What is writing? What is feminism? What is queer? Even more specifically, what does it mean to write feminist/queer lives at this historical moment?
A third of all women worldwide have been subject to physical/sexual violence from an intimate partner (it accounts for the majority of female murder victims in the U.S.); 64 million girls worldwide are child brides; 140 million women and girls have endured female genital mutilation; over 4 million women and girls worldwide have been forced into sexual exploitation because of human trafficking; up to 50,000 women were raped during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina; up to half a million women and girls were raped in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. ("Facts and Figures")
In the time it took to read the above paragraphs, someone else was sexually assaulted in the United States ("1 sexual assault every 133 seconds, or about 1 every 2 minutes," says RAINN). What does it mean to write at such a time? Further, what might it mean to queer such moments? This is how I give myself writer’s block; for in the face of such numbers, to write seems such a small thing. And yet, and yet, and yet. It is important to write, to give voice, to testify. It is part of a long-standing feminist ethic of self-examination; how does lived experience work toward systemic critique? How is the personal political?