Starting to look back on 2016

This post was written 6 months ago.
Tue, 10 Jan 2017
This would now be the time to do a review of the past year and write up a few plans for the new one. I had things in mind to write but probably have forgotten many of them by now.

I think it might have been the year where I have learned most from women, read the most books by women, have been influenced most by women.

I have mentioned the Guilty feminist podcast with Deborah Frances-white and Sofia Hagen before. There is also Sofie's own, Made of Human podcast with an especially poignant two-part episode with Susan Calman. I yet need to fully listen to the second part again, as I was very sleepy last time round and missed some things.
I know though that it had Trigger warnings. Trigger warnings is something that took me a while to get my head round, but now I actually recognize how many times in my past I've been 'triggered', and that there is something to these warnings. (My mental health problems did not take as drastic shapes as those of these two women, but depressions were bad enough). In any case I'd be happy to drive them round Brexitland in a caravan as they are joking on the podcast.

Then I read Rebecca Solnit's Hope in the dark. And then, as the last book in 2016, Unspeakable things by Laurie Penny. Wow. That was pretty amazing. There is so much in that where I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, things that I had not heard expressed in that manner anywhere previously, but had held in the same belief. In short, reading this book felt like some recognition of my own ways of seeing things, but then actually went further, as she has some experiences I don't have (e.g. having some insight into the porn business, as apparently she shared flats with a porn actor, and she also went to an 'erotics fair' or something like that).

What I really like is that she gives equal room to men and women, the 'lost boys' as much as the 'fucked-up girls'. She says in confrontations of men with feminists, both come from a place of pain (this is what I have understood, might not be her exact words). One of the reviews quoted on the back of the book says she "takes no prisoners". [edit 15/01/17 I did not know this expression and at first took it to mean almost the opposite!] Yet there is compassion and I love that a lot. If there is anything that can help us in these messed up times, it is compassion.

Speaking of mess, I feel really trapped between the desire to read about politics, be informed, perhaps take some kind of political action, and the necessity to actually close myself off from the news instead in order to not spend too much time on them, and also not too become too depressed by their contents. I do not feel I can be an effective political activist at this point, so I think I will limit now how much I expose myself to the news, and also how much I tweet about politics. It might be that the most political I can do is become (even) better (haha) at coding and provide a space for others where they can do the same.

This was written on a little foldout keyboard on my phone, while I was waiting for my son to finish his football training. :) It worked really well. It is not a real turn-of-year post of course, only the start really. I will just have to stretch it out..

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus