not a pretty girl

a new person with each new experience

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

apolitical eh?!

last week in feminist theory class I challanged my profs critique of being all postmodern/postdtructuralist feminism as being a political. I felt that feminist using this type of critique were doing highly political work, that this type of thinking allowed for people to combat sexism in culture and institutiosn. I took the critique that it could be eurocentric and that if you dont have enough moeny to eat that you are not worried about sexist posters for example. But I say that postmodern feminism takes the phrase 'think globally and act locally' to heart. And that although issues of class and unfair trade in the developing world is a highly gendered issue that effect the majority of women in this world. In my community here and now, on a local level, I level that I see myself and friends having the largest impact on with our resources, knowledge and networks we most effectivly work on a postmodern feminism in a highly political manner. Ladyfest being one perfect example.

In the class my prof named judith butler with an edge of angst in her voice as one of the postmodern feminists. As butler was on her way to visit UCD the low level of respect was fresh and at the forfront.

Well today after months of waiting I walked into lecture hall L in the arts block of UCD with a few left friends who had only recently heard of judith butler. I say friends from the LGBT society, women studies, the queer theory group and many an accademic. She was given such a warm and overly flattery introduction that the SDS crew would have enjoyed.

She started off her talk in a language that I would have to say was not only typical of her unaccesible writing but also made me nervous for the number of lefties that had come for their first dose of queer theory. Then something happened . . . She used her power in that moment, her position to do some activism work. Her language changed and she started talking about intersex and the activism being done around it. She was talking in a language that would be accessible to all and that was hitting home to the activist in the crowd. She was providing them with information that they could work with and done in a way that would inspire many to investigate more and possibley run campaigns on the issues. She went on to talk about trans issues exploring the DSM and the prosses one goes to in order to transition. She spent much time on this using highly theortical language at the same time mixing it up with a social justice perspective. She was every clear in show all sides to the issue, and despite the fact that she very clearly was using a queer, postmodern perspective she was being highly political.

I left the talk just as the protentious question period started so my romantic verson of judiths talk would not be tainted by the accademics asking highly theortical questions in a possible unconscious attempt to depolitise the event. I thought back to seeing naiome klein and how uninspiring that talk was although she is seen as highly political, and smiled how judith butlers new direction was exactly where I would like to see her go. I hoped that others felt the same as me and they didnt just use this talk and her new book to furhter there accademic writing and subsiquently stay clear of rocking the boat outside of their departments.

yeah judith!