but I will definitely be able to get the hang of it (or at least make significant improvements) if I spend some time working on the skill.

Given the previous strategy my next step is to set a goal for the duration of the class: If I try to do the rhythm in my feet AND the isolation in my torso AND the hand/arm gestures then I'll probably fail. So I'll just work on two of the three (and usually the feet is a good place to start because it presents the least trouble to me). The rule is generally to set a realistic goal that I can kind of achieve during the class - and then I'll be happy with myself and feel accomplish regardless.

Realistic expectations also matter though - no matter how I work on it I won't go back next week and do it as well as the teacher or someone else in my class. Physical skills take time to settle in, and there's no way to hurry that process. What matters is that I can feel my own progress (even though sometimes it feels like a bit of a stop and go rather than a smooth progression - I hear that's normal).

Also something that can be really frustrating is when I KNOW exactly what I need to do (such as in a polyrhythm exercise. what each hand is doing is pretty fucking easy. it gets near impossible when it put it together), but my body won't do it. That's when patience comes in.

Sometimes I get so frustrated I want to lop off the offending limb but then I usually get the hang of it later so I'm always glad that I didn't. The long-run. The big picture. You see?