Thursday, 2 July 2009

thinking aloud

my good friend came to stay last week. we were discussing the uk queer feminist 'community', of which we've considered ourselves 'members' for some years, in the light of the racism running through it that has recently been exposed. we uncovered some of our assumptions about this 'community', not least that it had some shared values, philosophy, that it was 'fighting' for something. we realised that the incredible conversations she and i have with one another, and with a handful of others, have in fact never happened on any kind of large scale. this 'community' was pretty mythical. we had no shared vision of the change we need. it was pretty much a party scene with some workshops. we were 'cultural activists' and got to feel cosy and useful. my friend and i talked about the need to open out our conversations, because a movement needs a shared vision. and a shared vision requires dialogue, conversation, debate! we need to start thinking out loud and figuring out what we're doing and why. we need to talk with one another more often and more widely. we need to learn to critique each other and to take criticism. we need to take responsibility for getting over our own insecurites and learn to speak out.

i've worked with women experiencing domestic violence for the past six years and i'm seeing more and more that i need to talk about. i'm thrilled to discover that there are other people out there talking about domestic abuse and challenging the entrenched voluntary sector way. again this is something that i see being talked about in the US but not over here, that i am aware of. we need to analyse what's happening in the voluntary sector over here and be critical. i want to find other people who want to talk about this. i want to draw links between abuse of power in personal situations and in a wider political context. that's the other reason for this blog.

my old perzine was called 'Cleaner Light' after a kristin hersh song. kristin hersh being the very most wondrous musician in the universe. i did three issues over three or four years, writing when i didn't feel i could tell the people around me the things in my head. i'd keep it all secret, then publish the zine to great anxiety and later pride. these days i'm trying to remember to think out loud.