eumelia: (queer rage)
Israel is a problematic country.

Anyone who reads this journal knows how I feel about my little hell-hole.

Anyone who reads this journal knows how I feel about Israel being used as a paragon of liberalism because we have deigned to allow queers to have certain rights that enable some of us to live lives without as much fear as we once did.

So, you know, when I read that the Berlin Pride Parade will be honouring the Tel-Aviv municipality sans any signs of Israel i.e. flags, national symbols, etc. I call foul hypocrisy!

Especially when the excuse is branding things Israel excels at.
Yeah, pinkwashing.
Thus, there will be no Israeli flags and the emphasis will be on Tel Aviv as a global city – pluralistic and liberal, which accepts members of the gay community no matter where they're from. Moreover, visitors to the festival will receive information about Tel Aviv which will include a map that highlights LGBT entertainment centers.

Yeah, there's no racial hierarchy in Israeli queer culture. There's no misogyny towards lesbians or homophobia towards gay men, no equating being a gay man with being "feminine" thus inferior, no equating gay women with needing a "good fuck" in order to be corrected. There's no bi invisibility and of course there's no Transphobia, no siree bob, there is not.

And of course, it's not like there was an unsolved double homicide and terror attack less than two years ago.

A source within the tourism industry told Ynet that "in the past it has been proven that the correct and smart way to 'export' Israel, especially these days, is through emphasizing brands it excels in, without using anything that symbolizes the state of Israel. Unfortunately, the Israeli flag or Star of David can cause antagonism among many."


This is me gagging.

Only this year, 2011, does a local bar (as in, it is ten minutes away from where I live and most anyone in my town) have an LGBT focused night. Why is my culture being "exported" in order to make the racist, bigoted, religiously coercive and over all oppressive country look better because it allows the queers to party!

This kind of fetishising of gay culture has gone on long enough, damn it!

ETA: Edited to fix some implications of Oppression Olympics.
eumelia: (Default)
I come from a family of history nuts.

We all adore history, we have different ideas of what history means, but we all love it, learn it and think memory is one of the more important things in life.

I recall the one time I looked my history in the face, when I was 17 and went on the class trip to Poland. I don't think I would have gone without my mother, who insisted, because I seriously hated my peers.
It was an odd time, of false camaraderie and a whole lot of national zeal. I still feel weird thinking about those ten days in Poland, in which the only time we saw something "fun" was in Krakow - where we went shopping in the square and travelled down the salt mines (which is used as a wedding hall, these days... or at least back in 2002).

In Majdanek, which is the concentration-death camp next to Lublin and has a fucking huge ash mound - yeah, seriously, there are reconstructions of the housing blocks, which have been converted into museums. There is a block that has nothing but shoes in it, there's a red high heeled shoe there that I'll never forget.

One of the blocks is an information archive, it has documents, SS uniforms, prisoner uniforms (those stripy "pyjama" things), ID cards for the well known Nazi commanders who did their duty there and a wall with badges.

Badges explaining what each one meant and who wore them.

I had only ever heard of the yellow star of David. When I saw the pink triangle I was shocked. What was a symbol I associated with Gay Pride doing here!?
I read the info and discovered what it meant and why it was reclaimed by gay people.
(I was 17, in a relationship with a boy and was only beginning to understand my own queerness).
I saw the black triangle and saw that it was given to Anti-Socials - which included gypsies, anarchists, the mentally ill and Lesbians.

This confused me.

Surely the Lesbians should be with the pink triangle.

Lesbian women were "Anti-Social", not because they had sex with women, but because they refused to marry and "breed" for the Reich. This I discovered not long afterwards when I realised that my country only counts the 6 million as victims and the rest as incidental - never mind that there are, you know, Jewish queers. So I read up on the other victims of the Holocaust.

Why am I writing this?

Because history continued to rely on the fact that men are more important than women.

As many of you know, Berlin has Holocaust Memorial instillations. A huge Jewish one and across the road from it, a Gay one. It was installed in 2008 to commemorate the gay victims of the Nazi regime. It includes a continued video of two men embracing and kissing. Very sweet.
I remember back when it was installed how happy I was that this piece of history, general and gay, was being recognised and promised myself that when I was in Berlin I'd go (as though I wouldn't any way). It was also stated that every two years the image would be replaced and this year it would be two women embracing and kissing.

Woe.

This, some say, is not historically accurate:
[..]Alexander Zinn, a board member of the foundation that maintains the former Nazi concentration camps near Berlin, said such a move would distort history as there were no known Holocaust victims targeted for being lesbian.

"Historical truth must remain the focus," Zinn told AFP.

He has banded together with other Holocaust experts and fired off a letter of protest to Culture Minister Michael Neumann and Berlin's openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit.

Neumann defended the plans as true to the original concept of the memorial in addressing present-day discrimination against lesbians and gays as well as the plight of homosexuals at the hands of the Nazis.

"The option of using a lesbian film motif in the memorial is in no way meant to put on the same level the persecution of homosexual men and women under the Nazi regime," he said in a statement.

Yeah, gay women didn't suffer enough under the Reich.
That's basically what's being said.

I'm not saying that Lesbian women were persecuted in the same way. Obviously, they were not. Mainly because, women's sexuality doesn't exist without the presence of a penis. That's the crux, these "anti-social" women refused to marry, continued to wreak havoc on the ultra-masculine, misogynistic and fetishistic society that had managed to infect Germany during Weimar.

Regardless, Lesbian women were persecuted for being gay, just, as mentioned, not in the same way. To deny this, is to erase an important part of War World 2 history, the history of the Holocaust and the history of queer women, who are erased from history with fervour any way!

Lesbians Locking Lips on the memorial for the persecution of gay people during the Nazi Regime is just as important as gay men doing so. It is different. The outcome may have also been different, but the motivation was not.
How could it be historically inaccurate?

This is what happens when I read the news on Peach eve.
eumelia: (Default)
Happy November 9th to all of you!

I was four when the Berlin Wall came down and I did not know until much-much later in life what that meant. What the "Iron Curtain" was, what the Eastern Bloc was, or any of that.
I do know that about two years later, when I was in 2nd grade, there were a tonne of new kids in my school with "weird" names and "weird" accents and I was so happy!
'Cause of my own weird name (though I don't speak Hebrew in a non-Israeli accent).

Sonya, Yuri, Misha, Sasha, Anna, Oleg, Kiril... so many pretty names. Yes, I like Russian names, it's what made "Crime and Punishment" bearable for a large portion of the book.

I am digressing.
Back on topic.

The Berlin Wall both when it stood and after it fall was a symbol of arbitrary divisions and unfair conquest; of geopolitics run amok!; of lives broken and torn apart; of a world made up of checkpoints, collaborators and coercion.

Sounds familiar.

No doubt the Separation Wall that has been partially built along the borders between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (it's not, in fact built along the recognised 1967 borders, which is one of the major problems) has been compared to the Berlin Wall - as oppressive acts committed by oppressors.
Though with 20 years hindsight, it's clear that the Fall of the Wall was a precursor to a time of a great ambiguity - Divided We Fall. What exactly does being United mean?
The Legacy of 1989 Is Still Up for Debate (NYTimes Article).

Last Friday, I mentioned that a section of the Separation wall was broken down by demonstrators. Indeed they did it in honour of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

WATCH: Protesters breach West Bank separation barrier.

(Once the demonstrators were dispersed, it was re-built. But you can't take away from the euphoria that moment brought)

The Fall of the Wall was the end of an era, it was the beginning of a new World order. We are still shaping it, our times are in flux and, just for the melodrama, we have the power.

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Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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