Reflections on the Consent is Sexy Campaign: Moving Forward, Looking Back
“To grieve, and to make grief itself into a resource for politics, is not to be resigned to inaction, but it may be understood as the slow process by which we develop a point of identification with suffering itself. The disorientation of grief—“Who have I become?” or indeed, “What is left of me?” “What is it in the Other that I have lost?”—posits the “I” in the mode of unknowingness.” (30)
The Consent is Sexy campaign I co-organized for my Final Web Event has definitely been an emotionally, physically, and academically exhausting venture. The above quote speaks greatly to my feelings about the campaign. The project was a political endeavor inspired by my experience of violence, trauma, and grief. However, it was also an exploration and coming to terms with the new person that came out of the survival of that trauma. For me, the campaign was just as much a form of mourning as it was inspired by mourning. The emotional nature of this form of politics was inspiring and empowering at the same time that it was frustrating and problematic. These experiences have made me wonder if restorative justice can truly be achieved for survivors when their community is willing to look forward, but not back.
I wanted to separate my thoughts from the consent is sexy campaign from the actual pictures and materials I gathered while working on the campaign. Below is a photo montage of the postering and chalk we put up around campus.
Postering Thursday, December 1st. Let's get organized!
Alliances are best vuilt over tea and donuts!
The only people we targeted... the Deans (Chase).
...well, I guess we targeted the Interim President too (Founders).
Let's get chalkin', so people get talkin'...
A number of us talked after class tonight as doing some kind of litany for our final performance. Just wanted to make a post for us to throw up our ideas, so we can form into groups or come to consensus on one joint project.
I'll start. I was thinking about reworking Eve Ensler's "I'm Over It" piece, since we as a class o[pointed out so many weaknesses and assumptions in the work. I thought it might be cool to create our own list of "Over-its", about sexual assault or another issue (although I envisioned sexual assault myself.) These would strive to address previously posed critiques, and any new ones we might have. I thought it would be neat to once again have everyone read aloud the piece (yay class participation.) If this were the case, I think we should post a trigger warning on Serendip/ make explicit what we are going to do before we start. Maybe we could be right after break to allow for more a more graceful exit of anyone who doesn't want to participate (more snacks for them!)
Anyhoo, that's my two cents.
This web event describes my plans for an activism project, to be completed as my final project for this course, which seeks to change the culture around sexual violence at Haverford. I've decided to do this web event super early because I want to be able to document my thinking at this stage in the planning process. I've been working on this for about 2 weeks now, and I want to make sure it is clear how this project ties into the coursework (mostly Judith Butler's work) before I get too far into logistical planning. I tried getting the video to upload but Serendip isn't having it. So instead, I made my own youtube channel for my web event, which can be found here. The web event is presented in three sections, which should be watched in order, from I, to II, to III. Upon consultation with Kaye, I decided to do Web Event #3 as a video purely because the topic of sexual violence is so personal to me, I did not think I could effectively communicate my plans via written words. I also find it appropriate to have this information delivered via a conversational video, since the point of my proposed project is to stimulate conversation. If any of you have feedback or suggestions, please please please voice them. I'd love to hear any ways to make my ideas better.
Paul Farmer is speaking at the free library on Tuesday December 6th at 7:30 pm. The link is here, but since we'll all be in class.... :(
Barad’s quantum entanglement, diffracted through Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.
“Billy Pilgrim says that the Universe does not look like a lot of bright little dots to the creatures from Tralfamadore. The creatures can see where each star has been and where it is going, so that the heavens are filled with rarefied, luminous spaghetti. And Tralfamadorieans don’t see human beings as two-legged creatures, either. The see them as great millipedes—‘with babies’ legs at one end and old people’s legs at the other,’ says Billy Pilgrim.”
(Slaughterhouse Five, 110)
“The sperm is inevitably characterized in a narrative of virility, aggression, and mobility. Eggs are… well, your basic egg is usually described as a combination of Sleeping Beauty and a sitting duck. Plump, round, and receptive, it waits—passive and helpless—for the sperm to throw itself upon her moist, quivering membranes. The sperm push furiously at [the] inert egg until one of them finally penetrates deep into the warm, defenseless tissue.”
-Richi Wilkins, Queer Theory Gender Theory
I had a lot of issues with the study we read on gender differences in testosterone and financial risk aversion. One of the bigger issues I saw was the sample population they used. Though they defend their choice of participants ideal for this study, since they were already familiar with financial risk, were fairly demographically homogenous, and provide some measure of risk among professional financial decision makers. However, this group may also be overly homogenous in testosterone levels, offering only a sliver of possible data. They report that other studies have found correlations between testosterone and career choice, and concede that greater testosterone among the subjects may reflect the greater risk-taking in that industry. The selectivity of this sample is incredibly problematic to the generalization of their data. Such selective sampling cannot generalize to the general population. This is also true of the negative correlations they found. Though there may be a negative correlation in the part of the population distribution represented by the sample, the relationship between variables may not be the same elsewhere in the distribution. For example, for the figure below, if you sample between a population with X values between 70 and 80, the X-Y relationship will appear to have a negative, linear correlation. However, if the whole population distribution of X is represented in the sample, it becomes clear that this is not the case.
Our discussion in class last Tuesday, in which we looked for examples of diffraction and entanglement within Exile and Pride, reminded me of a set of videos shown to my freshman as part of a multicultural awareness presentation. The first one is an “It Get’s Better” video put together by Pixar employees (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a4MR8oI_B8). The video encourages gay youth to resist the urge to commit suicide, on the promise that life will get better. The second video is the response by a self-identified poor lesbian woman of color. I had been having trouble conceptualizing what diffraction might look like in practice, especially outside of the ivory tower. These videos seem to capture this concept. The woman in the second video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr5ix1UUnPI) takes issue with the concept of “it gets better,” claiming this experience as exclusively available based on class and race. She brings the intersection of class, race, and even ableism into play in looking at the difficult experiences of gay youths (i.e how they are all entangled). Such experiences take on a whole new meaning and set of problems when diffracted through her experience as a poor woman of color. As a result, the interaction between these many different social factors and how they might play out in individual experience in many different ways splits the singular white, upper-class gay fairytale into a spectrum of lines and possibilities. These videos show that diffract