Friday, September 26, 2008

Sex & Politics

How do you call the Northern Lights?
How do you cope with a broken heart in middle age?
How is your sexuality represented ?
What do you want to say about it?
Who will be listening?
There are huge political under and over tones to the topic of last nights main stage event “Me Sexy”. We could get into them here.

Certainly my response last night was in part about what it means for the sexuality of First Nations people to be represented in the media in one of three ways, as outlined by Drew Hayden Taylor, 1)focusing on sexual abuse suffered in residential schools 2) dead hookers 3) sexual transmitted infections.

And because of this reality, how revolutionary and necessary last night was. How essential it is for everyone to have space to speak the truth of their experience and to be listened to. We could speak of that here.

But what about how to call the Northern Lights?

Richard Van Camp says, Rub your fingernails tonight. And whistle.

But if you’re in Nunavut, rubbing your fingernails together will send them away.

You need to know how to do that too.

So that they don’t come down so far that they scoop you up and take you away forever and ever.

What about the Earth that seduces the moon in Rosanna Deerchild's poem?

What about Marilyn Dumont being greeted with teenage angst in the midst of a broken heart in middle age?

What about Joseph Boyden’s characters moving towards each other for the first time, undressing each other with all of the new smells and unfamiliar skin that goes along with those first moments of exploration with someone different?

What about desire and longing. Passion, hesitation and self worth. What about sadness and heartache.

What about aching.

Can we deny, like in Richard Van Camp's reading - that we all have baby pictures? That we were all babies once?

Can we ignore that we all have valid and interesting and complex sexualities, desires and sexual lives?

And if we deny and ignore it - what does it do except create violence. And send us further and further apart.

I’m more interested in being drawn towards you, not pushed away.

Last night pulled you in, wrapped you up in words of sex and pain, love and lust, childhood first kisses, and making love with someone new for the first time.

Last night was layered in its meaning and significance.

Last night left me longing for more.

* * *

Courtney Slobogian likes to sit quietly memorizing all of the reasons she is in love with this city. She graduated from University of Winnipeg in 2007 with her BA in Women’s and Gender studies. Her honours thesis was entitled “mother[loss]: An exploration of our silences in grief and longing.”

She is putting that degree to use mostly by insisting that there is a need for theory in everything. Along with writing academic papers for fun, she finds herself constantly playing with poetry (where it is desire, and not theory, that she finds most useful).

By day she busies herself with women’s reproductive health issues, by night she rides her bike.

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