My hands are sweating, my heart is beating faster, and I am at the present feeling vulnerable. Blogging is a new adventure and with it comes new experiences. Since the articles discussed for our first readings embody experience (the good and the bad), I thought I would share my reflections about writing otherwise in a public domain. The vanishing of the private and the public realms is terrifying to me at this very moment. I write secretly hoping that no one will ever read my thoughts. In some ways, I yearn to keep my private thoughts private. However at other times, I feel as though no one takes seriously the feelings and emotions reflected in my scholarly work. I want my readers to feel, see, and listen to my thoughts and the thoughts of others who share with me their imagined worlds. In these worlds, we co-construct meaning together that often asks the reader feel otherwise.
What I mean by writing otherwise is the use of storytelling to invoke meanings from our sensations rather than claiming certain facts about our reality. And while the ability to express myself and others in this way can be liberating, is it at someone else’s expense as Kruk’s asks? It appears to me that Kruk’s answer’s her own question near the end of her essay, while completely shredding Rorty apart (This aside, I do not feel that we should discredit all of Rorty’s ideas and Nancy Fraser has a remarkable way of incorporating these ideas for a democratic-socialist-feminist pragmatism perspective). The ability to write otherwise is both a privilege and an opportunity. Undoubtedly, we suppress meanings that differ from our own standpoints and convictions. However, we are still answerable (responsible) to account for these meanings. At the same time, we try to voice some of the common concerns women share in reflection about their everyday lived experience.
For example, I feel that Bartky should respond to the comment that all women feel the same kind of pressure of “an ideal femininity.” This assumes that all women create meaning from the lens of a Westernized, monolithic worldview. A few essays from Body Outlaws would attest otherwise. Although after reading Foucault, it appears that power is disciplined everywhere and it is easy to understand why we continue to trap ourselves in these dilemmas. As scholars, we must continue to challenge ourselves to respond to difficult questions such as: What is it that we take for granted? In what ways are we being self-surveilled even in the academy? Are we being complacent or resistant to status quo?
In my own scholarship, I often entertain more questions that I pursue conclusive answers. This stems from my own philosophical standpoint that I can never know for certain what I may think I know. Although like Iris Marion Young, I too like to combine the political with the theoretical. Foremost, Iris Marion Young asks us to listen (discursive and non-discursive) to the experiences of the lived body prior to making any hasty generalizations about gendered inequalities. A question that she has urged me to continue to ask myself is how are we sensible to the discursive and non-discursive forms of our participants and how do these meanings conform or resist to culturally and politically inscribed meanings?
When I began writing this blog, I mentioned my feelings of vulnerability. And although I may experience voicing my concerns in this way, I must also respond to the privilege I am granted given a space to even voice my dissent.