Saturday, October 29, 2016

The right to be disturbed (Poem)

Maybe I
Don't want your
Unconvincing
Reassurance

I've been dreaming
Of a fairer world
A world less violent

Maybe I
Have the right
To be unwell
In ways that
Disturb you
To your core
Maybe I
Don't want
Restraint
Anymore

But your posture
Your convictions
And my freedom
Causes friction
And I tear
I cannot bear
Such intrusions
On my soul

I look at the stars
I look in to my heart
I know the revolution
Is bound to start
But will I be around
By the time it
Reaches these parts?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Startled (Poem)

Unwilling participant in this social system
Unsure what I'm yet to experience 
Stigmatising myself at every turn
Making it hard to cultivate charisma

What do I owe this culture?
What does it owe me?
Who and what does it contain?
And who am I without it?

*

Don't think too much
Smile at the social cues
Adorn your eyelids with submission
Offering them up if someone male should gaze your way

A practiced, showy, stylised submission
Pretend it doesn't grate as you tinkle away
When all you really want is to find the mechanism
To be in control and have it be okay

*

Friday, October 21, 2016

Negotiating volunteering and the glocal

As of two days ago, I am one of the women behind the popular Twitter account of the Sydney Feminists. As with any lifestyle change, I am taking the time I need to readjust to the responsibility, the labour, and the fulfilment. Just because no one pays volunteers doesn't mean that they aren't doing hard work. I'm doing this because I believe in the organisation's values and it's rewarding, but also stressful. I'm still figuring out my identity as a Sydney Feminist social media assistant - which tweets I'm going to have difficulty ignoring, and which I will need to retweet despite initial hesitation. The possibilities are endless - we follow over 2,000 accounts, which means there's a constant stream of data pouring in. My job is to identify the choicest tweets for our purposes and amplify their voices. It's a position of power which I take very seriously, and I now understand what a good job the women before me have been doing in managing the account. They are my co-conspirators.

I'm writing this post at a Peruvian restaurant, high on the novelty of it all. There simply aren't that many Peruvian eateries in this part of the world. The decor reminds me of old Inspector Gadget cartoons, but suggest more class and sophistication between the brush strokes. I am forever searching for the best the world has to offer. There is a particular attraction to the continents I haven't let my eyeballs swish around - Africa, South America, Central America, the Caribbean. Due to money constraints and health concerns, I am unlikely to visit these places soon, so I'm actively seeking out connections with them through my local environment.

Sydney. It's changing all the time, yet sometimes it feels like we're stuck in unimaginative right-wing policy. So I focus within. I focus on my relationships with imaginative left-wing people. I nurture my romantic relationship here as best I can. It constantly surprises me in the directions it takes. I think this is a good sign. I'm reading again, devouring feminist literature by the eyeful. I avoid those who impose themselves upon me. Shake it off, baby. Shake it off. Life goes on, and it is more good than otherwise.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Quietly, while the spectacle plays out

The Tweets started streaming in, and I decided I needed a safe(r) space. Writing a new blog post can help me clarify my mindspace constantly, so in the face of lucrative toxicity I turn to the Blogger gods to sort me out. 

I have spent most of my life suppressing anger. These days I am loosening my grip on the container. Some of it emerges. I need to keep letting go.

I keep watching lesbian films, and feeling like the spaces openminded people create are too good to be true. I feel like at any moment homophobia could barge in and harsh my mellow. In fact, sometimes the mellow is unsafe to inhabit. Maybe I need to be more conscious of creating a safe space within myself. 

It didn't help that I was verbally abused yesterday. The attack was not homophobic in nature, more misogynistic, but it wouldn't be hard to find the connection between them. It speaks to the strength of my romantic relationships (yes, you read right: there are two, for I am polyamorous) and my social sphere that I was able to process the negativity this event stirred up within so quickly. A few years ago I selected 'No' as the response to the OKCupid question 'Are you happy with your life?', but now I'm not so sure. I'm ambivalent. 

I am thinking of book titles, as I periodically do. There is much to be written.

*

The older I get, the more dangerous this blog feels. 

It's often organised around what would otherwise be diary entries, with the minimum of screening for social acceptability - a woman has to keep herself safe on the internet, after all. I thank my lucky stars that I'm not a famous feminist, just one more blogger in an oversaturated field, and haven't had any misogynist comments for years. 

I spoke to an old friend today, who reminds me that it's okay that not everything's alright. I don't believe anyone is every really 100% okay. Constantly manageable emotional states are illusions. Very common illusions. Let us do without.