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MC's picture

One awkward person trying to think it through and not even brushing the tip of the iceberg. 


Part 1

Part 2

(Attempts at embedding lead to two copies of one video, so I'm afraid I only have links.)

Videos of myself attempting to explain why sometimes we have to look past ignorance as an explanation for behavior, and explore and dissect how behaviors are considered acceptable in the first place. What is power? How do we use it? How is it used against us, and how does its use against others affect us? What layers of power do we as individuals move against? 

Power is a very loaded word in the feminist vocabulary. It describes not only what has been used against us, but what we use against others, and what we often, probably with out realizing it, try to gain. Once power is gained, it becomes harder not to use it against others. It becomes a circle of abuse of power that creates the anger that fuels the original cycle of power gain and loss. As a feminist I try so hard to channel my anger at the world around me into positive and critical change, but this is difficult. It's difficult to root past the symptoms to the very cause of the problem, and sometimes it's much easier to stay back and remain fixated on those symptoms. But what does that solve? What do we have to do to work past that? Our class is a critical theory and thought class, but how do we translate what we read, watch, and discuss into the world as we move through it? Is talking ever enough? Based on the theories we have discussed and shared in class, how would you/we want to reorganize channels of power in the world? Is power even something that we want to retain? How would we let go of it? 

Parts of this video are rather awkward and uncomfortable as I left my head-script and fell out of what I meant to say. How did you react to those parts? What statements that I made would you argue with, did you feel uncomfortable with, made you rethink, made you tune out? I began this video with personal experience, but as we discussed about Spivak, are an "author's" interpretations really valid? How accountable should we be for the things we say, if the intent behind them was not the same as what we meant to communicate? 

Everyday small acts of power and privilege against those perceived as less powerful and/or less capable of fighting back. They can be anything, and I will bet that they have happened to everyone in our class. What does it mean when we acknowledge those actions against us, and similar actions we have perpetrated against others? 

Power. Let's talk and then do something about it.



 Please note these are NOT uploaded to my YouTube account, I borrowed a friend's. Also please note that the videos are now actually viewable.


Anne Dalke's picture


Last month you experimented with crafting a visual essay. Interesting that you follow that up w/ this experiment in making video-papers (btw: Alexandra Juhasz is speaking @ the Re:Humanities conference @ Swat on Thursday afternoon, March 29th, about her video book, published on youtube, Learning from YouTube …. ) -- and that I/no one can access the videos you put up.

So innovative -- and inaccessible.

And, so: I can respond only to the words typed above, to your own responses to your video.

I am put in mind of a web essay by an erstwhile colleague in philosophy, on Truth and Power in Education -- I wonder if this speaks to some of the questions you raise? Also thinking of a short student posting about arrogant perception and the power elite; about the long history pedagogical experiments in "empowering" (=controlling?) students; about working against institutional authority by focusing on the authority that can be generated by those who gather together in closed spaces (see: Women in Walled Communities, upcoming!). Also thinking about what Spivak, in Outside in the Teaching Machine, calls "responsibility": "proceeding from an awareness of the limits of one's power ... what I cannot imagine stands guard over everyting that I must/can do, think, live."

Amophrast's picture

MC, please change the privacy

MC, please change the privacy setting on the youtube links! I know there's a way you can have them unlisted/only accessible through these links without them being private or public