Carnival of Bent Attractions

April 19, 2006 at 3:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Carnival of Bent Attractions is now posted at Jay Sennet Jaywalks.

As always, a realm of wicked blog postings.

And, the 13th Carnival of Feminists is now up at I See Invisible People.

– Artemis.

Just ASK me how I am.

April 19, 2006 at 2:14 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

“Yes I think I’m okay
I walked into the door again
Well, if you ask that’s what I’ll say
And it’s not your business anyway
I guess I’d like to be alone
With nothing broken, nothing thrown.

Just don’t ask me how I am.
Just don’t ask me how I am.” – Luka, by Suzanne Vega

Why all the silence?
I really don’t understand it.
We live in a culture of silence. It breeds it. Its in the air. It’s a climate where we’re unable to share, unable to talk, unable to take a stand.

And it’s leaving us helpless.
It’s leaving my sisters in pain, alone, hurting, unable to heal because we’re unable to share.

I wrote before about bearing witness.
About creating a community of healing.
In my thesis I explore the idea of bearing witness. I want to know how we allow ourselves to tell our stories. How we allow others to hear them. What do we choose to reveal and how?

How do we re-write our stories, to our self?

What are we able to admit?

What are we able to say to “it wasn’t my fault”?

Can we ever say that?

***
Here’s what I know:

I tell my story.
Another woman says “that happened to me”. She shares her story. She realizes she’s not alone. I realize I’m not alone.

Then someone else steps in, and tells her story. Now we have a community. And then someone else comes and says “that also happened to me.” or “I had a similar experience”.

“I was raped”.
“I was drugged at that bar too”
“I went to the police”
“I was molested”
“He hit me”
“I didn’t want to”
“I thought I was alone”

Soon it’s a community of healing. A community of stories. Soon we’re taking back our power. Soon it’s not just my pain, or your pain, but its our pain.

***

This is what I know.
No more silence.
The system might not always work for us. God knows I’ve regretted and even wondered if I should send someone to the police. I’ve regretted going myself. And yet… I didn’t. It meant I took a step. I told what happened. And when that didn’t work, I keep talking.

I tell my students in my TA class.
I tell my coworkers.
I tell my fellow classmates.
I tell my family.

And then they tell me their stories.

I am not alone.

This is how I fight violence. This is how I raise awareness against sexual violence. If there’s no awareness, how can we stop it?

– Artemis.

Blog to Raise Awareness About Sexual Violence Day – April 18th

April 2, 2006 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The title says it all.

Femivist is hosting Blog to Raise Awareness About Sexual Violence Day on April 18th.

We’ve all got stories. For those who want to share their story but don’t have a blog, you can email Femivist directly to post your story.

I could write about a lot of things this windy afternoon. But there really is a need to raise awareness of sexual violence.

You hear about it all the time. There’s the statistics, the press, the support groups.
But for some reason, you don’t really hear it.

Or maybe we’re just not listening.

***

In my thesis, I write a lot about the concept of bearing witness.

It’s a pretty simple concept really. I want you to bear witness to my stories, my experiences. In bearing witness to them, you take them into yourself. It’s a collaborative process that affects both the speaker and the listener. You become a witness in my experience, and in so doing, become changed.

Similarly linked is the practice of remembrance. How do we go about remembering certain events, certain traumas, in our lives? Is our practice of remembrance a solitary one, or is it collective? As we bear witness to one another’s stories, what does that mean for collective memory? How can shared remembrances initiate change?

***
In raising awareness of sexual violence, it’s time to tell our stories.
To bear witness to one another’s experience, to create a culture of collective memory.

I want to hear yours. I want you to hear mine.

By speaking together, by sharing experience, maybe we can create change.

After all, we’re not really listening yet.

Perhaps we need a new practice of listening.

– Artemis.


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