I don’t have much that’s actually “about me” in the strictest sense on the “about me” section here. it’s mainly a list of my interests. no a/s/l, no lists of privileges or oppressions. of course, all that tells you is that I obsessively and vainly curate my online presence so as to look, among other things, like the kind of person who doesn’t obsessively and vainly curate her online presence. and that I would secretly quite like universal subject status.
however, it’s also true that I feel like if I mention anything I have to mention everything. I really resent having to justify myself by dredging up my personal experiences. I avoid it when possible; I only talk about them for context, when it’s truly necessary to give what I’m trying to say any meaning. but this is often, because I need context, because I am not, actually, the universal human subject, the legal Reasonable Person, though I would probably be close enough if not for a quirk of fate, as my male-but-otherwise-very-similar-to-me brother likes to remind me when I get on his case for being The Man. like. I do often want to know very badly the position, the context someone is writing from, I understand that others might too, I get that. it’s just.
I don’t feel like I have an identity politic. just a life. I’m pretty much against a politics based around individual identities rather than structures of oppression and material conditions. but at least half the people who say that are loser social theory bros who just wanna live in their head and not deal with other people’s problems. I wish I could do that. I could, I guess. I’m not good. I’m lazy, and I mostly like comfort, and people telling me I’m clever and pretty. so when I am good it’s on purpose, it takes work, it doesn’t flow naturally from who I am, the position I was born into. half the time I just wanna be a literary critic, an analytic philosopher, something like that, and nothing else. on the occasion that I do shoulder any kind of social responsibility I want some credit. I’m not pure. I know that.
I can’t take all this endless reflexivity, this self-scanning. I’m not “confessional”, I swear. I don’t even like memoirs! they’re boring! why can’t I mention my life without it being called an overshare? I don’t get anything out of telling you all the things I tell you, I don’t really want to, I wouldn’t even mention it if you didn’t need the context, but it’s just another chore, it’s not a big deal. It’s narcissistic but it’s situational. I need to get through it before I get to my main point. it’s boring. why is everything seen as so heavy, so intense? it’s not really that heavy, I promise. If it was it would break my back. I’m not brave. I don’t ever say anything on the internet I would be truly embarrassed by if it turned up on the front page of the tabloids. the things you’ll only coax out of me after five years of friendship and half a bottle of vodka are the strangest, stupidest things, but I’m certainly capable of squeamishness and shame. I’m not really so blunt, nor so blasé. I, I, I.
I had to learn a lot about I-first statements when I learnt about active listening and assertive communication. As I recollect, they said it would be clunky at first but after a while it would become second nature. I don’t even believe in a distinction between first and second nature, I’m Butlerian like that. I use I-statements all the time now. They’re really helpful. To me, at least. I find that they defuse conflict before it even begins. I feel that they keep me out of trouble. I’m not sure that’s always a good thing, though, at least when it flows over into all kinds of discourse. I have, as many do, concerns about the way people feel they are owed an in-depth look at others’ lives and traumas before they decide if they’ll give them credence. I also feel like overemphasising identity is individualising and therefore defensive and therefore also a deadening force on some potentially productive and necessary intellectual conflicts.
Well, that’s my opinion, at least, grounded in my own life, my own privileges and oppressions, my experience and identity, unique to me, personal, heavy business, and unchallengeable.