Friday, February 03, 2006

My first blog post ever

Hi everyone. I'm purplest and I'm really thrilled to be part of this fantastic blog. I'm hoping to be a regular, though if I'm realistic probably not a prolific, contributor and I'm looking forward to reading everybody’s entries.

I'm not sure really where to start with building an identity here. I want to be able to write something sufficiently complete and accurate so that you feel you know me enough to trust me and so you might begin to understand my world. I don’t think this post will manage to do that but hopefully I’ll have some success over a succession of posts. My life is very compartmentalised and often contradictory and, not being very trusting, I’ve never been the sort of person who opens up easily and honestly. I even have a well developed set of skills that enable me to give the impression that I'm sharing but I'm usually not, well not at the level that its presumed I am.

Anyway, a brief outline of who I am, where I'm from and some of what I'm passionate about...

Probably the one thing that I consider defines me more than anything to the international boards that I visit is that I am Australian and I currently live in Australia. While I consider myself a city girl I have lived and worked in the Kimberley of West Australia since the beginning of 1995. The Kimberley is probably as 'outback' as you can get in the modern world with infrastructures and public services poor or non-existent, health statistics comparable with the most underdeveloped 3rd world countries and isolation a lifestyle not a concept. The majority, who live here, especially those born here, are Aboriginal people with the rest being either service providers or involved in the cattle industry. The Aboriginal people from this area have determinedly struggled to retain their different cultures and languages despite the invasion of Australia in 1770 and continued specific Government policies and processes of apartheid and genocide. Historically the isolation and remoteness of this area has afforded the people here some respite and protection with some 'first contact' people still alive and able to tell their stories but all families here have experiences or stories of dispossession, massacre and being either directly or indirectly affected by the 'Stolen Generation'.
Living and working where I do is so remote and exotic that most Australians can’t imagine, let alone accurately consider the lives of people in this place and not many people I know understand or genuinely respect my life here.
I originally came to the Kimberley from Fremantle for a teaching job which was to last at most 2 years and I'm still here 12 years later. The opportunity to come here has been life and world view changing especially in terms of my politics, understanding and awareness of social justice, decision making at all levels of government and administration and the implications for Aboriginal and other people who are not part of the mainstream.
My feminism is not of the academic variety though I have studied some feminism units at University but comes more from my belief in social justice. I think my feminist politics inform, influence and support my anti-racist politics and work and visa versa. I find it hard to understand how people can advocate social justice for one group and not another. I found this really bewildering on Ms. when there were those bustups where feminists either felt ok posting racist comment on a feminist board or didn’t recognise it for what it was. I find the dissection and analysis of feminism at the academic level to be really interesting and there have been times when I wish I knew enough to participate in those discussions, but when it comes down to it I think that right now in my world action, plain dialogue and problem solving is what is most often needed.
I believe strongly in the ant-racist teaching tenet of always speaking up wherever or whenever you encounter or become aware of racism and I think that this also applies to anything anti-women, women-hating or will affect women. When I’m away from here I’m often in arguments over this stuff particularly with my family and am regularly called a ‘n****r loving man-hater’

So anyway, I know this entry is rambling and disjointed and, like I originally suspected, doesn’t let you know much about me but since I’ve sermonised enough for my first go I’ll leave the rest for another time.
But I just want to say again how thrilled I am to be here on this blog. We are going to be great!

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