Friday, 4 April 2008

In my own words

For almost a year by now, I've been writing articles for a Danish user's magazine, Outsideren. Virtually for each article, I've felt some obscure, though nevertheless strong, dislike watching my writing getting edited to an extent, that almost turned it into someone else's (the editor's) writing. Both in regard to style and content - which, in my opinion can't be separated from each other.

Yesterday, the editor asked me, which were most important to me, my message or my style. Today, he got the answer*:

God created man in His image. - Man created God in the image of "the 40-year-old, white male/man".

Is it my message, or my style, that is most important to me?

Which is "my syle"? My style is my words is my discourse is myself. If I have a message, that is mine, I only can communicate it in my own words. The message becomes another, if I make use of another person's words.

Example: Karin Garde** tries to break with psychiatry's (science's, society's) paradigm of "the 40-year-old, white male/man". Using the 40-year-old, white man's (psychiatry's, science's, society's) discourse (categorizations, diagnoses). Doomed to failure right from the start.

Now, the 40-year-old, white man doesn't only dominate psychiatry, science, politics, society. He also dominates journalism, the media. Of course. Women, humans are far from as liberated, come into their own, as most people think. Because it isn't about replacing "the 40-year-old, white man" with "the 35-year-old, black woman". Such a misconception turned for example Laing's efforts into their contrary.

If it isn't about replacing one stereotype with another, what then is it about? The answer lies in the question. It is about replacing stereotypes, images, with alive individuals.

For all my life, I've been trapped in, oppressed, discriminated and almost killed by "the 40-year-old, white man"-stereotype (family, school, university, politics, society, media...). I couldn't identify with any of the available, 40-year-old, white man stereotypes. Marian was trapped in them to the extent, that she didn't even have the chance to protest in a creative, constructive way, but had to resort to which society's representatives of the 40-year-old, white man term self-/destructive, psychotic behavior, but which in fact is nothing but a Marian'ic protest.

Three categories: Objectivity (scientific, political, journalistic... "But this is completely diabetic/democratic/editorial!" ???), poetic creativity ("But this is completely Orwellian!" Ah, now it starts to make sense...), psychotic destructivity ("But this is completely crazy/insane/schizophrenic!" Bingo, that goes home!)

I'm about to move further and further away from categories - toward "Marian". Can Outsideren hold the Marian'ic? Or: Can any mainstream media hold the individual? (This is not an attack against Outsideren in itself. It is an attack against the discourse, that dominates our age - which Outsideren happens to be a part of - in general.

For now, I need to get this at a distance. It is just too destructive. (Sorry! Not an attack against Outsideren in itself!) As said, I'll provide you with news from abroad. No problem. In regard to articles, I will help as much as I can. With the research.

I don't wanna be no man's woman
I've other work I want to get done

- Sinéad O'Connor
(Sad, that she eventually anyway became a victim of which she protested against... Good though, that it didn't happen earlier!)

*This is a slightly shortened version of it.

**Karin Garde is a Danish psychiatrist who has written a book on how to break with psychiatry's norm for normality, which is based on "the 40-year-old, white male/man" - by adding a female version of this norm.

Arrogant? Self-centred? Crazy? Yah, in the eyes of the 40-year-old, white man any attempt to create oneself in one's own image certainly is...

I want to add, that which made the reason for me feeling an obscure, though strong, dislike, become clear to me was that I recently read a text written by Karen Henninger on categorization, stereotypes and discrimination, that led my thoughts back to when I studied, among others, Cixous, Irigaray, Kristeva etc. (Karen Henninger's text is not freely available on the net).

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