SAFER SPACES(GUIDELINES); INITIAL THOUGHTS. BY STEVEN BENSON

I stress strongly these are my initial thoughts ONLY, merely a springboard; and they will be bolstered by reference to critical/blog writing and literature later. But I wanted to sort out what I thought about the issue and (eventually) help develop a policy/guidelines for a community of people in which I am a part.

1.Well, from my own experience first,I  am a gay man: there are some public and semi-pubic(cafes/pub) spaces I wouldnt inhabit for fear of being called , for example, “queer” or “fag”, if I were to be open re my sexual orientation, which I usually am, unless-and we are going in a circle here, already proving the need for safer spaces-I felt unsafe, physically, or, more likely emotionally /psychologically,ie verbal abuse; this fear/reality(sometimes)would obviously be especially intensified if I wished to be mildly physically affectionate with my partner.

2. Women are also liable to verbally or even physically abusive stuff in some spaces, eg where various people are known to attend who have already shown this behaviour, or are likely to congregate. This has actually happened in this self-same community where we are moving to designing a safer spaces set of guidelines.

I must add, at this juncture, that again obviously, no (semi)public space can be GUARANTEED safe, hence the advised use of the word safER: it is impossible to have control over the exigencies of individual behaviour; but it is self evident to me, and ought to be self-evident(whether you are coming from a hegemonic personal position or a non-hegemonic one) that these ATTEMPTS (at least) to utilise, for community meeting, safER environments, are necessary.It seems to me odd and disturbing  that someone would not understand this need.

Most radical organisations and some non-radical ones have these policies; none are ideal but they are a well-meant attempt when going out into the normative(in so many ways) world at large; they are different from the safer(r) spaces created in sealed off non-hegemonic communities because they DO involve some mediation with the outside hegemonic, normativising world.

I must add, in this particular community radical group, we are firstly  going to tackle the issue from a philosophical/critical thinking point of view; together with examples from “minorised”(Deleuze)literature(s). I know many texts will spring to mind, for all the people involved!I will add some suggestions on this blog!

But, whilst I do not at all wish to pre-empt discussion, I needed to clarify my thoughts on why we need to PROVE a need exists, which , as I have said and shown above,is self-evident.That is not at all to say that the reading group on the subject of safer spaces we are creating will be a waste of time; it will be enriching, enlightening and will help dispel/lessen internalised oppressions.So, I am enthusiastic about it: bring it on….{more to follow}

Advertisements

About decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)
This entry was posted in cafes, gay, queer, queer geography, safer spaces(guidelines), Self-actualisation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to SAFER SPACES(GUIDELINES); INITIAL THOUGHTS. BY STEVEN BENSON

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s