March 20, 2009 § 1 Comment
Raven’s Eye is coming to you! on Friday!
stuff i am feeling right now:
1. this is so so so beautiful. little light from taking steps:
The first thing you need to understand is that masculinity, maleness, is inculcated and enforced with violence. It’s either actual violence, or the threat of violence, or the implied threat of violence. Constantly. It’s how men and boys are taught to train each other into maleness. This is true even at a very, very young age; go to a kindergarten playground, and you will see little boys shaping each others’ masculinity, according to the rules they’re taught by older boys and by grown men, with violence. It starts very early.
It happens every day. Every hour. But while decent people automatically find this scenario a yawning, shocking evil when the little girl we envision is cissexual, this is considered the normal and proper way to treat a little girl who’s trans. I knew I was a girl that early; I was kicked out of preschool for refusing to admit that I was a boy. And then they handed that little girl to the boys for the next fifteen years and said, “Do what you want with her. We will look the other way or cheer you on as you turn her into whatever you want to. Your scalpel is violence. It’s only proper if she screams.”
This is a horrifying story. This is the kind of story that, when you really look at it, represents the kind of abuse that the average person would respond to with, “Lock that sick bastard away and throw away the key.” If it’s a cissexual little girl. If she’s trans, it’s things running as they ought to be. There is no censure. There is applause.
This is one of the revealed, naked faces of oppression: if it were done to the privileged person, it would be considered abuse. If it’s done to the marginalized person, it’s the status quo. But it’s not only that. It’s not only about oppression; it’s about how and why we internalize oppression.
2. from kameelah rasheed i found this lil gem. and now i am imagining all of the maps that we could create and the stories that they tell. i want to sit down and draw maps of cairo and chicago and of the world. maps of the israeli detention center. just map out my whole universe.
which reminds me that i had a dream last night about stars and space and blackness. and my godmother. i was an astronaut. circling the earth. i should map my dreams.
3. also through kameelah i found this: public school. maybe we could do this online. i am thinking of combahee survival and summer of our lorde.
what would you like to learn?
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL is a school with no curriculum. At the moment, it operates as follows: first, classes are proposed by the public (I want to learn this or I want to teach this); then, people have the opportunity to sign up for the classes (I also want to learn that); finally, when enough people have expressed interest, the school finds a teacher and offers the class to those who signed up.
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL is not accredited, it does not give out degrees, and it has no affiliation with the public school system. It is a framework that supports autodidactic activities, operating under the assumption that everything is in everything.
4. i have had an excellent nearly overwhelming but fantastic eyeopening week.
5. cripchick tells us:
The fact that this is for us and us alone, that I am most concerned about our own healing, our own communities, and that I don’t really write for anyone else, makes me feel that this is why I identify as a radical woman of color. People say we are wrapped in our own bitterness, drama, or naive ideals (put your big girl panties on—wtf?) but if everyone else is working on the advancement, the assimilation, who does the work with our own? Where do the conversations about our own pain happen? When do we get to have a space that centralizes our own work, instead of packing it in a pretty 101 package for anthologies for white feminists, for soundbytes in speeches to nondisabled people, for the mainstream? When does it get to be about us, about you?
yes. yes. yes. yes.
6. and jess over at flip flopping joy gives us a post that i keep coming back to:
A couple years ago, a really rad person I know was cooking in his bright little kitchen and talking about how he’s been feeling this “too much” feeling for years — always rushing, always like there’s not enough time in the day, always overwhelmed. I said something about how, well yeah, even when it’s really good stuff — projects you love, people you love — at a certain point it’s just too much for one person to do. And he said, no, I’ve actually been thinking about whether that’s part of the scarcity mentality that makes capitalism work. Even as my life fills up with really great stuff, instead of feeling enriched and satisfied by this abundance, he said, I stay stuck in this mind-set of scarcity — not enough time, not enough balance, struggling struggling struggling … the feeling of struggle being so much more familiar than the feeling of calm, of satiation, of peace.
A different rad person I am just starting to know said something the other night about relationships as the foundation of social-justice movement. If we’ve struggled with each other, healed with each other, loved each other deeply and fully, through all kinds of everything (am I drafting a rewrite of “richer-or-poorer”?), we are so much tighter-woven, so much less impervious to attacks by the Right or the greedy or whoever else might want to weaken our movements. If there’s trust and substance and depth and complexity to our connections with each other, our movements are stronger. Also: if there’s all that, if we’re loving each other while we organize, we’re starting to embody, to live, the visions we’re collaborating to realize. They’re already here.