This post is going to be a little different than all the rest. I’m writing this post as I am thinking about a paper I am currently working on. I would like any constructive feedback, even if it’s a simple ‘like’ as that ‘like’ is not as simple to me as it seems. Ready?
My Thought Stream:
I’m contemplating even trying anymore following my class discussion earlier. I mean, my intellectual space has been relegated to me by the discipline I am busting my ass to make myself intelligible to. Sometimes it’s easy to quiet the noise of my mind and inclination screaming at me about the disperate power relations at play within this field. I think to myself, ‘I guess as long as our social structure remains unchanged, disperate power dynamics will ALWAYS be at play in any intellectual discipline that I locate myself, as long as I am me,’ which usually reinvigorates my place of rage at least enough to focus on the particular philosophical projects at hand, because, well, what can I do otherwise? Give up?
~And Then Class Happened~
We were talking about all things social/structural power dynamics within the discipline of philosophy. There was a suggestion in one of the papers we discussed of developing a culture of praxis in attempt to get away from the traditional/normative culture of justification. Basically what I understood from this proposition is that by focusing on how your philosophical project contributes to a bigger issue/theme, the validation is your contribution to the bigger theme. Any incongruence with normativity would be seen as places of new thought and potential. This culture of praxis would attempt to foster an open, more inclusive atmosphere, allowing a flow of multiple canons (foundational/guiding rhetoric), which could potentially rupture the majorly discriminatory norm of justification currently practiced within the discipline. With that said, the culture of justification I am referring to is one that can most simply be defined by the following question, “How is your project [doing/an exemplar of] philosophy?” This statement has very negative and systematically violent connotations when you consider the power dynamics at work in the process of explaining how your philosophical project is congruent with the normative canonical discourse, within a discipline that does NOT prioritize your subfield at any level of importance higher than ancillary, while simultaneously dismissing your intellectual capacity, all of which can be distinguished as ramifications of implicit racist, sexist, and elitist (to name only a few) biases that were learned and reified through socialization. The proposition of fostering a culture of praxis gets a lot more specific, but for the sake of this post a basic framework will work. My biggest question hinges on the issue of whether it really would DO anything to actually rupture the hegemonic culture of justification, or would it, like most other dissenting opinions, be relegated to the margins with the rest of us?
Long story short, I’m in a pretty hapless headspace while attempting to compose the paper I am currently working on. I’m sad about this because I think this paper has potential to be pretty stellar.
What Paper You Ask?
As I do not want to go into the details of my work in progress, I am going to be (probably too) vague. I’m working on a paper that focuses on the murkiness that is the gap between scholarly rhetoric/discourse & praxis surrounding Black Female sexual identity politics. So, things and themes that come to mind include (but most certainly is not limited to):
To name a few on my list…
and all the tensions in between to name a few thangs.
I want to format the content of this paper in a fairly unique and engaging way, but with my head space being all up in the noise of the systematic disperate power dynamic within the discipline, I am stuck in a seemingly infinite loop of considering my efforts futile BEFORE. THEY. EVEN. HAPPEN.
This is one of those times where focusing rage is important, I presume. But the point of this post was not to give myself a pre paper pep talk (alliteration FTW). I wrote this in reaction to the internal struggle I face constantly because of what I chose to dedicate my life’s work to (or rather what chose me). I want to write this (almost) immediately following my visceral reaction so that it was fresh and raw for you to consume and ingest.
To ALL my marginalized comrades in whatever facet(s) you experience it, HOW DO YOU FACE/CONFRONT IT in such a way that doesn’t make you feel complicit to the system that subjugates you? How can you stay afloat with all of the futility built in the position you are so compelled to dedicate yourself to? At what point does the individual process of creating your own tools to dismantle the insidious power dynamic inscribing the framework of whatever institutional/systematic/structual situation you’re in, shift into a divisive series of unintelligible micro-aggressions that end up doing not much more (if it does anything at all) than re-centering the hegemony that subjugates MANY more than it benefits? No, I’m not saying to negate ALL of the individual uniqueness within the plenitude of lived marginalizations and create a universal rhetoric of ‘the marginal’ to ‘hegemony’ (that is a false dichotomy, AND a potentially harmful method for a variety of reasons I am not going to go into at this point). I am however saying that I find there does need to be more of a collectively focused method & target to aim our individually formed tools of rupture. The majority of us all make collective noise/agressive action in the face of extreme and obviously explicit cases of violence and denigration, yet we seem divisive (in this case to the point of our own demise) in the face of the insidious structural power dynamic this nation was founded on.
Again, this is ANOTHER one of those instances when focusing rage is CRITICAL. Not only do we need our uniquely formed tools, but we need a collective focused method of rupture to accompany them. Let’s MAKE our multiplicitous voices of dissension be heard! YOUR STRUGGLE IS NOT FUTILE.
Now, let me feel your focused rage and feed on it. Let me absorb the power in it to sustain me through all my research & writing. Let me HEAR YOUR VOICE and KNOW that all my struggle is not futile.
Talk about this with your friends if you’re so inclined, share this. Remember, the root of the rage I am constantly trying to stimulate is LOVE. The more people thinking about this, the more potential to lovingly rupture the social/structural framework founded on insidiously disperate power dynamics. Let’s lovingly rupture violent normative power. It starts with you.
I am hopeful in the thought of and am also looking forward to reading all of your replies to my post sharing your experience of focused loving rage, potential targets of rupture, even to see that you support this struggle I’m facing (though I most assuredly am not claiming to be alone in the struggle I’m writing about here) by ‘liking’ this post. I need you right now.
Until Next Time, Comrades,