eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
It's Erev Pesach (Passover Eve, for you my most beloved gentile readers) and with it come all my feelings of self doubt, waning self worth and over all loneliness.

I thought I'd be used to it by now. But alas, it is the same with every major Holiday that includes a long meal and adherence to a thousand year old tradition. Tradition that has changed many times over, but for this queer lady feels as suffocating as the dust storms that come with the season.

In America there's a cute tradition that is kind of mocked here. Adding an orange to the Seder plate to be inclusive of the LGBT people of the Jewish tribe. As you can read from the column it's been misinterpreted regarding the inclusion of women.

Which in Israel should be a thing when you consider the fact that Jewish women cannot practice freedom of religion.

But I digress, as it had not been my intention to talk about the broader politics of the holiday also known as the holiday of freedom and liberation.

I have to practice the age old tradition foisted on Jewish women known as Shalom Bayit, meaning "Peace in the Home". It is usually talked about married life and the onus of the wife to make sure the marriage is sustained and kept stable, no matter what.

Don't rock of the boat.

I've come to despise the word peace. It is of no value and meaning to me. There's a phenomenon that happens when you read or hear a word repeated over and over again in different contexts and it reaches a degree of saturation that makes you sick of it.

It's called semantic satiation. I am sick of peace.

I recently read Sarah Schulman's book Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, which I whole heartedly recommend, as I would anything by Sarah. None of the material is new to me, but the framing is fascinating and poignant and shows the degrees of separation between the facts on the ground when it comes to the Occupation and the way the average Israeli (and those who hear only Israeli facts) perceives the "situation".

Israelis for years have been calling the systemic oppression and annexation of land the "Situation". As though it is temporary. As though it is something outside our control.

As I read the chronicle of Sarah's journey from ignorant American Jew to Palestine solidarity activist my heart felt heavier and heavier.

One of the feminist and lesbian activists that Sarah quotes in the book is asked by an Israeli man, "But how will there be peace?"

She replied rather poignantly, "I don't want peace, I want freedom and justice."

I can safely that I don't want peace either and feel as light as a feather.

Tumblr crossover
eumelia: (little destiny - bookworm)
I love second hand books.

I love the fact that the books that belong to me now, were loved by someone before me. I love the creased spines and the yellowed, aged pages. The smell of bookcases and cardboard boxes rather than glue.

Like Giles said: Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower or a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell... musty and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is... it has no texture, no context. It's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then the getting of knowledge should be tangible. It should be, um... smelly.

Mind, that I have a very healthy love for computers, but Giles is possibly one of the most inspiring characters and figures of my early adolescence and late childhood - there's a reason I want to be a tweed wearing, martial arts knowing Librarian Hero!

I received my order from Better World Books (which I ordered just over a week ago, dude they're fast!) and I four of the books I bought were for a course I'm taking next semester - I'm taking a Toni Morrison course - yes, yes, lucky me!

But the one book I purchased without a cause other than "hey, there's a sale! I'll get a book I've been wanting for a while!" and that book is Sarah Schulman's People in Trouble.

Another thing about second hand books is that usually, they are third or fourth hand books and they come to be marked and used and dog-eared. I won't be unfolding the dog ears in this book, as I'm interested in seeing what pages caught the reader's attention and how invariably it now has mine.

But the very best thing? Finding a note.

This book came with a note! From one woman to another. Due to the nature of the book and the author (the book being about the AIDS crisis, a lesbian affair and written by a lesbian woman) I safely assume that the women who exchanged this book are queer themselves and I feel they were probably good friends.

This is the note I found in the book.

Amy dearest. Managed you two Sarah books 2nd hand (people in trouble is best). My grandma died in Jan 2nd. Sigh. Been a hard week.
Speak to you soon. Was wonderful seeing you.
♥ Viaoex

I'm not sure if the last word, which I think is the writer's name, is that or "Viavex" or something else.
Opinions?

Regardless, how cool is that?!
eumelia: (fight like a girrl)
I met Sarah Schulman yesterday in Tel-Aviv.

I and a few other lesbian identified (boy this is complicated for me) women are trying to get together a grass roots movement off the ground, aimed at creating lesbian visibility which is lacking in the gay community and generally speaking (my aim is also to weed out biphobia and bisexual erasure with in the lesbian community) and make feminism accessible to young women - feminism is very much perceived to be a high brow theoretical thing, something that only the educated can be and something that doesn't actually help women, or anyone, from a lower socio-economic base.

Sad, but true. We're very backwards here when it comes to feminism on the street.

Any way. Ms. Schulman came to speak with us and it was a really wonderful experience. We were five women in a Tel-Aviv apartment lounge and Ms. Schulman. It was very intimate.
I had no idea who she was until my fellow group member told me she was coming to Israel on a solidarity trip to Israel-Palestine. We spoke the structure of oppression, the disinformation, the fact that we are such a teeny-tiny minority (radical queers, anti-Occupation activists - I should do more), how the IDF stratifies class mobility, how class is tied with ethnicity, what it means to have served, what it means to not have served, the PTSD mentality that's infected people here, that is and how LGBTQ rights are used as propaganda to the outside world to show how fucking liberal Israel really is.

When we're not.

At all.

Hence the fact that the murderer of the gay youth club shooting is still at large. Fuck, I can't believe it's been eight months and still nothing. There are kids who are still in rehab wards in the hospitals and they're not going to be getting social security welfare because this shooting doesn't count as an "Act of Terror" when it fucking was!

Yes. Okay. The past year was a big kick in the ass for me when it came to treatment of queers in Israel, by the State and from society at large.

I asked her about her book Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and its consequences, which I've just ordered. She was very informative and made me feel better about the fact that I don't actually want an "alternative" family.
My family has enough estrangement and I can't bear the thought of not having them in my life.

Homophobia in the family, like everything else, isn't a personal thing. It's a political thing. And it really needs to be exposed for what it is and not just focus on the fact that "oh, parents, siblings etc. just need to "get used to the idea".

I don't have time for people to get used to the fact that I fucking exist.

Any way, it was fascinating and we spoke about being gay, radical and how we want to include women from every where and be more direct action, which we should have asked more about because of Schulman's involvement in ACT UP and Lesbian Avengers.

I think I'll email her at some point.

This was a bit angry, a bit not. Well, mostly angry. But it was a really god meeting. It's a real privilege to meet people like her.

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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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