ready for this jelly?

when i set out to waste an entire day fucking the dog, i do so with gusto. with fierce conviction did i set aside all sorts of to-do lists today in order to accomplish precisely nothing. i am curled up in a catatonic state with season three of sfu instead of working. i should be creating the outline and schedule for the womyn's voices e-zine. why? because i'm five days behind. i should be making plans for our next election planning committee meeting. why? because monday is going to be one crazy muthafucka. the government is set to fall that evening. i should be making nicey-nice notes about my thoughts on the women's movement. why? because monday afternoon, i am scheduled to make an ass of myself in front of a room full of feminists.

fellow panelist
audra describes how she was cut off at a recent feminist gathering for perhaps not speaking their language. and it reminds me of how frequently i have described my entire experience with the women's movement as one huge cut-off.

i've ranted before about my love-hate relationship with feminism. i've beaked off about the so-called waves that came before me. and christ knows i've had a thing or two to say about nac over the years, not just to various dinner companions but even to Very Important People. now i've been asked to pull all of that shit together into a pithy 3-5 minute presentation under the heading "Engaging a Diversity of Equity-Seeking Women's Constituencies - Younger Women". listen, i don't want to get all semantic-y here, but i will: the session title alone implies two things that i pretty much reject: 1) that i have any claim whatsoever to speak as or on behalf of young women (let's not EVEN talk about how old i feel most days), and 2) that younger women require discussion about being engaged with, as if we are some curious unattached entity worthy of microscopic examination by other women, and as if we aren't engaged our own damn selves. furthermore, i get tired of reprizentin' (negotiating for) the even younger women who the movement stalwarts have an even tougher time understanding... those radical grrlz who do and view things way differently and of whom the foremothers are actually kinda afraid.

but i digress.

this gathering may be of some historic significance: a national plenary called "how nac relates" that follows a year of x-country consultations about the state of the women's movement and nac's place in it. seems the time has finally arrived when believe it or not we might once and for all come to a fucking decision about nac. a number of people have heard me describe this as an org in a persistive vegetative state - the canadian women's movement is like the fractured grieving family, some arguing vehemently for pulling the plug while others agree only in sheepish silence. then there are the precious few who growl like guard dogs around the body. i have said things about the anger and fear that surrounds this issue ... things about how vicious some can be to anyone who dares suggest an end to the trauma. it has been painful to witness the discounting of women as disrespectful, as in How dare you dishonour this profound life? do you have any idea how much she has done for you? she dedicated her life for you! how can you be so callous?!

for several years now, nac and any discussions about her feels like the feminist equivalent of an electrified fence. there is something fiercely guarded there, and to tread too close is to risk the shock of your life.

anyhoo, today i was going to sit down and contemplate what i really want to say, and what could be at stake if i do so... politically, professionally, personally. individual people have long encouraged me to be my big purple self, but when they all get together, sometimes it's not safe. never mind that i still recognize these women as part of one webby tentacled potential employer. to be clear, i am not afraid of these women, nor am i afraid of how i feel. i just wonder if it will be anti-climactic somehow, and how inconsequential it may wind up being. these are women i have worked closely with in the past, who i likely will work with again, many of whom i deeply respect. but i'm not sure how much they really want to hear the truth from young women, let alone mine. they may think they want the input and leadership of young women, but when it's really GO time, i'm not sure they can handle it.

i am tempted to borrow a line from ruth: you're on your own here. i'm out of control.


Blogger miss_poppy said...

Hey, I got directed here from Audra's blog. I really like what you have to say about NAC and the women's movement and, well, thanks! Good luck with the panel.

9:25 p.m.  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Also a redirectee from Audra :)

Thanks for the interesting perspective on the NAC, and I wish you well on the panel!

9:45 a.m.  

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