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–Whassat? city’s covered in snow. the air is brittle. feels like ice on ears riding my bike. wind slices. reminds me of my Alberta childhood. but i rarely rode a bike in the winter. didn’t have proper tires. or gear. presentation tomorrow. not ready. workshop next week. not started. paper to send out. started. messy. this is the work of research and learning and acquiring knowledge. messy, like turning compost that hasn’t been turned for years. eggshells and coffee grounds and peelings and yard trimmings and oh dear there are some cigarette butts and who threw that plastic wrap in there? bugger.

November 27–three days after i started this post. Now i’m at a writing workshop organized by my excellent academic advisor. She gathers her students once or twice a semester to share food and work and ideas and stuff. Today we are all writing. we are ignoring each other, all of us crouched behind our laptops, banging away on the keys. there are three Macs, two Toshibas, two Acers and one ancient Gateway. We know it’s ancient because the company went under about ten years ago. Computers have ‘fruitfly’ lives, in terms of span.

We are all interested in ‘social justice’, but what the heck is that? Cause, you know, the folks who are advocating for the decriminalizing of prostitution, the ones who say, “listen to the sex workers! They make choices! they must be respected!” will say they want social justice. And the ones who say, “prostitution is male violence against women! Listen to the women! ALL women–do you want that for your your daughters? Or your sons?” we say we want social justice. No, actually, i don’t. I say I want liberation for women. Of course, when women are all of us free, there will be justice. but we don’t know what that could possibly look like.

We imagine. oh, to imagine. We would eat rice and beans, we would not have the latest fashions, we would not all drive cars, or even all of us have bicycles. That is to say, the wealthy would have MUCH less, and the really abject poor would have MUCH more, but no one would have too much, and no one would have too little. but to those of us in North America, it would seem as though we had much less, but it wouldn’t be that bad. we’d all have to live together better. I imagine. I hope.

And we wouldn’t all understand each other or agree with each other, but we could find a balance–the tensions between maleness and femaleness–striving and protecting, between youth and elders–tradition and innovation (I’ve been reading about the Gift Economy, eh–Genevieve Vaughan edited a book called “Women and the Gift Economy” and Jeanette Armstrong, of the Silyx people in the Okanagan, she wrote about how her people find solutions by listening and trying to find solutions among all the opposing sides–challenging) — no one side would be unchecked, we could find a balance.

I keep going back to AA, eh. It’s so simple, and so hard. Tell the truth. be of service. take responsibility for your part. One step at a time. Be grateful. Be humble. believe that you are worth it. don’t give up.

Harm reduction is giving up. It’s accepting that harm is inevitable. So, it lets the harms continue, and the damage from that harm accumulates and there is no end to it, and no way out. I refuse. I reject that. I will not settle for increasing degradation of my sisters, and of the relations between us and with the world we live in. We already know what to do. Listen close. Tell the truth. Make room. Get out of the way. Give Generously.

The gift economy runs on the logic of the gift, not exchange. It’s not, “i’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine”, it’s “I’ll scratch your back” and we’re all involved. Everyone gets some loving touch, in this big circle, and the gift goes from one to another to another in a big circle. It’s way hard to imagine how that works because we are in a market economy where some guys get rich from the labour of most of the rest of us, we work and get paid, they supervise and get profit, and it goes up, the stuff, but it doesn’t so much circulate….and the concept of the gift economy is common among indigenous peoples of the world, and we’re all indigenous to somewhere, how did the Europeans get so much power and so little smarts in that regard? where did we go sideways here?

okay. lookit, i gotta get back to my paper here, but you see what i mean by focus?


About easilyriled

My mom was Edith, my dad was John. I have a brother, who is Shawn. I have many friends and allies and mentors in my life. I'm white, over-educated, working in a field for which I am not yet trained, messy, funny, smart, lesbian, feminist "Not the fun kind", as Andrea Dworkin said. But I, like the feminists I hang with, ARE fun. Radical feminism will be the roots of our shared liberation. Rejection of sex-stereotypes (gender) and male domination will give us wings.

2 responses »

  1. hummmmmmm…reminds me of “Reading Lolita in Tehran.” Good to know the circle continues to grow… and grow… and grow…

  2. I know what you mean.

    I started reading “Women and the Gift Economy” as well and it makes a lot of sense.


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