I've been giving this post a lot of thought. It plays upon issues that I've dealt with throughout my life, most notably, conformity and the loss of private space. I'm always struck by how the most "alternative" elements in any group in which I've been involved impose the same draconian standards of conformity on their own community that they decry in the world at large. What do I mean?
I've been told on more than one occasion that I am suspect because I don't post personal information in any of my journals. This has caused people to think of me as a "troll" or to be "wary" of me. I am told that the Live Journal world is a different kind of place and personal information is expected. Evidently, those who don't post about the personal are not in fact "authentic" in this Live Journal world. I find that funny.
Live Journal seems to me to be a forum for all those who wish to express feelings, likes, and interests which are outside of the mainstream-- which, in fact, are proscribed by the mainstream. It is a forum where one need not conform, whether one likes "goth," "nazi porn," "feminism," "hatred," "bigotry," "free love," etc. Yet, how ironic, that within this freedom there are still impositions. Evidently, you can love zombie sex or Joseph Mengele, but you can't NOT talk about your personal life in your journal.
When I was in the ivy-covered halls of my university as an undergraduate, I dealt with the same things. I didn't fit in with the preppie standards of the mainstream, but I also didn't accept everything from the "alternative" crowd. Hence, I was on my own, because those who were not welcomed by the mass were not welcoming to those who didn't fit all aspect of their own orthodoxy.
What is so evident in our world today is that we define ourselves in OPPOSITION to something as opposed to affirmation of something. I say this because the fact that I don't want to write about my personal life doesn't mean I'm against anyone who does. That's their business. Sometimes it's interesting. It simply means that, for now, I choose not to. If you write about the personal, I fail to see why you have to have a problem with someone who doesn't.
When I was about 16 or 17 I kept a journal, but my journal was rarely about my personal experiences, it was about my philosophical musings-- kind of like this journal, Matrifascist. That is who I am. That is what I am. I am the sum total of my beliefs. I define my life and my existence by those beliefs and I try to put those beliefs into action. If you're waiting for me to talk about who broke my heart you'll probably be waiting a long time since I'd only mention it if it were relevant to an issue at hand (it might be a general topic later-- but, frankly, most of my relationships ended with a bang, not a whimper, so I don't know if it'll even be applicable).
We inject the personal into far too much in society. We follow Terri Schiavo not because we care about the issue, but because we care about the drama. Politicians know this and they exploit it. While that, to me, disrespectful media circus covered a very personal moment for a family, strange doings occurred in our economy (oil) and our politics (Iraq, World Bank), but who was watching? At least the pope died with dignity, but the media even tried to turn that into a gameshow-like "deathwatch." In the pope's manner of death there was a lesson for us all-- his ability to make personal choice. Whatever anyone's disagreement with him, you have to at least give him that.
You know, quite frankly, I don't want to talk about myself. I live with myself 24/7, I'd like to get away from the daily drama and existential malaise as much as I can. This journal has been an escape, a true joy (much like math is for me, which you might be able to tell from my posts), but it's fast becoming a prison, the more I'm "compelled" to speak about matters which are private. I'm old-fashioned, in a sense, and there are some things which are only for those whom I know and are close to me and I love.
There are some who say that women should not band together in an organization, but should run free. I find that thought politically hopeless and ineffective. Women must unite if anything is to be accomplished. Yet, union and leadership do not imply oppression unless oppressive dictates are given. What union and leadership do imply is effectiveness and real change, not some self-indulgent fantasy. Oppression, to me, is not the organization of the public, but rather the usurpation of the private.
The ability to define our own, private space is what separates freedom from totalitarianism. It isn't organization which fosters oppression, it's lack of choice.
I shall be who I am. I shall live by what feels right in my heart. Should I choose to talk about my private life, that will be my choice, but not because this Live Journal community or ANY community compels me to. Even though people don't respond here often, I still invite you into this dialogue-- in fact I encourage it, welcome it and ask for it. My lack of the personal in this journal does not mean a lack of desire to engage in discussion. I just prefer discussion of issues to discussion of myself.
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