eumelia: (Default)
There was a small conference about Sexual Harassment on Campus.

It's a subject that has been hitting the Israeli Blogosphere (both feminist and otherwise) over the past month or so because a very brave Master's student by the name of Ortal Ben-Dayan (אורטל בן דיין) published her experience as a BA student and the affair she had with her Sociology Professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Her biting and humour filled article can be read in Hebrew here.

Ms. Ben-Dayan breaks down her experience with this man and contextualizes it within the prism of Ashkenazi Academic Elite and her being a minority woman of colour (she is Mizrahi, specifically of Moroccan descent) and how that affected the unequal balance of power already present within the Professor-Student dynamic.

Ms. Ben-Dayan was one of the four speakers at this little conference and she spoke with dignity and without shame, though she admitted that speaking aloud about her experience is much more embarrassing than just writing about on a social commentary on-line magazine - Ha'Oketz.

All four speakers were excellent and touched on different issues concerning power, identity and the treatment sexual harassment receives in the public and how despite University campus' being considered the same as any other work place under the Sexual Harassment Law in Israel, almost no legal action is done to prevent it. There are no workshops for lecturers, students and campus workers in the subject, when there are supposed to be.
At this point getting a complaint to even be addressed is difficult - there is a hot-line students that have been sexually harassed (women only volunteers) can call, they give counseling and information on what can be done.

But it seems like such a drop in the ocean.

Another great thing about this panel was that three of the women were of colour; two of them Mizrahi Jewish women, one the aformentioned sociology MA student (Ortal Ben-Dayan) and a lawyer (Dr. Yifat Biton); the other (ha! pun) a Palestinian social worker (Ragjda Alnabulsi) and the fourth woman was a Lesbian Ashkenazi women (Dorit Abramovitch).

I was really impressed with what they had to say.

It also brought to my mind all the little sexual harassments I've experienced over the years. I've never been raped or sexually assaulted, but that's because I've been insanely lucky - no more, no less.

All women have been sexually harassed. It's an everyday thing. I've been stripped (by that special gaze) more times than I can count, I've been "accidentally" touched more times than I can remember while I've stood in a crowded bus, train or street. I've been deliberately groped once when I fell asleep on a train. I've been told to smile. I've been told, while working for my father, cleaning his windows, that I'd look really good cleaning your windows. During gym classes I was whistled at and told I had a great rack. After those gym classes my bra strap would be pulled and snapped - my breasts jiggled. I was called bitch, whore, cunt, dyke, etc. etc.
I could go on.
But these are everyday things.
There is no need for anyone to be held accounted for.
eumelia: (Default)
I've been a busy bee these past few days.
I had a fairly large exam today and handed in the paper I stayed up all night doing (same course, BTW). If I never touch this material again it will be too soon.

In two weeks the second semester exam season is to commence.

Monday and Tuesday there was a bunch of activity on campus planned and arranged by the Student Coalition (with your truly being one part of the planning and arranging team. Yes, I'm touting my own horn) regarding the Occupation, as June marked 41 years of the Occupation in Gaza and the West Bank).

On Monday we arranged an open discussion regarding the One State Solution and the Two State solution. It was great, as a whole bunch of opinions were heard and discussed.
The majority were Leftists, obviously - though the posters and fliers were worded to not be too demagogic or partial, we wanted the Mainstream student body to come a listen - of which there a few but out of thirty or so people that quickly dwindled to twenty to fifteen there weren't a whole lot of Liberals, though those that were there spiced things us a bit.There were no outright Rightists, as they know us and hate us... that's okay, we don't like them much either.

On Tuesday we had a myth busting session; an ICAHD activist gave a hugely informative lecture about the population control that goes on in the West Bank (specifically East Jerusalem, which is a world in and of itself within the Occupation discourse) under the guise of Security and how that word is used as a motivation for a whole slew of attacks against civilians in the West Bank (these attacks include House Demolitions, "Check Points", the Separation Wall etc. etc.).
After the ensuing discussion and break we had MBC reporter Qasem Hatib who came to talk to us about the "No Palestinian Partner" myth and discourse. We discussed how that particular discourse became prevalent in the Barak and Camp David years (and following) and how it has been used since then as a political tool by Israel to keep the status quo (not what he said, but what I gleaned from his very cynical journalistic words - such a pessimist, made us idealists all sad... kidding, I don't think I've ever met a bigger bunch of cynics than those in the Coalition).

Very successful half week so far, I'd say.

So it was a good, if stressful week on campus.
Wednesday was a bad day for Jerusalem.
A man went on a killing spree on a tractor. Read more about it, there is a plethora of links to be found behind )
eumelia: (Default)
It's amazing how much our perceptions are just a matter of arbitrary perspective.

Yesterday, I was telling my parents about the LGBT studies and Queer theory conference that went on at Uni (the eighth "The Other Sex" con at Tel-Aviv University) and was asked if everyone there was as strange as I.

They said it as a joke (or not, I try not to dwell), but I couldn't help but think about it in a more critical way.

Am I strange?
I mean, really?
And in any event, define "not strange", or "normal", or "normative" - none of those are synonymous.
So beyond that little venture into semantics land, I have to say that this year's conference was fun, as I actually knew some of the people speaking on the panels and understood the theory that was being discussed there. Last year, was my first Queer academic conference and there was a whole lot that I didn't understand, other than what I had actually experienced as a queer person.

Where was I?
Oh, yes, the "strangeness".

Walking down the street, in my day to day life, I wear my political identity on my sleeve; which not everyone gets, understandably so, I suppose. Most of the time I feel as though I somehow escape the scrutiny of the hegemony because I don't break any societal conventions in the way I present myself to the world (correct me if I'm wrong IRL people). But I'm aware of where I and the "mainstream" meet and conflict, that place where I know that I don't fit into the categories society assumes to subject me to.

And today, at this conference, it's always amazing to hear the theories that describe the reality in which we live and the people who, along with me, don't fit the *deep breath* Patriarchal-heterosexist-Ashkenazi (i.e. white)-Jewish-nationalistic hegemony.

There is always a problem of representation. There wasn't any panel (that I saw) that touched on Bisexual identity specifically, there wasn't a whole lot about Trans' issues and there was a lot of Judith Butler bashing, which seems to be a trend in current post-structural theory and philosophy - which I don't get, personally.

There was a whole lot of talk on Queer identity, which a lot of times is used as an umbrella term for LGBT, but as (the amazing) Amalia Ziv said this evening, Queer is also an adjective and a verb... but not everyone has an identity which is fluid and shifting and changing.

I consider myself and call myself queer in certain circles, but I know that my some members of my family don't understand what I mean by "queer", but "bisexual" - with the baggage that word carries, is something most people who aren't queer themselves and know queer culture - is easier to understand, because it holds within the binary mainstream society insists we live as either homo or hetero, being bi is a little skew from that, but there is the option of one way or the other - with Queer, the options, the categories, themselves are put into question.

And that's what I felt what the conference was about; mainly about literary texts and more theorizing than practicality... but hey, this is academia, sometimes theory is the praxis.
eumelia: (Default)
It would appear I volunteered to lead a team aimed at busting the myths and misinformation concerning the Occupation towards the Student body at TAU, my Uni.
I really like being a part of the Student Coalition*.

Dude, talk about stress, especially since my fellow team leader lives quite far away from me and both of us have tons of stuff to do academically. But both she and I thought that the most important thing to get out there is the fact that there is a whole lot of misconceptions in the Israeli public (in this case the average TAU student) concerning Gaza, Sderot, '67 and its consequences (for which this activity is being done, this week is the 41st anniversary to the Six Day War and the Occupation of those extra pieces of land), the Settlements in the West Bank and the whole "1984" mentality of "Security is Peace".

I think I need to get some of my friends to join this and spread it around, hopefully we'll get a large audience at Uni.

A new subject related to the above.

Every Wednesday there's a Happening on Campus, which I hadn't noticed was a regular thing, it just seemed that the Student Union *snort* arranged stalls and booths sponsored by various private companies on random days... it's quite nauseating. The Union *snort* isn't really interested in actually representing the student body (my faculty rep is such a bitcah I can't even describe how much she irritates me!) and "earns" money by getting these companies to participate in these Happenings.
There's not much to say, other than that the Union considers us consumers and not the actual people they exist for. That, and it's just a political jumping board for the Union Committee, which in and by itself is fine, but not when they use my fees to use it for their own benefit!

I had a point.

Oh, the Union has put the financial support they are meant to supply to the Student Coalition on hold, in an attempt to shut up any kind of critical or oppositional action that the Coalition has put forth.
Which is at once irritating and hypocritical.
They're meant to support any kind of student action or activity (so long as it isn't treason, and I'm sorry, criticism of Student leadership doesn't count as national treason!).

I hope the low key activity the Coalition has planned for the end of the month, won't be brought to a sudden halt because the Union has decided to go into cahoots with more "moderate" factions in the University activist population. Apparently the demo that the Coalition and the committee for Arab Students put on the 15th of May to commemorate the Nakba wasn't well received and a Zionist Student Coalition was formed based on the Coalitions organisation.

So here's to hoping the Union has a new Chair next year that isn't an ass and that the committee have an iota of integrity.

Who am I kidding, my cynicism gave me a big pinch when I wrote that sentence.

*Which is just a shorter way of saying "The Coalition of Students for Left Action and Students Against the Occupation".
eumelia: (Default)
My peeps :D

קואליצית הסטודנטים באוניברסיטת תל-אביב מזמינה אותך לקורס חוץ-קוריקולרי (אבל לא חוץ תקציבי) שלישי, מבית היוצר של "בצל הכיבוש" (2004) ו-"גדרות ללא גבולות" (2006).

השנה יעסוק הקורס בניאו-ליברליזם ובהפרטה. כיצד תהליכים אלו משפיעים על ספירות החיים השונות בישראל/פלסטין, וכיצד הם נוגעים לחייהן של קבוצות חברתיות שונות? נעסוק גם במאבקים ואלטרנטיבות ונחקור דרכים חדשות למאבק אנטי-קפיטליסטי. את/ה לא רוצה לפספס את זה.

ימי שני, 18:00, חדר 326, בניין גילמן (מדעי הרוח).

The Student Coalition at Tel Aviv University presents its 3rd extra-curricular, extra-political and extravagant course, Hurray!

This year, we will be discussing neo-liberalism and privatisation. How do these rather abstract concepts relate to different spheres of life in Israel/Palestine and what kind of influences do they have on various social groups?

We will also look into struggles and alternatives and investigate new forms of anti-capitalist action. You don't want to miss it.

Mondays, 18:00, Room 326, Gilman (Humanities) Building.

Flyer and Course list )


eumelia: (Default)

June 2015

 12345 6

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 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.


-"V for Vendetta"


Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags


RSS Atom
Page generated Oct. 24th, 2017 07:56 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios