I know its been quite awhile since I’ve updated, part of it was trouble logging into my account when I got back from Boston in July, but most of it has been because of depression, aggravated by summer and extra work load. That being said, lets do an update and see where it goes….
So yes, I went to the Radical Feminist Seminar in Boston this year, not only did I go, I had the privilege of speaking on a panel put together by Lierre Keith who is just a phenomenal person. I gave a talk somewhat based on victim blaming and how third wave feminism ties in and feeds into capitalist individual blaming and of course, stigmatizing victims. I spoke as a woman who doesn’t identify as a survivor because I want t destigmatize the term victim. Victim isn’t a personal character flaw, its a reality of having something bad done to you that you had no control over and its god damn empowering to let it be known that I can be a victim and be strong and the two are living in me.
There also were a lot of things I was uncomfortable with at the conference and I’m still trying to figure it all out after this time. I felt out of place, like it wasn’t a place for me because I’m rough around the edges, poor, fat, obviously living with trauma, obviously a PR disaster for any movement. I also want to point out that this was the whitest conference I’ve ever been to in my life. There were a few people who weren’t white there and thats a damn shame. Especially when so many women around the world and at home fighting these fights aren’t white, and the women most impacted by male violence aren’t white.
This isn’t to criticize the conference, I met so many women I wouldn’t have met otherwise, women I will treasure my entire life. It was an amazing thing to be out of my usual surroundings and around women who are so bright and intelligent and beautiful in their own ways. It was a serious privilege.
This is where I talk about something related to why I’ve not been blogging, and how experiencing it firsthand at the conference made me step back and want to evaluate myself and my behavior a bit.
I think when we get so deep into an analysis of the world, little things can become mountains between us. Things to look down on each other for, things to get snotty and sarcastic with each other for. Things that we tear each other down with. Is a woman’s lipstick, although we may agree on why she shouldn’t wear it, a reason to exclude her? To bash her? To disrespect her contributions to trying to get some justice for women? Is it wrong to admit that women can be oppressive and idiotic? Is a remark made by a woman that may have been offensive a reason to cut her off completely? Instead of valuing her and thinking highly enough of her to delve deeper into what she means? Into what she’s really saying? I keep thinking of reading Audre Lorde’s “An Open Letter to Mary Daly” where she criticizes Mary for what she felt was an erasure of the divine power that lays in non-euro centric feminine spirituality and how much she still loves and respects her. Here’s the thing, Audre was RIGHT. That doesn’t mean Mary Daly is a bad person or can’t teach anyone anything or that she wasn’t a warrior committed to this struggle with her every nerve. It just meant she was human and suffered from the ability to overlook something very, very important.
Thats why we need each other.
I’m really worried about all of this, not everyone can be at the same level of consciousness at the same time, it isn’t possible. I worry about the tendency of people entrenched in these very deep and scary politics to harden themselves so much and respond in the same ways so often that we aren’t actually connecting.
I guess I can talk about the other stuff later, there’s a lot t0 go over, lots of notes, lots of ideas and a lot of happiness.