I'm Stephanie.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

post x: L'ecriture, l'ecriture, l'ecriture

I recently read a somewhat interesting article called "L'Ecriture Feminine" by Ann Rosalind Jones, which discusses the ways in which the language we operate within is intensely patriarchal.  This isn't necessarily at the root of feminine inequality (although it may help to perpetuate it), but it's worth observing and maybe deducing that it is not necessarily the most-suited language choice out there for all of us.  Mostly, it is not for women who have at any time felt an overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction with the language in which we operate.

All of that said, I do not see how this is remotely limited to women.

The article of course dwelled upon the construction of our very language making actual sexual equality not a default mindset, but I felt like it was overlooking the default that language places all of us under and how this has power over our interactions with other humans, with nature, and with ourselves.

It is definitely not good or at least not wordily courteous when the normative is set to the male by default, so that when a woman (person) even refers to herself, she (or he) verbally refers to herself as other and may even think of herself as other.  But don't men do this too, when they don't fit in with a precise definition of the normative that the language has provided? Our language also doesn't just do this to women, but it does it to men, as well as to all things, so that when something, someone, some concept, some abstraction, receives a word, it becomes further removed from that thing which is actually is.  So the male, as well as the female, the thing, gets defined in terms of something that is other from what it actually is.  Answer to this?  Fuck if I know.  But yeah, language does have some patriarchal patterns that might be a little better serving if neutral...better serving to both women and to men.  But who's the neutral?  Then would there be a separate neutral, or a neutral that encompasses both?  I like the latter, but the latter in our language tends to be the male term.

So naturally, this becomes a piece of work for the poet who must function within the boundaries so clearly perceived as simply false and un-encompassing of that which things truly are.  (Although so little can truly be elucidated, nor should it be.)

I'm really, really tired of talking about this already.  Topics concerning femaleness and maleness and language exhaust me like no other, and I never get to the bottom of anything, I contradict myself, I disagree with myself, I can sound hyper-feminist, and at times even chauvinistic in my own way, because words fucking fail.  So do people.  So do machines,  and so do systems, eventually.   And I am a person, using language, a system to try and explain something concerning exactly these facts.  Whoa man.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

post ix: I, i, I, i, and I

I wouldn't be surprised if our vernacular were to expand to include new forms of the word "I" and "self."  "I" alone isn't necessarily satisfying.  Sometimes it is more fitting to its descriptive need when not given the importance of capitalization.  Sometimes it may need more than capitalization to achieve its magnitude.  Sometimes it may be something that is still "I" in a way, but is not entirely just "I," or is really only a fragmented representation of "I" that it needs a new word altogether.  It may be just a branch or a leaf or an insect clinging to the tree that is "I," but at other times this thing we're calling "I" may require a bombastic head - the whole tree and the forest to allot for its meaning.

But on that note, where are these "I"s?  These "self"s?  Do we even have one at all, or do we have many that we've littered about like seeds to grow and cultivate without the mothership "I" even being aware?  Mothership "I"?  Fuck.  There I go assuming that there is some kind of a pure, base, consistent "I" whose superficialities are only sparse contingencies of its truth.  Shit.  I'm getting into truth/Truth which is a larvae's nest of impalpability, so let me abandon that for now, except where it relates to the "self" thing.  Um, which I guess is everywhere.  And nowhere.  Which may be the same thing as everywhere.

Many of us seem convinced that we are frequently experiencing some varying tragedy of the self.  But perhaps we're just created so many selves, all intangible yet suited to a specific need that we perceive to possess, that at least one of them, at some point if it remains so separate and autonomous, gets sick.  Or gets neglected and wants attention.  Or gets lost.  Or just discovers the non-fulfillment embedded in mortal human experience and cannot accept it, and has deviated so far from its own awareness of its own existence that it cannot grasp actual fact and clings only to the fact that it has created to fulfill its own separate reality.

What are these selves that we create?  These masks of identity that cease to be masks and become actual spawns of self?  I suppose some are obvious.  The hot girl on Myspace who is hyper-emotional and therefore sensitive and needs to be protected.  Preferably by a man/boy who can offer validation, but presumably only validation to this particular self - the hot girl on Myspace self.  The academic who becomes so turned on by the idea of being an academic that she abandons all idiocies and activities that could possibly hinder her apparent enlightenment and rich cultivation of mind.  Her opinions and previous thoughts have been flipped because she is now seen as an "academic".  Therefore, Tim and Eric is no longer funny, books without existential depth are no longer good, and comic books are only good for the social, moral, and artistic commentary they make about their creators.  This is one new self.  (Um, that was a shitty example though, because basically she just became a boring dick of a self.)
Or the female that perceives herself as breakable, disintegrating, getting smaller, getting forgotten, being eaten alive.  So she lets her body eat itself alive, get smaller, become breakable, and disintegrate.  She sees herself as a tiny miniscule speck of nothing in the chasm of nothingness and she becomes this tiny speck.  Except now she has bone and organ damage to the body she had perceived and identified as being so innately damaged.

These created selves seek only the validation and nourishment that applies to its own aspects, not the the needs of its original source.  If there was an original source.  Are we born as real selves, or is even the "mothership" self I assumed exists earlier, created?  Although all cells in the physical world come from pre-existing cells, what if in the metaphysical yet highly real realm, these selves come from nothing and then breed.  They are mothered by the original that created itself from nothing and spread? Or they are mothered by the original that actually came from within us?

The actual self arises not in the materialization of the body, but in the consciousness of existing.  So then what would being born have to do with it at all?  The coming into consciousness is much more significant.

"Selfishness" at least in my experience, has been losing its connotation as a negative word, and is breaching neutral ground.  It is becoming more and more accepted to admit your own selfishness, and at times, it is even praised because it is assuming that you possess some kind of care and respect you can then share with others.

But why this shift?  We are a society of abstracts becoming material, and then dwelling upon and within that material.  Could all of our attention now to "self": self help, self love, self protection, self care, self etc etc etc be an attempt to create material out of abstract?  To try and solidify these slippery things we assume to exist that we call selves??  Other aspects of contemporary society have been able to function in this way.  "Self"hood has always been a dilemma, and maybe now we are trying to "fix" it in some way by giving it the same attentions we have given other slippery concepts that have gone from abstract to physical and even common.  Maybe our focus on the existence of our "self" is just a cry for these "self"s that allegedly exist to solidify.  To exist wholly and not as an enigma, or maybe even as a lie.  Ew, negative ending.