I have another blog but I’ve decided that for more personal and anonymous things, I will write here in order to allow my personal freedom in writing and ideas. My other blog is a well known feminist blog that deals with many aspects of my life, but in the last two years has mainly been about feminism. I kind of wanted to give myself more privacy as a lot of people know the url to my other blog, which is not a bad thing but I think privacy is underrated nowadays, with stuff like myspace and facebook, where everyone can see what you write and what you’re doing.
I’m presently doing (just started in Oct) a MA degree in Women’s Studies at the University of York in the UK. I’m really enjoying it so far but have so much reading to do! This year was a break from education and I really liked the freedom of being able to read what I wanted when I wanted and I am already missing that particular freedom to read! There isn’t enough time at the moment really – seminars, reading, eating and work are my priorities at the moment. Although my social life is so much better now than it was when I was last at Uni (at York, for my BA in Sociology).
I feel more able to be myself and to relax and think about what really matters to me. As a deaf person, life is constantly awkward – negotiating faces in order to lipread, constant blocks that one comes up against, people over anxious about making sure I know what’s going on when things are fine, and sometimes I feel like people are being slightly patronising or something, even if they really don’t mean to be. People’s reactions are probably the most difficult things about being deaf – there are some people that obviously aren’t comfortable with it, some that are perfectly fine and want to know how to communicate, and others that are just plain ignorant and rude.
And I’ve always understood that most of the time it isn’t their fault because we all get educated in stereotypes – on TV and in the media, at school, in films, etc. But it is up to us to negotiate these stereotypes and challenge them, to break out of those boxes and refuse the labels given to us. Yes, labels can be helpful, but not if those labels come with negative connotations and ideas surrounding them. Maybe it is not the labels that are the problem but the ideas surrounding them. For example, I identify as a Feminist, deaf person and as a woman, as a student and as a sister, daughter, girlfriend/partner, friend, and yet I understand that people will attempt to stereotype and expect me to be a certain way because of these labels. I’m very cerebral (ie. intellectual, critical, practical) but at the same time I know I can be emotional too. But isn’t that the joy of being human? That we can be walking contradictions?