Sunday, March 18, 2007

interview meme

Direct from Thinking Girl is the interview meme. The point, which seems interesting to me, is to ask to be interviewed on someone else's 'interview meme' post on their blog and then answer on your blog and hopefully this will create a network of interviews and so forth. I like it. Because I'm a narcissist. So anyway, I axed Thinking Girl to interview me. And, even though she doesn't know me very well, she complied--what a kind soul (not that I believe in souls).

Now, one particular issue with all this is that I am increasingly becoming a big fan of pseudonimity (sp?) and am increasingly worried about lame students or potential employers finding me online and my wacky ideas and being jerks about it. What I do on my own blog time is my "binnis". But, I know, curiosity and all that. So, I made this blog... hopefully it will stick this way. I mean, it's a very small corner, so I'm not doing anything crazy like masking IPs and stuff... that's way too much work. Anyway, just to preface my interview answers...

Femanist - OK, here goes!
1. I don’t know anything much about you, so we’ll begin with some basics: How old are you? What do you do? I know where you live… where are you from? Are you single or in a relationship? You have a cat (who has a cute little moustache); what is its name?

Alright, basics are good. I is 30ish years old, and I am a teacher at a large Canadian University. I comes from the West of Canada, though I generally only miss the Rocky Mountains. My relationship status is interesting: I am living with my best friend, though we often call ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend and we see other people. My cat's name is Sidney Poitier, and she is a she--and kinda dumb, but I'm sure that has more to do with her catness than her gender. Perhaps my expectations are too high.

2. Who would you rather see in the PM’s office (I assume you’re not a fan of Harper, since you’re a feminist!)? Why? What are your most important political issues?

Well, though I cannot stand Harper and his lame Canadian version of the neo-con agenda, it is hard to say who I'd rather have in office. I like teh Liberals in general (not Ignatieff) cause of their social issues, and love NDP politics more for the same reasons, though I am not into Jack Layton too much. The head of the Green party impresses me for her acumen and the political stances she takes. Probably Green is my favorite. My most important issues are social and environmental. I would rather we have less "economic wealth" as most indicators are highly biased towards the movement of capital, instead of indicators of wealth being based on quality of life. People first, money second.

3. Should we be in Afghanistan? Why or why not?

Hmm... complicated question. Should we be anywhere? Since North America and Europe are the centers of the economic and colonial stuctures that have caused most of the world-wide issues in unstable states, I think a case can be made to say either "enough already, get teh F-O-D" or "The least we can do is help out with this mess we've made". In terms of specifics, it depends on implimentation. Was it good to get the Taliban out? Yeah. Is our current effectiveness at re-constructing Afghanistan working? Not really. The problem with most of these ventures is that we have the ability to topple regimes, but we lack the forsight to fix what's left. If we had more concerted efforts and especially more focused global-resource management in implimentation, then I might be more for it. As it stands, my position is populist, with concern for the "people on the ground" and with class and gender issues being at the forefront. I only support what we are doing if it shows improvements to the everyday lives of everyday people. I am not sure if this is what is happening in Afghanistan. But, what would be the consequences if we left? How does this affect the populous? With these questions in mind I would interrogate the situation--though, admittedly, I know very little about Afghanistan and our (Canadian) place there.

4. As a man who is a feminist, what was your process like becoming a feminist? Do you find it difficult sometimes to not take things feminists say about “Men” personally? How can feminists get more feMANists to take up the cause?

My process of becoming a feminist was quite natural. I have always had a deep distrust of authoritarian structures and hierarchy. So, once I got to University and began studying feminism, Marx and so forth, I think I naturally just included it into my subjectivity. What really coalesced my understanding was how I brought all this together with Orientalism. I do not find any difficulty not taking things said about men personally. Stats prove it. Sure, I may be an exception, but it is quite clear that men in general and patriarchy structurally "needs fixing." To this end, I want to promote a Feminism that carefully analyzes the ways that Patriarchy also enables men (and women) in general to continue to take up structures of gendered oppression. I think it is important for feminists to think not just about a negative response to Patriarchy--that is, for example, that we cannot blame the victim and must but the onus on the oppressor (i.e. rape and the culture of rape). I also think we need a positive approach that can analyze and strategically counter Patriarchy. As such, I think men are way too overlooked. We need approaches that can reframe what it means to be a man so that men don't rape, men do something about their own privilage, and so forth. In this light, I think both men and women need to be vocal about 1) pointing out the problems with popular discourses about masculinity and 2) finding strategies to popularize new ways of being "masculine" or more importantly more ways of being a man that do not reproduce patriarchical structures. I think some people are doing such things, but it is hard to combat the feminist backlash and the Maxim hallowing out of masculinity.

5. Name one(or more, if you have them/want to) hidden talent you have that not too many people know about, or would be surprised to learn you possess.

Oh, that's hard. I have so few talents. Those who know me are often surprised at how well I can play basketball, or even that I play at all. But, hidden? Hmmm... since I brag so much about how good I am in bed, that is not hidden--hehe. Ok. Serious. I think a hidden talent I have is reading people. I often don't comment to people how much I pick up from them, but I think most would be surprised at how well I observe them. I think? This is hard... I am mostly an open book, so not much is "hidden". Perhaps I am operating with false consciousness though.

Thanks Thinking Girl, this was fun!


thinking girl said...

well, thank YOU for answering all my nosy little questions!

I hope you have as much fun crafting questions for others as I did!

Femanist said...

I wish. I have a feeling by the time that I get people coming here, this meme will be soundly archived and forgotten. But, just in case...