Archiv der Kategorie 'fließende Texte'

“Health” and Ableism – Thoughts on Interdependences between Body and Systems of Oppression

I‘ve already mentioned the connections I see between the concept(s) of ‚beauty‘ and power structures like sexism, racism, ageism, classism and others. Except for gender, I haven‘t gone into detail regarding these interdependences between body and systems of oppression.

Recently, I began to understand some of my own experience and these interdependences through the concept of ableism. I never thought of my own body-related experience of deprivation/discrimination as ‚ableist‘ (although I already had developed most of my understandings of body-related discrimination);
I am not labeled as nor do I identify as ‚disabled‘ – indeed I regard myself luckily healthy: not experiencing serious ‚dysfunctions‘, no chronicle diseases, no allergies, rarely needing to see a doctor, good working immune system, feeling ‚well-connected‘ to my body, its needs and signals.

Yet ’society’s‘ definition of HEALTH apparently shifted from ‚not ill‘ to ‘highly functioning, highly efficient, highly exercised’. You no longer need a doctor’s diagnosis to be proven ill but to be proven healthy! (mehr…)

„The Pressure I Feel is the Oppression I Resist“ – Stories About Liberation & Orientation Towards Male* Attention

8th of March, in my regular pub. I am ecstatically playing table soccer (which I rarely do) with a bunch of women* (who are rarely seen here). We just arrived from the Women*Lesbian*Trans*demonstration for Women*sFightDay. We‘ve been on the streets for more than one hour, raising our voices, claiming public space and attention. Some posters ‚advertised‘ the day with the slogan ‚Be careful with each other, so we can be dangerous together‘ and that was most definitely the demonstration’s spirit. Most of us came here afterwards, exhilarated by this powerful act. I was delighted, I felt great, like nothing could ever stop me from standing up and achieve what I aim for, as long as I know these people by my side.

Few by few guys dropped into this kind of liberated female*lesbian*trans*universe, first being only slightly noticed by myself, since I was involved in way more interesting discussions on my flt* table at the time. Yet hour by hour the endorphins of resistance went down and I found myself getting dragged back into the regular habits, hanging out with the same people I usually do, thus the (not) shared experience of the evening stepping back in mind.
Having the (now vanishing) contrary experience of flt* solidarity and cooperation so very present, I could witness the urge for male* attention flowing back into me. A few hours after my furious, proud march through the streets I realised: The patriarchy I‘m fighting is in my head. (mehr…)

„Love is not a job interview“ – Stories about (not) getting involved with someone

When I was about 14 or 15 I said: „When I get a boyfriend and tell my best friend about him, I do not want her to say: Oh! I‘ve got the same edition!“. I don‘t know if I said that to my friend or to myself, but I remember the sentence very well.

I‘ve been in love with quite different guys and the only things they had in common probably were:
- that they got my sense of humour and made me laugh,
- that I admired some of their interests, was fascinated by their behaviour,
- and most of all: that I didn‘t count them to be normal.
Freaks, artists, punks, philosophers, nerds, geeks, … tell me you find someone to be weird and you‘ll get me interested. Nowadays I‘d say I early did tend to like:
- guys who break with masculinity in some respects,
- who were not interested in the usual understanding of success,
- but who were into something.
That might be the combination to get me interested … though it changed through the years, of course, and through my involvement with feminism especially.

As different as the people I‘ve been in love with were the ways of being in love I‘ve experienced – or similar feelings that can‘t be clearly distinguished from that. (mehr…)

The Good News – Thoughts on Beauty, Power & Attractiveness III

The concept of attractiveness is based on interaction, which means it only works as far as people respond to the established patterns. By not responding, repeating and encouraging to perform (gender biased) bloke-behaviour, it can be destabilised right where it happens.

The concept of beauty is build on aesthetics that are repeated over and other again. Aesthetics can be changed by not repeating them, by not following them, by not sanctioning deviance, by celebrating other pictures.

Change viewing patterns, change patterns of behaviour.
Support and celebrate yourselves and each other and don‘t give a shit for people who try to uphold these oppressions. You don‘t need to listen to them.

Take down the pictures of dead idols on your walls, substitute them with photographs of proud women*, queer women*, women* of color, women* that take up space, persons that inspire by who they are and what they fight for. Draw your own pictures of yourself, of beloved ones, of what you miss and want to see (mehr…)

Painting my Middle Finger Nail Dark Red – Thoughts on Female* Self-Sex

On the wall of my room, there’s a photograph of a woman* lying naked in bed, with her hand in her panties, obviously pleasuring herself.
This is a powerful picture to me and I wish to see notions of female* self-sex¹ in public more often – not in the sense of witnessing, nor necessarily in the sense of explicit presentation. More like the opposite of invisibility and lacking awareness about it’s existence – let’s say I wish female* self-sex to be more represented in general.

In pictures of female* self-sex I see the potential to contribute to a broader view on sex and sexuality.

It might be seen as anachronistic, but surprisingly often ‚having sex‘ is regarded to be ‚intercourse‘, no more, no less, no other. If this is a new thought to you, I will try to put it in easy words: having sex is not limited to / doesn‘t necessarily involve / might not even be connected to putting a penis into a vagina. (mehr…)

Getting rid of the Shame and the Shit – Thoughts on Beauty, Power, Attractiveness II

this text’s full of shit ‚n shame and it makes me sick. don‘t expect sparkly unicorns. (but they will follow soon).

The concepts of ‚beauty‘ and ‚attractiveness‘ are cornerstones to (sexual) power dynamics between males* and females*.
How does the usage of these concepts contribute to sexist power structures?
Let’s see:

Where do ‚beauty‘ and ‚attractiveness‘ differ from each other?
In my connotation, ‚beauty‘ is mostly applied as a female* quality, whereas men* are rather characterized as ‚attractive‘ than ‚beautiful‘.
‚Beauty‘ in this understanding seems to be something ‚visible‘, something you can catch into a picture – it is about looks. Which means it is enough to look at someone to tell if s.he is ‚beautiful‘. The ‚object‘ it_herself stays passive.
The concept of ‚attractiveness‘ however involves interaction – it includes not only the looks of the body, but body performance, actions and reactions in social interaction (being charming, being polite, being funny, being witty, acting appropriate/eager/courages/interesting…), it includes behaviour and opinions. In short: ‚attractiveness‘ means presenting yourself as interesting plus just the right portion of showing interest. In my view this is a much broader and more dynamic concept than ‚beauty‘, allowing far more variety/individuality.

Of course not one of them is supposed to be 100% male* or female* – but it’s hard to deny the existing gender bias in this complementary concepts of ‚how to get attention from the other sex‘.
This is of course a very heteronormative principle – it is fundamentally linked with the implication of heterosexuality and the organisation of reproduction (wife, husband, children…).
Putting it in other words: the male*-associated concept of ‚attractiveness‘ is more likely to present the person ‚as a whole‘, whereas the female*-associated ‚beauty‘ tends to reduce them to their surface. (mehr…)

„Sort your shit out for yourselves!“ – Thoughts on MASCULINITY

„If you are going to continue like that there are only two options: graveyard or madhouse!“ It was about 20 years ago when my grandma said that to my grandpa, demanding from him to retire from work – which he agreed on after giving some thought to it.
I‘m glad my grandma demanded from him to face the situation as it was and glad ma grandpa got to follow her advice – for I both like them being alive and as sane as possible.
So why am I telling this story?
Well, on one hand to say I am proud of them and their decision. On the other hand I want to state something else: It is 2014. I don‘t have a partner taking care about me not working too hard; and most of all, I reject being responsible for others_men not to be overburdened. People_men should be responsible for their well-being themselves.
Why is that? Hm, let’s have a look: (mehr…)

“Being in love creeps me out” – Thoughts on Beauty, Power and Attractiveness I

Being in love / being attracted to someone creeps me out.
Honestly. I am not talking about excited nervousness, fear of bonding or doubts about how a relationship should proceed (all of this is fairly sufficient to creep one out, I may add).
I‘m talking about a state of mind that leaves me constantly alarmed; checking on myself about each second, with such sharp criteria, I can hardly overcome high-level tension, confusion and inability to act. It renders me scatterbrained and unable to deal with the easiest tasks/situations.
As pointed out, I am not even focusing on the aim of the other person liking me or on proceeding things between us. I am stuck at the urgent pressure of presenting myself attractive to them.

>Beauty standards< : if you have managed to get them out of your head for a while (in my case, abandoning TV, finishing school and avoiding a lot of 'main stream' places/parties surely had a share in it) - falling in love or attempting to be recognised by someone you are attracted to instantly brings all this unwelcome knowledge back; in its tiniest aspects, offering a complete analysis of where you've failed to accomplish them, within record time. Thank you, brain, for providing this helpful information. (mehr…)

There is Nothing Wrong With You – Thoughts on (not) Being Part of a Couple II

„Do you have a boyfriend?“ - How much I‘ve always hated that question.
Luckily people who know me have stopped asking me years ago.
So. Not living as part of a couple-relationship, hm? Right. Still. Not easy though.

I‘ve always had a loving family; I‘ve always had close friends, caring special people; I‘ve always been part of one or the other community.
[And on a slightly related note: believe it or don‘t, but breaking up with a friend or a community is an actual breakup to me.]
I‘ve always been happy and thankful about that.
Yet I used to think there needs to be more … People and media don‘t ask if you‘d like to engage in a couple-relationship – they take it for granted and ask about the who/when/how. And you end up feeling really weird, worried and at some point ashamed about not ‚getting‘ one: What’s wrong with me?! You try to optimize yourself – or your standards.

You have seen – let’s say – all kinds of people ‚getting‘ boyfriends or girlfriends, how can you not ‚get‘ any? … One day you‘re sure it’s your standards (you just have too specific ideas), the other day you look into your mirror and you understand why no one wants to be with you, cause you must be really wrong and not worth it and you‘re full of disgust and hate and shame and you wish no one will ever ask you again if you have a boyfriend, cause you‘d have to say no and they would know and you will feel like a total fail …

Cruel thing, it’s always the subtle mechanisms that work best for making you assimilate – cause it’s really uncomfortable not to match the criteria of ‚normality‘ and success.

But what makes couple-relationships so interesting anyway?
Some nice aspects associated with couple-relationships I can think of: (mehr…)

Under Pressure – Thoughts on (not) Having Sex II

Check your calender. Update your schedule. Keep up with your to-do-list. Look at your watch. Answer your emails, answer your phone. Fulfill your duties, think ahead, keep the overview. Keep sitting on your chair. Take the shortest way, no time to take a walk outside. It’s time to eat, you should feel hungry now. Time to go to bed, lots of things are waiting in the morning. It’s time to get up, can‘t rest, you need to check your calender …

Again you haven‘t found the time to meet that friend you promised to call two weeks ago; you‘re too tired to go outside now; you talked to someone you like on th street, but both of you were in a hurry; you wanted to write a letter months ago but haven‘t yet found the peace to focus on it and give it all the time and space that needs; you wanted to cook that special recipe but didn‘t want to do it alone and couldn‘t organize yet with a friend; and instead of going swimming you needed to work on this thing, all the time alone in front of your computer …

The movie you‘re watching in the end of the day is pure emotion and action – risky moves and body discipline, exploding things and everything that increases thrill until the total tension; or exploding feelings, people who seemingly spend all their lives in a constant switchover from being in love to jealousy, from rage to desperateness, from grief to revelation, from ecstasy to fear – all in motion, embodied emotion-hyper-thrill …
Of course all these ‚people‘ have sex. No matter if the plot is based on a romantic story and the protagonists finally fall in love … if someone is looking for adventures and ends up taking drugs, listening to rock‘n'roll … if the gangster did beat all his (let’s be pragmatic here – they are 99% male) enemies, blew up all cars and celebrates his victory with the ‚hot‘ woman he gained on top of all the money …
Sex is set a the highest point of tension, it’s shown as the mystical melting-into-each-other, the most intense state of body experience and happiness, the biggest sign of power and strength and the greatest reward.

And here you are. In front of the black screen.
And in the static emptiness of neutral flavor your scattered brain slowly starts wondering: What about all those promises? (mehr…)