Speaking in tongues – thoughts on a Strident Feminist aka Caitlin Moran

18. september 2013 § 1 kommentar

I have not yet read a single text by british feminist writer Caitlin Moran. I did go to a talk yesterday in Copenhagen though. This talk (and all the funny talks afterwards) made me wonder, in an everyday life kind of way, in a bodily kind of way, in a philosophical kind of way; what the heck is feminism?
I especially kept wondering about Caitlin Moran’s positive, affirmative use of the term ‘strident feminist’. What does strident mean? Yes, of course, at first look; harsh, rough, ear-piercing, dissonant, unharmonious etc. So, usually, ‘strident’ works as a word used to silence somebody’s act of voicing themselves, via degradation.
Looking (not closer, but) farther at this word, ‘to stride’ is hooked up with fighting, struggling or making a strong effort, in the sense; walking with long or extended steps.
Secondly, ‘to stride’ is to utter an inarticulate sound, a fragment, granulate or screech, in other words, an ex-pression that cannot be read or interpreted in any common, unified or literate way. It is speaking in tongues (glossolalia) vs. speaking silver-tongued.
The third hook connects striding with straddling, where someone or something appears to favor both sides, ambiguously taking up an equivocal position.
So, all this adds up to a mix of making an effort to struggle for the ambiguities of Life in a yet unrecognized way of expression. Hm?
One thing is struggling for ones own life, but how to struggle for the life of others, for the living as such? The everlasting question, “what does it mean to speak for others”, is at stake through this strident feminist. The recognition of a minority should never encourage either reversed hierarchies, nor should it outline a complete ‘identification’ or delimitation of any group what so ever. Identity-work would always be a matter of paradoxes and of the infamous AND, according to (yummy) french philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida. Somehow, in line with this, Caitlin Moran spoke with a desire not to isolate the becoming of a minority, by making suffering belong to someone(s), but instead talking about how suffering materializes as a collective problem of a People.
A collective problem? In what sense? Let’s talk about equivocation again. Taking up an equivocal position means the connecting of worlds in an ambiguous and ambivalent way – not because you don’t know what’s really real, but because you do know all the real real’s.
If women’s rights is about living a life where thinking, loving, breathing and creating is (legitimately) materialised, this bundle of living excites the living of others, it excites the living of all kinds of living bundles. A breath does not steal the breath of others. People kissing. People (thinking while) talking. People laughing. People carrying people, and people being carried by people. It does not steal, it lives. In other words, the problem does not belong to Woman, the problem of sexism is happening throughout the lives of all bundles of living creatures. It is not about category, not even in the (assumed most simple) couple “man vs woman”. It is about life occurring as connection and as encounters. All is affected.
Hence, equi-vocation and its emphasis on the vocal, the existence of equal voices creating worldly ambiguity and ‘actual problems through encounters’. Rather than equi-valence, the production of sameness, uniformity or identicalness in a realm of stabile values and indisputable morals.
Hm. This strident feminist; a bundle of life making an effort to struggle for the ambiguities of Life in a yet unrecognized way of expression…
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