eumelia: (not in rome)
Hello my lovelies.

You may not have known or noticed, but I just returned from a weekend holiday with my entire family, all 14 of us.

It was an amazing time. From Thursday afternoon to Sunday morning, there wasn't a day in which I didn't frolic down the beach in my bikini and wade in the lake like sea water of the beach. The beach enclosed by several break waters so there are many islands to walk around on and many sand banks on which to play.

With four children running after their parents, aunts and uncles, this was good thing.

It was idyllic in a way you've only read in a Gerald Durrel book, in which family escapades can't help but turn minute and quiet at the fact that you can leave them behind by going to swing on the hammock hanging between two palm trees.

My father took me and the kids fishing and the sea was rough that day, it nearly swept my youngest nephew (7 years old) off the break water. It was great.

My niece (5 years old) was slightly more concerned (as was my dad - and yeah, so was I)so we went back to the beach so that we could fish the little baby fish by the boats moored by the holiday cottages and houses.

I spent most of my afternoons siesta-ing. I never nap in the afternoon, but the sea air and sun shine really take their toll.

My niece discovered my MP3 player and spent many minutes listening to the grand variety of Amanda Palmer, Amy Winehouse, Tori Amos, Sinead O'Connor, Bon Jovi, The Beatles, The Who, Hans Zimmer soundtracks, Joni Mitchell, Rammstein, Rasputina and Lady Gaga (among other things).

Apparently, "Gaga [her nickname for me] has the best music."

Believe me, being her musical educator is one of the more fun things to be.

I don't mention Gerald Durrel for nothing, as I brought "My Family and Other Animals" with me to read during the down times and it's funny because it's true. Seeing as I was laughing out loud several times, I was asked to tell what I was reading and many laughs were had in return.

Despite the fact that we only came back today, only several hours ago in fact, I am hard pressed to tell what happened in what order. I remember we went for some activity on a different beach, but I can't remember if it was yesterday or the day before. I can't remember which day I slept for three hours and which day I spent the morning fishing (this may have been the same day).

This isn't to say that there weren't spats and tears and irritability - this is because this is a family holiday. But all was quickly forgotten, because there was fresh fish from a local village that were rubbed in lemon and garlic and grilled to a delicious flakiness on the brei (South African vernacular for barbecue) and a baby who learned to say syllables (guess who she calls "Gaga"? That's right, everybody!) and wave "bye-bye".

Not to mention the beach.

At the moment, I'm back in my room (the room I'll soon be leaving and coming back to only visit) nursing several red patches on my back and face, and blisters on my feet.

This, this weekend, feels like the New Year to me.

Shana Tovah.
eumelia: (Default)
After I finished writing my papers, I slept for twelve hours.

I may have woken up due to nature calling, but I slept for hours after that.

It was the sleep of the just, my friends. Of the just, because I was done and I had no where to go the day after.

I did, however, decide to clean all the things. And when I say all the things, I mean the fact that over a three month semester and a two and half months long summer I let papers pile on high and books migrated from flat surface to flat surface, leaving dust voids that were very quickly filled. With dust that is.

Six hours.

That is how long it took to make my cave lair place under the bridge bedroom habitual again.

I felt very accomplished, mainly because I also opened up my drawers and empties them of the junk that accumulated since the last time I emptied them. Which was probably when I started my degree, four years ago.

So yeah, I still need to go through all the papers I removed from there. A lot, if not most, will go by way of recycling. But it's a very cleansing thing, going through your drawers and removing the debris. I'll probably do the same with my Uni notes and articles, but I'll let those lie for now. They only recently found a home inside my cupboard.

My main accomplishment, though? Moving my hamper of stuffed animals (my loyal companions since early childhood) into our house's designated kid's room - where my Nieces and Nephews play and sleep when they come over. I was actually all verklempt because I was sealing off a portion of my life that was never coming back. I kept a few small stuffed animals that are easy to place of a bookshelf or something similar - even though in my current status as a single person they sleep quite happily by my pillow!

Related to that, I gave my "My Little Pony" collection to my niece. I had been reluctant to let her play with them, because, you know, they were mine and little grubby five year old hands aren't going to be touching the ponies I played with when I was five! Of course, I then realised I was twenty-six and really, what's the point of keeping toys in a box I hadn't opened in years?

I told my mom, they were to be played with, if my Niece wanted to. My mother's face, boy you could see the glow and she happily told me that while I was at work and my Niece came over she played with the Little Ponies more than any other toy.

Fuck, I'm tearing up just writing this!

*sniff*

Sorry, I seem to be going through growing pains.
eumelia: (omg lesbians!)
I want to talk about "Glee" for a moment.

I'm not in theFandom, I don't follow any News regarding the show, I kind of knew going in when I started watching it last year that I'd be in two minds about it, due to my ambivalence regarding the head writer and creator Ryan Murphy, he of "Nip/Tuck" notoriety.

I care about "Glee", I didn't want to, but I tend to care about shows my mother cares about, possibly because I always wanted her to care about the shows I cared about - unfortunately, she disapproved of "Buffy" when I was a teenager and really couldn't grok "Doctor Who" in its current incarnation, not to mention "Torchwood".

My shows are cult, her shows are mainstream.

Let me tell you, the last two episodes of "Glee" (Sexy and Original Song) both of which I watched alone, I'm kind of dreading the reaction my mother would have towards them.

My parents really are awesome to a great degree, but when it comes to understanding what I'm about when it comes to my own presentation of myself as a queer person, they don't really get it and they certainly don't get my criticism of queer representation in media.

Now I talk about events in Glee episodes, cut for spoilers, if you care )
eumelia: (bisexual fury)
Ever since I asked you peeps to tell me what you'd like to read from me, one subject has taken over my brain and I've been trying to articulate it for days in my mind.

It's a personal subject that involves an ongoing history and self-perception. Some of that history makes several people in my life look bad and me look even worse. But that's how the cookie crumbles I suppose.

The story of how I came out as queer (first as bisexual, though that word seriously does not suit me, but it's the only one I've got) is an ongoing project.

It is something, I assume, will continue to happen for the rest of my life.

When I was 15 and came out to some family members I thought that would be the end of it. Then one family member told me to be quiet about it and not mention it ever again (well, not in those words, but that's how it felt at the time). You'd think my monthly excursions to the local "Rocky Horror Picture Show" would be a clue - hell, I played Magenta a couple of times on stage and memorably, the Red Door (yeah, I was playfully accosted by the Eddie at the time... it was hilarious).

In any event, ten years ago, I thought that if I came out that's it. I'm done. Everyone would know and I'd never have to talk about it ever again.

God, I was so naive. Beyond naive. Effing clueless. Cut for length and some frank discussion of sex )

This ended up way more convoluted than I intended. Hopefully it made sense to you all. Questions and requests for clarification are welcome!

Back!

Sep. 26th, 2010 04:07 pm
eumelia: (Default)
I forgot to tell y'all I was going!

But I was on a beach holiday with the family! It's a big family!

Now I'm back and I have to finish(!!!!!!) the talks I'm giving, one about Slash and the other about Wonder Woman as a lesbian icon.

BAH!

Talk to you all later!

Blasphemy!

Sep. 18th, 2010 10:35 am
eumelia: (coffee)
That's me.

This time of year always brings out the contemplative side of me.

Despite the gravity of it being Yom Kippur and Saturday (i.e. Shabbat), I'm feeling pretty up lifted. Such is the price of watching cartoons with my 4 year old Niece while the majority of the other adults have gone to while away the fast at synagogue.

I don't know if I mentioned this at the time, but the synagogue my family attends is a Conservative one, which is a non-Orthodox branch of Judaism, and quite possibly because of that it was vandalised by Jewligans the day before Rosh Ha'Shana.
My mom got an email from the shul's mailing list informing us that the front of the synagogue was graffitied with "יחי העם" which I can only translate as "Long Live the Folk" because that is the spirit in which it is intended and not the more democratic "Long Live the People".
Also, they threw eggs at the door.

This is very disturbing, because our area is not especially religious, I mean there are synagogues all over, but for a quorum you traditionally need ten men over the age of 13 and you can pray as a congregation so, meh.

Our town is quite secular and I doubt Settlers living 20 minutes away beyond the Green Line came in the night to deface a synagogue that doesn't do gender segregation and believes that taking into account social and technological advances are good things would take the time to inform the few hundred people who attend that they're traitors.

I think it was the kids from the local Bnei Akivah (a religious Zionist youth movement who have a branch close to the vicinity of the shul).

I contemplated attending services that day, just to show presence, but I couldn't handle the feeling of hypocrisy so I declined.
Last night I did attend, as I always do, in order to hear Kol Nidrei, as sung by the best Cantor in the world. He's very old now and there's a new Cantor in the shul (who apparently no one likes, I've never heard him so I can't give an opinion) because the Old Man is old. I was telling my dad that (may he live long and into prosperity) once the Old Man can't sing any more tradition will no longer be able to bring me to shul.
He gave me a sad look.
Guilt may still be able to drag me to synagogue once a year for half an hour.

My plans today are to walk the empty streets (because it's tradition in this country to not drive on Yom Kippur, so there are kids running around outside, riding on bikes and basically taking advantage of there being no cars) and watch Mad Men with my friend.

A good year to my Jewcy readers, have a nice weekend to my non-Jewcy readers.

Now, I'm going have a cup of coffee.

Goddamn!

Sep. 12th, 2010 05:38 pm
eumelia: (exterminate!)
I had no Internet access from Wednesday until today.

The few minutes I had were from piggy backing off unassuming neighbours.

It was horrendous!

I couldn't read the News, I couldn't watch any of my shows which I stream, I couldn't reply to emails I didn't receive!

My inbox exploded!

Also, I couldn't share any real time reporting of the holiday happenings in which my family (and other animals) clashed like the Titans and Gods of ancient Greece.

On that and the music meme coming soon! And a bunch of other posts I promised and didn't deliver!
eumelia: (diese religione)
It's that time of year again.

Yep, New Year!

As it has become a tradition in this journal for the past few years, I give you...

The Muppets!



Now usually, I'd be giving you a spiel on what this time of a year means to me and all that, right?

This year, I'm feeling pretty good and don't feel any need to go on an emotional delving into the synaptic explosion we call a soul.

Maybe I'll do that for Yom Kippur, after Kol Nidrei and I go have supper with my other friends... yes, I'm terrible horrible heretical Jew.

Happy New Year to us who thing the world is a Libra!

Don't judge me for quoting Good Omens on Rosh Ha'Shana!
eumelia: (bisexual fury)
I've been staring at this page forever, the cursor mocking me with my inability to write a recap of yesterday's events.

I suppose it was because the actual event was, thankfully uneventful.

There was one counter demo at the march itself, in which Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel, easily the most disgusting specimens of humanity Israeli society has to offer came with signs reading "Holyland not Homoland" as we marched by.
If you are interested, you can read some of their hate speech and incitement here.

But we were safe, because the police (despite some asshattery earlier this month regarding the route to the Knesset) are very serious about the security. Now, I trust the police about as far as I can throw them (meaning, I don't) and it's really due to the fact that the Pride March in Jerusalem gets more threats than any other political march in the city - my sister, who is a Jeruselamite (of many years) was surprised at the fact that there weren't people on the sidelines hurling insults or worse. I explained that ever since the stabbing in 2005, the security had been upped. Not to mention that Pride is not an explicitly Leftist event and doesn't invite that kind of political ire from its opposers.

I, per usual, marched with the Reds :) along with Yael, [personal profile] tamara_russo, my sister (who next year will be bringing her husband and kids) and I saw my friend S and it was awesome.

There were great speeches in the pre-march events, an open stage for anyone who had something say, so there were many talks from grassroots activists, the kink community, the bi/pan community, the anarchists, the communists, an anonymous letter from a religious gay man... it was very heart warming.

As I've previously mentioned, this is the first time we marched to the Knesset, and it felt profound and meaningful. Which is how I felt during the Radical march back in June in Tel-Aviv and didn't feel during the Municipal march in Tel-Aviv - that's a carnival and has lost the political power it once held. I don't know how I feel about marching in the Municipal Tel-Aviv march considering the fact that Tel-Aviv is constantly used to pinkwash Israeli society - while we're called filth and animals everywhere else.

This was doubly clear at the Memorial rally held after the march in the Knesset rose garden in honour of Nir Katz and Liz Trobishi (z"l) which the 1st of August marks the year anniversary of their murder. Nir Katz's mother, Ayala, became a pivotal figure in the community, becoming the chairwoman on Tehila (the Israeli version of Parents and Friends and of [QUILTBAG] people) and she gave a very moving speech.

We were told that the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was "supposed" to send a letter for the community, but didn't get a chance to sign it. Tsipi Livny delivered a letter, which I don't appreciate thanks, seeing as gays are seen as nothing more than fodder for tourists, at best.
Gay and out MK Nitzan Horowitz gave a very passionate (and loud) speech and stated pretty blatantly that the other members of Knesset sucked when it came to policy concerning queers.
So, yeah.

My sister and I left after his speech and missed the (so I've heard) surreal speech by former Speaker of the Knesset and author Avrum Burg, who is a religious man and upholds universal values of human and civil rights and spoke about reconciling those with religion.

I spoke to my sister about the Statement of Principles I mentioned yesterday (LJ/DW) which is obviously connected to the whole reconciling of religion and homosexuality. And she said it's better than sitting Shiva on the child and mentioned that at least like this they can still have a place.
"Men" I said, as the Statement is very much tilted towards the male experience, despite the fact that gay women are mentioned, it's clear that the only people "really" affected are men, because there is this disbelief surrounding female desire towards sex that doesn't involve a penis belonging to a man.
My sister said that possibly being an unmarried woman in traditional Orthodox society is the worst position, because there really is no place.

Call me crazy. But to me this means traditional Orthodox society is just not the place to be if you're gay. Also, traditional orthodox people need to stop being bigoted ass-holes.

Just sayin'.

Yes, it is better not to sit Shiva over your child, just like common-law marriage is better than having no partner rights whatsoever.

So, yeah.

Here are some pictures, all taken by [personal profile] tamara_russo. Thank you babe, for being there with me!
I'm cute )
eumelia: (little dream - observing)
Last night was a cultural outing with the family. My sister, sib-in-law, dad and I piled into the car and went to see Mikhail Baryshnikov dance.

Yes. That Baryshnikov.
I find it horrifying that some of my friends said "Oh, that guy from Sex and the City.
*cringe*

Any way.

It was a lovely evening of a joint production of the Baryshnikov Arts Center and the Suzanna Dellal Centre featuring Three Solos and a Duet.

Baryshnikov is a beautiful, beautiful man. This is the first time I've ever seen him live. I've seen him dance a few times on television and I have to admit that his nose flared up my fetish.

Seeing him, albeit from a distance, was amazing. It wasn't a classical performance, seeing as the production centres are modern ballet and dance centres, but Baryshnikov is all classical - not a hard line, every movement was a work of art.

He had a dance partner for two of the dances (yeah, one of the Solo's was a pseudo-duet), Ana Laguna, who is a modern ballet dancer and she was superb as well, but their different styles didn't mesh that well, despite the amazing chemistry between them - only during their synchronised movements did I feel that they really communicated, other times, they seemed to be props and tools for each other - which looked great, but you know... more craft than art, compared to when they each danced alone.

The first dance (we all broke into applause when he came on stage), Valse-Fantasie. was a lovely plotty dance to the music of... "Valse-Fantasie" by Mikhail Glinka, about a guy who falls in love with a girl, the love is unrequited, he leaves the country, comes back after a few years and discovers he doesn't love the girl any more.
Baryhshnikov danced the best in this, he was totally in his element and it showed, I couldn't possibly begin to describe what it looked like.

The second dance, Solo For Two (excerpt), with the music of Arvo Part (fur Alina, for Arinushka, Spiegal im Speigal), which was mainly Ana Laguna being very dramatic and sensual. It was a mourning tale, what with the shoes and erotic hip movements. I enjoyed it immensely.

My sister, who is a dancer, didn't like it. She said it was too obvious. I don't know, maybe I'm a sucker for Drama. Also, I don't grok dance very well, it looks pretty! I'm a very unsophisticated viewer when it comes to dance, I'm afraid.

The third dance (and my personal favourite), Years Later, with the music of Philip Glass, Melodies for Saxophones Nos. 10, 2, 13 and 12, was a very self aware piece and incorporated video footage of Baryshnikov himself and he dance along with himself! In total synch! It was fantastic.
It was also quite sad, as the title suggests, it was a bit of a retrospect of himself, because besides videos of himself as he is now (which he danced to), there was old old footage of himself as a young dancer when he leaped so high and so wide. The lighting was designed in those moments to create a silhouette of Baryshnikov which was displayed on the movie screen and as his young self leaped, he looked on and held the small of his back as though it ached.

The man is 62, after all.

It also gave me a hankering for Philip Glass.

The last dance, Place, with the music of Flaskkvartetten, was the proper duet between Baryshnikov and Laguna and it was a lovely dialogue of styles. As mentioned above, their synchronised moves were brilliant, but during the actual dances together they were as much props to each as the table of stage was and I wonder how much of that was deliberate, as the dance was that of frustration and of different styles of creating space and doing things in that space - so maybe I wasn't so off the mark.

I haven't managed to convey one little bit the brilliance of this performance. I loved it, felt privileged being able to see it and my hands were read from the clapping. We just wanted him to dance some more. Alas, not even a standing ovation could do that.

Selfishly, I'm glad the impending cultural boycott hasn't stopped me from enjoying this evening.
eumelia: (buggering)
I didn't write about my birthday, which was awesome! Let me just say that Simon and Garfunkel tribute duos are a whole lot of fun. 400+ stodgy audience members who don't sing along to the "La la lai" part of "The Boxer" suck.
Seriously, I was singing the loudest there and was the youngest adult by far.

My mother and I sang a duet during "Homeward Bound", because no one else was singing.

But it was lovely. We had a picnic in the park, it was the entire fam - siblings, sibs-in-law, the "babies" (none of them are by now), parental units and little ole' me.

25 years.

Geez Luiz.

I got prezzies too :) none of which are of great interest. Though I shall talk about some of them at a later date as they are fandom related... I think. Pictures of the abstract TARDIS cake forthcoming.

My mother made a cake as well... it was eaten. Quickly and with relish.

It was a good weekend.

Ack!

My paper on Slash and Porn is due on Sunday and it is not done! It's been a few busy days and I'm really going to be pushing the coming couple of days. OMG!
OMG!
OMG!
Going to write now. Will probably write a whole bunch tomorrow and do the final push Wednesday to send it off for proof reading and hopefully to make sure I don't sound like a total idiot!
AHHHHHHHHHHHH

Relax.
Mel.
You can do this. You write about this stuff all the time.

*deep breaths*
.
.
.
*hyper ventilates*

*sigh*

Going to write.
eumelia: (queer rage)
Israel's Interntional Day Against Homophobia Day website is up - IDAHO Israel (It's all in Hebrew, but it looks pretty). The nice thing about the acronym of IDAHO in Hebrew, which is הבנה - Havanah, is that it spells out the word "Understanding".

I like that.

Getting the launch notice in my email box also got me thinking about a topic I'd been meaning to write about for a while now.

I know that throughout the past year my "queeriosity" tag pretty much exploded. I feel guilty about that.
Not for talking about the queer thing, or for info dumping my perspective on queer issues, but the fact that it took a trauma for me to realise how sheltered and privileged I was (I still am).

When I came out the first time at 15 it was because I was fighting with my mother, god knows about what and I blurted it out. It shut her up, which was the desired effect. She told me not to tell my dad and that I should try the "hetero way before [I] decide something rash" (I will never forget her words).

Five years later I came out again; I was out of the army, I was starting my life after two years of stagnation and I thought it was as good a time as any.
I told my dad as we drove home from work and it was a classic cliché thing, "Daddy, I have something to tell you".
And I did.
His response, after a few moments of quiet (which I thought would last forever, my dad is one those laconic quiet types) said: "Are you seeing a woman at the moment?"
I was single at the time, which is my default state any way, so: "No", I replied.
"Why are you telling me now?"
It stung.
A lot.
Still, at the time I thought that as far as responses go, it could have been worse.

As time went by and I became more vocal about being a queer person, I could see that my parents did their best to ignore this, my sibs didn't seem to really get why I was getting riled up - especially when no one was actually being, you know, intolerant towards me.

Why wasn't I happy with this tolerance? It could have been so much worse. I could have been thrown out on my ear, I could have been told to never mention such horrible things again. I live with my parents, am supported financially by them and will probably not move out until I have finished my studies.

I am not about to confront them about the fact that I feel that their treatment of me and [Southern!Girl] during the year that we were together was severely under par. That I wasn't treated as though our relationship was equal to any of the guys I dated for a couple of months before I met [Southern!Girl].

During the year that were together I was asked time and time again not to introduce [Sothern!Girl] as my girlfriend, but just by name. When I complained I was accused of "not understanding" their point of view.

I read Sarah Schulman's book, the one I mention when I wrote about meeting her, Ties That Bind, in which she coins the term "familial homophobia" and discusses the phenomenon from a very personal and (obviously) political place.
I have so many passages underlined.
I scribbled a lot in that book.

In the book she lays out how familial homophobia operates and how by being a part of the nuclear family structure heterosexual children and relationships are privileged is various and sundry ways.
It is radical in it's assessment.

What does it say about the society that we live in when a 25 year old Israeli bisexual-queer Grrl recognises the experiences of a 51 year old New-Yorker lesbian?
Far too much.
Unlike Ms. Schulman, I was not ostracised out of my family and I am a (hopefully positive) influence on my niece and nephews and hope to be able to teach them and be there for them in ways their parents aren't.
But the feeling of difference is there. Deeply and it's disturbing and it's masked as "not so bad".

That we are tolerated is something to be appreciated.

I'm not a tolerant person, I know this of myself. I'm judgemental and elitist and will argue my point until your ears bleed. I may not let you get a word in edgewise.
Some things, are not an opinion.
Asking us to be "understanding" of how we impose ourselves is so insulting I don't even know how to articulate the hurt I feel when it's asked of me.

I get upset when I mention the marriage of a friend and am asked "Have I found a suitable boy yet?" and when I say "no", am then asked jokingly "I suppose I should ask about a girl" as though my most serious relationship ever was, ya know, a passing fluke.

It may not be as earth shattering as being expelled from the family, being mourned and sat Shivah on as though I had died, but these little daily instances are diminishing, softly dehumanising... plainly and simply wrong.

To get straight people - family and friends - to see it that way can be even more upsetting, because you're forcing the people you love to confront the fact that their behaviour hurts you - and be rebutted by a line that basically says "we love you too, but your existence is difficult for us".

There's more to say. Not now, though.

Happy May Day.
eumelia: (Default)
When I think about various discussions I've had with my parents regarding my political alignment (re: The Loony Left), I think about the fact that a former uni classmate of mine (who studied Psychology) said that they're probably sublimating their hostility regarding my queer factor onto my politics.

It's an interesting thought, one I wouldn't disregard, as it makes sense. Seeing as both my political alignment and me being not strictly straight are viewed by my parents as a rebellious phase.

Though honestly, having been "officially" out to my immediate family for nearly five years now1, you'd think the whole "phase" thing would be taken as, you know, my life.
Alas.

Seeing that I'm now on Semester break and my first exam is only this coming Sunday (as in, not today, yays) I had time.
I had time to watch a twenty seven minute video about Coming Out With Mom from a YouTube channel called The Beaver Bunch, which are a bunch of American LGBTQ peeps talking about what it's like to be LGBTQ and disseminating information.
Things I generally find none too shabby.
I've watched a few of the shorter videos... it's all very American, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the issues do not really correspond with my experiences.

In any event, that video I watched irritated me throughout. Because constantly, constantly there was this emphasis on time.
When you come out give your parents time.
Time to realise you're the same person you always were.
Time to realise what they hoped for you (that fantasy of who you are in their head) is not what they thought.
Time to learn mourn the life they thought you were going to have.

In the video one of "Beaver's" - Michel(le?) - is sitting with her mother and they're answering questions from viewers about coming out.

I was irritated by the closeness that I saw between them. Obviously, I was completely and utterly jealous.
Not because Michel(le?)'s mother had reached an acceptance with the fact that her daughter is gay, but the fact that they even shared that closeness. Read Moar F-List... Read Moar! )
eumelia: (Default)
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Yes.

Very obvious and self-explanatory question.

If you don't have children you're not a "real woman".
You have to be a "real woman" in order to be a Mother.
If you're single, you're a failure anyway.

Being child-free is a kind of scarlet letter on your social standing - you're refusing to contribute to the human race, refusing to be a responsible adult and all that junk.

*sigh*

The answer to all those questions (thought the holiday part is ambiguous) is "Yes".
eumelia: (Default)
Last night was a big mess when it came to be trying to deflect racism, homophobia and sexism.

I dunno what was in the air, but it was irritating.

I had to tell people to stop codifying Islam with "terrorism". I had to tell people that gay people in the States do not want "special rights" when it comes to same-sex marriage. I had to defend this "assimilationist" strategy - when I personally would like to see marriage abolished - because the "LGBT Community" isn't campaigning for separating the 1000+ rights automatically given with marriage and would rather just reproduce straight ideals - this is all coming from straight people by the way.
I had to tell people to stop using racial slurs when describing a black service person - and then went on to "Politically Correct" the language by instead of using racial slurs to say "African" in a very un-ambiguous way while looking at me in irritation.

Thank you for being an asshole.

Someone tried to convince themselves that going to a strip club wasn't contributing to the sex industry in the same way going to a prostitute.
I was shot down time after time when I tried to explain that the only thing you're doing by not going to a prostitute is not paying for sex with a prostitute. Going to a strip club is still contributing to the industry.

Then I'm told that some women chose to work in the sex industry.

I did not mention anything about who chooses to do what! Honestly, sex-work is real work! Just because I'd rather see it sans exploitation and sans human trafficking doesn't mean I am anti-sex work or anti-sex workers!

I think the main issue isn't the fact that women chose to do sex-work (and should be paid accordingly), but the fact that the sex-industry is so bloody duplicitous when it comes to what is legal and what isn't - more accurately, the law regarding the sex-industry is so duplicitous and because there is such a problem of comprehending the difference between legalisation (which often causes just as many problems as it being illegal) and decriminalisation.

Actual sex workers have better and more info on the subject.

All in all, it was an irritating evening in which my family and friends made me feel like a bloody fuddy-duddy, a Politically Correctness-Fiend and an anti pro-sex advocate!
Arrrgh!
But there's no doubt in anyone's mind that I'm pro-porn (which I am, though I'd rather, like other sections of the sex-industry, had a little more respect for its workers and consumers).

*sigh*

Such is the life of the pro-sex, anti-racist, queer feminist student of Literary Theory and Women's studies, I suppose.

Rainy Days

Nov. 2nd, 2009 08:25 pm
eumelia: (Default)
It's been raining cats, dogs and frogs since Friday.

Today Mummy made Ginger short-bread biscuits for Libby my niece and I.

I had been in my room studying and the smell had been wafting about.

Not too long after Mummy called me and she started cutting the flat short-bread and I ate it.

Divine, I tell you. Divine!

Nothing like fresh baked anything on days in which the sky is falling.
eumelia: (Default)
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Okay, wow.
This is actually a good Writer's Block.

I've been staring at it for a good while now.

Because the answer is: sometimes.

I'm being honest here, sometimes, I'm just too tired to confront people and tell them they're "wrong", "off-base", "being disrespectful" etc. Why? Because it's all the freakin' time.
It's prevalent and invidious.
How do you tell someone that their assumptions are offensive?

Is that over-sensitivity? Perhaps, but I'm often been called over sensitive for calling on people who said something about Arabs being untrustworthy, or about Gays "flaunting" their (our) sexuality.
And I'm like: "Die, fucker, die!" in my mind, while trying to calmly say: "Excuse me, but do you have any idea how offensive what you said was?" and then discuss for half an hour how #1 I took it the wrong way #2 It's just an opinion and they're entitled to it and #3 going around in circles regarding the whole concept of treating other people as human.
It's not that hard, honestly.
A little dignity and respect that goes two ways.

But it's not that, of course.
It's much deeper than that, because dignity and respect are concepts to be put upon those you see as equals, right?
Racial inferiors and sexual deviants aren't worthy of the same dignity and respect, right?

Generally speaking, I do not let this shit fly, because it reduces me as a person, to this non-person and it replicates the destructive discourse that makes sure that sexual minorities, racial minorities, women, people with disabilities, trans people and every intersection thereof into something other than human.
And that, plain as day and crystal clear, just doesn't effing fly.

And sometimes... I'm just too tired to deal with it, so I roll my eyes, make a sarcastic remark and hope the conversation moves on quickly.

Good night, y'all.
eumelia: (queer)
The Yanks are having a Gay Ole' Time!

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
The Interwebs are very US centric, so I know that the 11th of October is National Coming Out Day and that during Obama's address at the Equality March he promised to revoke Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
He didn't specify when, but meh.

I also read a post that resonated in me so much, my eyes stung up as I read it, you should read it too.

Coming out never ends.
You have to do it over and over and over again.

When I came out to my mother I was 15 and she said "Why don't you try the Hetero way, first" and "Don't tell your father".
I didn't tell my dad until I was 20 and he said "Are you in a relationship with a woman?", I wasn't at the time, "Then why are you telling me this now?".

I don't mean to vilify my parents, but this is such an ordinary reaction it's hardly worth mentioning. Because it doesn't matter that I'm Bi and am thus "gay" whoever I'm with, it only matters when the genitalia of the person I'm fucking is the same as mine.
Then, "I'm making my life more difficult".
As I am responsible for the homophobic reactions I'm forced to endure and yeah, those small insignificant questions are "homophobic" and yeah, I will call you on them.
Hiding behind conservatism, or old-fashioned views, or that a double standard is okay because it's social.

I don't mention my siblings, because they're awesome; despite the fact that one of them thought I said I was queer because I was looking for attention (*grrr*), despite the fact that one of them tried to excuse the police assaulting us at Jerusalem Pride, despite the fact that one of them challenged the oppression of queer identity by comparing it a different one.

I don't mean to vilify them either.

My family, I love them dearly and they love me.

But the assumption, assertion and aggressively enforced enables people, no matter who they are, to doubt my identity and this, of course, holds true for the Queer community as well.
This requires that I assert, "advertise" and repeat "I'm gay/queer/bi/the-label-that-fits-best-at-this-time-and-place".

When I was in the IDF, I was out during my training and more than anything, to the group of about 20 young women that lived together for nearly four months, I was a curiosity at first, but because none of us was fucking while we were on base sex was spoken about as something we miss and not something we do.
At my permanent unit I was not out, except to the Lunch Club, which could have been dubbed the "Bunch of Queers having a two-hour Lunch Club".
It was nice.
But none of us were out in our units.
No doubt, everybody knew.
No confession was made. no questions were asked. That was fine, but until actually spoken about, it is assumed that you are straight.
Even if you are the Dykiest Dyke, The Faggiest Fag and the Omniest Bi.

And it sucks. It forces you to be, for large portions of your life,dishonest by default and purposefully.
"It's provocative having two women together at a wedding".
"Do not introduce her as your girlfriend".
So we didn't slow dance, and you'd have to be pretty slow not to figure it (that we're together) out.

To be "out" is to be provocative.
It's a luxury I felt acutely this year, the freedom of it in certain arenas, it's utter deprivation in others.
That my life.

That's all our lives.
eumelia: (Default)
I've decided that I'm no longer going to discuss the Occupation or the Israel/Palestine conflict with my family.
Most of the time, it's fine and civil and everybody wants to smack the other upside the head and that's okay, it's even good, it's mean we're affecting each other (even if it is frustrating).

But when the discussion basically comes to the a place in which people are regurgitating (but in different words) "The Palestinians are doing it to themselves" and closing the discussion by saying "Israel made a big mistake in 1967... that we didn't push them all out into the Arab countries and make it all Arab free" (very little paraphrasing on my part).

Cue me being appalled.

"Because if you think they wouldn't have done that [ethnic cleansing] to us if we had lost, you need to educate yourself a little more" were (again paraphrased, this was last night) the parting words and the end of the discussion.

I'll no longer discuss this matter with people who have the ability to make me cry.

It is so retarded that I'm accused, again and again and again, of being brain-washed, of being an absolutist, of being "one-sided", of being naive, when talking about this matter.

It is so backwards that I need to ratify the fact that I think Hamas are fundamentalist whack-jobs with guns, who if they had any interest in actually leading the Palestinian people, their strategy wouldn't include killing people in the strip.
As for the firing Qassam rockets into Israel... you mean those three weeks back in December '08 and January '09 didn't actually help with that.
I'm shocked.
Absolutely... un-surprised.
Should have Hamas used the Disengagement plan in order to try and re-build something in Gaza and perhaps move people out of the slums of Gaza City and into the towns left by the Settlers who left them.
Probably.
Most likely.
Who ever said people had a reasonable response to a unilateral move which was viewed as a victory of terror tactics over Israel... the best way to get more results is to continue terror, obviously.
*sigh*
By the way, as far as we're aware, the trickling of Qassam rockets at the mo' come mainly from break away factions of Islamic Jihad... Hamas can control them to a degree (by killing them), though to the people of the towns surrounding Gaza, it doesn't really matter.
Nor should it.

Same as for Palestinians, an Israeli is an Occupier, even if they get them permits to cross the checkpoints, ambulances, medicine and letters and come to demonstrate against the Fence and Wall.
Being a good ally is knowing that we are a part of the Oppressive forces and not take umbrage when we're regarded as such, because it's not about us.
Though, it is also, because the violence committed in our name, the electricity and water flowing into Gaza (because Egypt doesn't want to deal with the strip, nor do any of the other Arab and/or Muslim nations want to deal with the "Palestinian Problem", because they'd much rather have a scapegoat on which to foist all their problems rather than deal with their own internal conflicts... hmmm, sound familiar... nations, like people, are so bloody similar it'd be funny if it weren't so tragic) in order to keep the population under our control and thumb (Cynical? You bet!).

Asymmetrical warfare brings about different tactics.
Would you say that 18-21 year old kids guarding an illegally constructed barrier are better or worse than 15-25 year old kids who strap on a bomb and walk into a market and blow themselves up.
Both are indiscriminate, though the soldiers have the ability to be more accurate.
Instinctively, I think, one would want to say that the bomber is worse, because of the location and the fanaticism that induces such an action.
I mean, the victims in the market or a pizza parlour were just innocent by standers, minding their own business and day.
They were.
No one plans to go out, hang out with friends and be murdered.

The people of Bil'in are subjected to nightly incursions, arrests, teenagers are taken from their homes, "interrogated" and then sent to prison, where they learn faster and better the art of guerilla fighting from their older and more experienced cousins.
Are those not acts which try and induce terror over a civilian population?

The people of Bil'in, Nia'lin, Jayous, et al, all go to the demos knowing the score (that soldiers shoot indiscriminately), the people sitting in the cafes, markets and Malls, are unsuspecting.
The people of Bil'in, Nia'lin et al can't, really, forget the terror that they're under, it is their daily reality, they are never unsuspecting that they are in danger.
Even during the worst of the bombings (that I remember), in 1996, 2000, 2003, etc we made sure to continue with our normal lives so that they would know that we continue on despite the terror and danger.

I know people who have died in bombings. If I had left my home ten minutes earlier not too many years ago, I wouldn't have just felt the tremors under foot of a bomb going off in the mall. My dad's store front shattered because of a bomb and he was nearly shot at a different time.

I'm not fucking objective.

And that's all I have to say about this at the moment.

For my next post, I may write about this, but after writing all of the above, I dunno if I have the energy.
eumelia: (Default)
I didn't write about the big rally that was orchestrated last Saturday night (the 8th) because frankly by then, I was pretty much wiped out.
Also, it pissed me off and I was very disappointed by it.

I had vented a hell of a lot, cried some more and as is evident by the frivolous entries of the past week, I just didn't have any more to write.

The repercussions of the shooting are still felt, though it is now old News and due to other strings of murder being reported and investigated with about as much gusto as a Lion pride at midday in the bloody savannah, the fact that no suspect has yet to have been found is not even worth an update.

Not that I'm surprised.

The shooting itself shocked me, but I wasn't terribly surprised. My society is violent and filled with strife. Not to mention that the mainstream media and mind-set refuses to see any correlation between the Occupation, the virulent racism and xenophobia of our social structures and the hatred of anything gender non-conforming (which is a large umbrella under which misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia etc all fall).

The rally, as mentioned, was a disappointment for me. The only worth while speakers were one of the wounded kids who was just heart breaking and couldn't stop sobbing and a few other people of note from the more grass-roots queer movements.

One of the things that really annoyed me, was the exclusion of former Memeber of Knesset Issam Machool (of Hadash - Al'Jabha), who wanted to speak out against the homophobia in the Palestinian communities and how it's compounded by the harsh racism of current Israeli policies.

This was deemed too "political".
Same with a representative from Aswat - Palestinian Lesbian Group based in Haifa.

It pisses me off.
Royally.

In the blog post Palestinian Gays under the Hijab, Nisreen Mazzawi writes:
While in the world the legend of the democratic country of the middle east keep announce its jingles regard its tolerant city Tel Aviv that provide a shelter of the Palestinian gays running from their society and families, The Palestinian gay community and supporters are excluded on purpose from public events specifically from the solidarity anti homophobic demonstration held yesterday in Rabin Square.
[...]
For the Palestinian gays who live and struggle for their lives under the occupation, Tel Aviv is not an alternative or a safe shelter, the few who succeed to do their way to Tel Aviv end up living and working in the streets, not once they are victims of the Israeli propaganda that use their cases to promote this image.
[...]
While we believe homophobia is equal to racism and hate is equal to hate and murder is equal to murder, the majority of the Israeli gay community choose not to see the link and to ignore other kinds of violence abundant in the Israeli society.

I recommend the whole post, it's very informative and just gives you a broader picture of the intersection of different destructive oppressions in Israel and Palestine.

If you recall, in the weeks before and during Pride month I wrote about the campaign of using LGBT Israeli culture to promote the image Israel as a "pluralistic, democratic and tolerant" nation.

Israel may not be the most horrendous place for queers, but the saturation of violence along with the Occupation colouring every facet of life whether we like it or not. That of course, in turn, colours the entire social conception of what is "acceptable" and "not acceptable", what's "In" and what's "out".

I've never really felt "In", whether it was being generally a little eccentric, outspoken, visibly queer or just not having my politics (whether during my apathy years or later/now) mesh with what is considered worthy opinions, the past two weeks very much struck me as a kind of final straw, which I've possibly mentioned before.
Compounded with crap that [Southern!Girl] and I had to deal with this year on account of our relationship which I won't get into right now... I feel as though this place just isn't it any more.

I don't know what's going to happen. I never did, but this opened my eyes a little wider.

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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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