Sunday, 14 October 2007

all at sea

This was a hard week.

I've been quite stupidly ridiculously lucky and since I was 17 have been pretty much exclusively in the company of pro-queer, pro-feminist clever liberal types. And while during that time I've had to deal with people who were not any of those things I've done it through the lens of having regular affirming acceptance of my ideals, my beliefs, my sexuality. Which I always knew was actually pretty unusual, but it's one thing to know and it's another thing to actually live it, as I am now finding out.

I am glad in a funny stupid sort of way; it's a great way of hardening my feminist resolve, of reminding me of my privilege as an articulate intelligent person. And yet it's too hard.

I've never been an adult queer in an unwelcome environment. Avoidance of unwelcoming environments has dictated some very important choices in my life so being forced to be here isn't wonderful. And I just found out my first school placement (this course is 50% taught at uni, 50% practical placement) is in a Roman Catholic school which, according to its website, thinks that drawing pictures of dead relatives and saints is an appropriate activity for 8 year olds! Pagan queer feminist teacher in a rough inner city catholic school... yeah I'm nervous.

I just feel isolated at the moment, in a way I haven't done since I was... yeah 17. There are so many ways in which my attitudes towards things my coursemates take for granted are so different as to be alien to them( ; ie. they say:little girls are naturally sweeter and like dolls and boys have more energy I say: mostly behaviour which is induced by society, AND I don't see the difference in energy just in ways people let them express that. they say: I don't care how many civil liberties the government encroaches it if might save one life. I say: arag!! well no actually I respond with coherent if extremely simple arguments against their crazy right wing conservativeness, but inside I am saying ARAG!!

coming out is a process. I always knew that, but it feels like I keep having to come out as so many different things at once. Like when someone said "so you're a feminist to me" yesterday like I'd confessed I enjoyed dismembering puppies in my spare time, or when I talked about an ex-girlfriend during lunch one day and the whole group perceptibly moved away. Or indeed pretty much any time I express any opinion about anything. And I know this is most likely what most people go through, and I probably sound whiny and naive but I really hadn't expected it would be like this; so overwhelming and isolating.

And that's my life at the moment, which combined with a whole load of other shit is making me feel really really crap... I'm trying to keep it together, to remember why I'm here, why I'm doing this, who really matters. But urgh. Ad next weekend I have to go play nice at my parents 25 wedding anniversary, which is actually the absolute last thing I need to do right now.

But even though the people I really love are a very long way away right now they are still trying to be there for me. I spent 2 hours yesterday on the phone to a friend who hates the phone. It's just hard to remember how loved and supported you are in the moment you're feeling the hate.

Any advice on how to deal with dense conservatives who believe whole hearted in the patriarchy and are so hetero normal as to not even understand what that means will be more than appreciated.

Monday, 8 October 2007

ever noticed how buses come in 3's?

Tonight I was watching midlands today, the BBC news service for this area of the British isles. They were promoting this website. Go. Have a shufty. I'll wait.

Obviously there is an awful lot that a queer feminist can find to say about the idea of "moaning about men," an awful alot of it far to easy and obvious.
The moans themselves; mostly women complain about men treating them as lesser beings, not appreciating the work they do in their homes, not being treated as equal adults, men treating their partners as domestic servants rather than PARTNERS. All oh so obvious to the feminist reader. And pretty indicative of everything feminism is working against.

So how are these women advised to deal with these issues? Should they talk to their men about it? Should they leave their partners to find someone who will respect them? Or should you just suck it up because thats how men are; the gender role of men is one which does not encompass behaving like a decent reasonable adult human being? Well the whole "moan about men" name of the website really gives that one away.

And then there's this story. My only thought; would they perform a castration in order to prevent a boys indignity of wet dreams and the pain of blue balls? Somehow I think not.

If that's not enough for you I am watching a documentry on channel 4 right now about children and young being abducted and traficed into the sex trade or sold as wives in china. Because in the patriarchy we're chattel.

So yeah not happy. Sometimes the world pisses me off.

edited to add: while on my trip round the world I was in china and while watching this documentary I realised I saw one of the posters of missing children featured in this documentary. I remember being in the city, remember seeing the poster and wondering what the story was behind it. Now I know. Which is actually very very sad.