Not the most productive of days, but I try to get something read still today. I have a big stack of books just waiting for me... I think they are getting lonely and bored all alone.
Kristiina Insitute for Women’s Studies and a few other organisers had arranged a seminar on non-heteronormative violence and I went to listen to the first session. The guest speaker was Lori Girshick from the States who was talking about her book "Woman-to-Woman Sexual Violence: Does She Call It Rape” which was as the title suggests about sexual abuse in a Lesbian context. It was a very good presentation.
She’s a sociologist, so she had of course some interesting case data. What got me thinking though, was what she said about the need for concepts and context through which to interpret something that has happened. She was talking about women who had been sexually assaulted by other women and who could not properly deal with what had happened since – at least prior to her book – the whole issue was more or less ignored. There was no terminology for lesbian rape. Does that mean that if there are no concepts, no context, an event “has not happened”; that what has happened is something that the pre-existing concepts do cover? Because we value things through concepts it is not totally irrelevant, whether we talk of abuse or rape, teasing or bullying, improper behaviour or harassment and so on.
She was also talking about the need to acknowledge the fact that women can be violent too. That there are women, who are just as capable of jealousy, obsessive behaviour and violence as men; that being in the company of women does not guarantee that you are “safe”. This may not be very PC (that’s “politically correct” – did someone say you won’t learn new things reading Rammstein-interviews), but I started to wonder whether we create “the violent woman” in the process of acknowledging women’s violence. With men there is the tendency to start from the assumption that many men are prone to violence and accept that with a sort of “boys will be boys” –mentality. Isn’t there the danger of doing the same for women in this process? Do we create something new or do we just acknowledge what already exists, but is hidden and unspoken? Would it be possible by acknowledging women’s violence to put the focus on non-violence as the norm for both genders and see the violent behaviour as a real deviation? No more of the tacit acceptance that the media spreads?
I haven’t processed that thoroughly, but maybe you get what I mean. I also had an idea during that seminar for a possible story. I think I’ll write it. If it ends up being a short story, then it will, but I want to see if I can write something with a real plot. Beginning, middle and an end; something other than just random thoughts.
I actually found one of my old random thoughts –writings today. I was looking for an old version of my licentiate thesis and I came across it by accident – I had completely forgotten about ever writing that. I rather liked it, but it reminded me of the days when I wasn’t that happy with life or myself. I had already posted it on my other blog, but then I went and deleted it. I'm practising self-criticism in a good sense ;-) Sometimes it's good to remember to keep some things to oneself.
Alrighty, if I am going to still read something today, it has to be now. What is there...