not a pretty girl

a new person with each new experience

Thursday, June 03, 2004

vienna vienna . . . I can't believe I left sunny dublin to arrive in rainy vienna, there is something not quite right about that. I feel so alive here, talking to marike, her politics adn feminism work very well with where I have been before and deffinatly where I am now. Talking to her is always stimulating and pushes my boundaries. Being here Iam ready to do a workshop on gender for her festival, even though I am a bit nervous about the whole thing, I know that I can do it and the ideas are flowing. Her boy friend said that he would come to my workshop but he wouldn't speak since he gets nervous speaking in front of people. It was comfortable yet self shocking to realize that I am no longer that person. I do still have fear of speaking but now if there is something that I feel needs to be said I don't wait and hope someone else says it I speak my mind. I am always good now if its one of those situations where turns are given and you don't have to put yourself way out there. And I have to be careful not to dominate if it is in an environment where I am compleatley comfortable with the people and the topic energizes me.

On this wave length I had a few thoughts the other night after a talk I went to by Judith Halberstam. (SN: AHHH I GOT TO SHE HER AND WHILE I WAS THERE I BOUGHT TICKETS FOR JUDITH BUTLER!!! MY QUEER THEORY QUOTA IS BEING FILLED AND FILLED WELL) At the end of her fantasitc talk and discussion of photography of subcultures, specifically gender transgression there was the Q&A section. This section in talks I use to go to in Toronto always pissed me off, it was usually males but not alway professors that spoke for ever on everything that they know about the topic and then make some abscure point or question. And then the speaker in almost a defensive stance would respond, while the rest of the audience would sit there not asking questions as they were not as knowledgable of the topic and afraid to bring down the level of discussion.

well here we are in a room a mainly queer women and the first three questions were done in the same manor. I was frustrated by this, but it was the way the responces were done that got me thinking. The positive approach to the responces was that Judith was not at all defensive, she took notes and said things like that is helpful. As if we were contributing to the wider discussion and this was not her paper but a much wider look at the photography, ethics and display of gender non conformity. Following that though I was upset at the dynamics, disussion points from the audience were directed at her and she respsonded. But these were not questions to ask an expert but rather discussions that could be had on the topic from all. I felt that the opints made by the long flowed accidmeics could have be throwen back into the audience, that we could have a great round talbe discussion on the topic.

The audience just from the people that I know consisted of photographers, drag kings, queers theorists, and more that would have lots to add to such a discussion. They did say that the next day she was doing a talk in temple bar and it would be much less formal. I hope that there was more of what I was looking for there.

Again on this topic, I have to be ready to bring up a debated point at lady fest. Here in Vienna the feminism is at a differnet place then you would see in dublin or north america. When a workshop is not open to men, it says open to women, lesbians and trans. This seems very seventies where lesbians are not seen under the catigory women but need to be said in order to have people know that they are included. I can be guilty of this myself since when writing my womens officer flyer I wrote bio women and trans initally -wanting to ensure that trans people knew that they were included in the events I was planning but after talking to james about it changed it to all identified women. I am planning on bring this challange up at the workshop on ladyfest. I'm sure that other queer women will have similar objections to the language and marike said that if I am beign bullied over this she will speak up aswell.

Off to explore the city with no guide, no map and no german!!! It shall be an adventure.

Monday, May 31, 2004

This is the last post from UCD res, tomorrow I move out of here for good then start my mad adventures for the summer. My head has been all over the place lately, not really in a scattered way just in a way that I don't even know where to start posting.

The phrase everything happens for a reason as been the topic of conversation occationaly over the past month. I realize that when I say this, and I have been known to do so, I do it in momentary relief from stress phrase type of way. I have talked to people lately who also say this, yet they are coming from a religious or spiritual space where they truely feel that there is a destiny that they are to follow, a grand plan or other religous or spiritual reasons. I got talking to a friend of mine who is into channelling. It was strange to hear him talk about this stuff. I was a bit taken aback with some of the stuff he was coming out with. I knew he was into spirituality but channeling non human spirits to have a dialogue with and find clarity was a bit more then I expected to hear.

We got talking about the book the Alchamist. Regan gave me this book when I came to Ireland, it was given to her from her best friend from back home which was given to her by a good friend. This book is a fable that followings this shepards boy on his journey of following his destiny. What I get out of this book is the idea of following your dreams, and finding happyness by pushing forward, taking chances in order to reach your goals. What my friend got out of it is that when you are doing the thing you are suppose to be doing things fall in place for you, and when you are not doing what is in your destiny life gets a bit harder.

This type of arguement seems to me to go against everything we are studying in equality studies. People do not get into third level education and become lawyers for example because it is there destiny. They do not just make connections and get the great job, because they are where they are suppose to be. Lawyers in Ireland basically all come from the same three feader schools. The top lawyers knew each other growing up, they were able to get into third level, become lawyers, make connections and get that great job because of there class background and the social, cultural, and economic capital they posesed because of the location they were born into.

Like wise refugees in Ireland are not having a difficult time because they are not following there destiny. Rather it could be a dream of a Nigerian women that her child would not have to have the same genital mutilation she had and so that is why she is seeking refugee status. It is the racist immigration policy that is making her life difficult.

I do believe there is something more then just materialist explanations for things. I do wonder when it comes to love what exactly that is. But I don't think that there is just one or any number of people that are out there for you. Rather you might be lucky to make connections with people. Love can be analises in a materialist way in the sence that certain people based on there ability, class, have more opportunity to make these meaningful connections then the next person. A person with a servere physicial deformity becuase of our beauty ideals has less of a chance to be seen as a sexual being for example then the person who could be a model. Also a person who is a single parent working two part time jobs is less likely to have the free time and emotional energy that it takes to develop intimate relationships.

SO when I say that relationships need to happen organicaly its not that certain people are your destiny and that that relationship will happen naturally and all you need to do is let that happen. What I mean is that some people click better then others and that you should not have to force things to happen. Relationships do take work, but the work should not be the made reason the people are together.

And when I say that something was not ment to be, I'm not referring to something that was not part of your destinty, just that there are always other things you can do if something doesn't work out.

Perhaps I need to change my language so my words do not get misinterpreted as hippy spiritualism.