No one could accuse me of…

27 04 2010

Being the life and soul of the party.
Having too much energy.
Being too loud.
Not reading enough.
Being tone deaf.
Remembering everything.

No one could accuse me of…

Not being bitchy.
Being nice to men.
Not loving enough.
Ignoring soft butches.
Not getting off on a mindfuck.

No one could accuse me of…

Hesitating to write letters of complaint.
Not having enough (ex) girlfriends.
Not being willing to try almost anything at least once.
Keeping a lizard as a pet.
Not enjoying renovations.





The floor of time

25 04 2010

Pick your place on the floor

Of time.

Any place.

Adore.

Kiss an eye,

Fall apart

Pick up the pieces.

Twist, turn

Take another place,

Hold your hand.

Fall apart

Pick up the pieces.

Swing around

Arch your neck,

Touch your fingers.

Fall apart

Pick up the pieces.

Pick a new place,

Shimmy in

With your hip out,

Slide your fingers in,

Fling your head back.

Smile.

Don’t pick up the pieces.

What’s the point?

Pick our places

On the floor of time

And get ready.





You’re not a feminist, but … what?

18 04 2010

Many young women embrace the ideas of feminism but are reluctant to use the ‘f-word’ for fear of rocking the boat…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/07/feminist-f-word-young-women





Intimacy

10 04 2010

Intimacy by Hanif Kureishi

“You don’t stop loving someone just because you hate them.” The best line from the book!

I have just finished Hanif Kureishi’s book Intimacy. It was a quick read and no effort at all. I liked the honesty with which he writes about the most intimate things he thinks and does, including masturbation. It was no surprise to me then, to learn that he started his career in the ’70s as a writer of pornography.

The story begins by describing the life of a married man who is about to leave his wife and two small sons. As the tale progresses, the writer explores their life and explains the reasons the man desires something different. He is obsessed with an ex-girlfriend and she is a constant background figure in the book.

While reading, I kept wondering if the man would actually leave his wife or not. In the end he does. However, I was not convinced by the reasons he left her. I thought she would have been astonished to wake up in the morning and find him gone… with no explanation, no conversations or attempts to mend things.

Is this how people really split? Or maybe the conversations come afterwards. But then what? Will he go back to her?

I think the book is not yet complete!





In your native language…

6 04 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc6mLwOa2Ig





Spread the word.

2 04 2010

I just realized that since I am neither an academic nor a self-identified feminist, it has taken me over three quarters of my life to recognize the fact that I have been and still am oppressed. By men.

Recently I thought about why it took me so long to realize this glaringly obvious fact. Living in a strongly male dominated society as I do, it should have been very apparent but maybe the conditioning went so deep that it was never something I thought about till I moved towards women – lesbians, feminists, academics – all sorts of unusual and intelligent characters who taught me, above all, to think.

Coming out was probably the first step on a long road towards the dawning realization that most men bully, tolerate or patronize women in ways so numerous that listing them would be exhausting. But one of the most important factors in my state of ignorance about my own oppression would have to be the fact of my privileged position in society. My life has been far easier than that of most Sri Lankan women, for no better reasons than that I was taught to speak English and was reared in a secure and liberal environment. So, my awareness of male oppression never got beyond the point of a fury that I would never win a physical battle with my brother, even if I was fighting for what was mine.

But then, how easy it would be to simply go with the mainstream flow and block out the incessant and infuriating male behaviors I now observe so clearly around me – from the tiniest details of thoughtless behavior to the relentless objectification/sexualisation of virtually every woman around.

Don’t straight women notice these things? Or is it just much more in their interests to deny and so condone them? Straight women have to live with men and off men to a great extent. Men are their protectors and providers and most importantly, the fathers of their children after all. Perhaps these are compromises they make, consciously or otherwise, in the search for motherhood and security. And living as we do in a deeply conventional South Asian society, the pressures to conform that are placed upon all women, are even greater.

I imagine that women suffering poverty and violence have little time or energy to meditate for long upon their circumstance. Their battles are for survival. They are the ones who suffer the most, who are deeply oppressed and whose voices are therefore rarely heard. But on the other hand, a high profile, educated, intelligent woman might not always wish to jar the status quo. The ways in which she is oppressed are much less apparent and far less painful and she has much to gain by silence and cooperation. So the most articulate women capable of effecting the greatest change become precisely the ones who would never be required to raise their own awareness and speak out. Given a choice between protecting one’s personal comfort and security and waging a constant battle for equality and power, few would choose the latter.

I know there are some amazing women who do just that – who give up so much and spend their lives fighting for equality and women’s rights. They are usually the lesbians, feminists and academics. In our society it often seems the word has not spread much further than that.