Archive for February, 2007

回想2007除夕夜

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

转眼间,已经有10天没有留言了。人的一生中又有多少个10天可以轮回?

今年的春节,我又在伦敦度过。与去年不同的是我有了Ed(Ed是男友)。

可能是在外面过节的原因,邻近春节的日子里,我并没有觉得自己完全投入到了节日的气氛当中。倒是Ed的存在,让我第一次有了在家的感觉。我俩把彼此当做家人一样,别提多亲了。尤其是在上次正式拜访他父母之后,愈加亲切和体贴。我还是第一次被男朋友带回家呢!(虽然这么直接的说出来有点儿‘麻’,但这才真实嘛!)

大年三十,是在jeni召集的聚会上度过的。这也是Ed第一次参加华人的旧历年聚会。他还特意为自己新增了件红色体恤,来和大家一起红红火火过个年。他的认真和对来自我的文化的尊重更增进了我门的感情。

聚会上,包饺子,做游戏,大家尽情的说,笑,食,饮,拍照,祝福。jeni还特地身着大红旗袍,高挂大红灯笼,尽足了女主人的‘义务。’餐桌中央的各种甜点和瓜子更让人尝尽春节的味道. 值得一提的是stone手下的‘年年有余(鱼)’,和大家齐心协力下的‘天之骄(饺)子’。一桌地道的东北新春宴就这样‘凑合’成了,并在伦敦隆重推出。

虽然没有放鞭炮,没有拿红包,身边没有父母,耳边没有春节联欢晚会的嘈杂环绕。我还是尽情享受了2007年的春节。心怀对新的一年的憧憬和期待,我仿佛已经踏上了新的旅程。

最后,向jeni,sam,jana,goeff,susan,stone,ed致谢!

除夕夜留影

Feminism studies: Compare and contrast two competing accounts of ‘sexual difference’ – between Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Part – 5 Bringing new thoughts

‘Sexual difference’ as a ‘burning issue’ has been controversial since the end of last century. Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler are two of the most influential feminist thinkers who hold different opinions of how society has changed the concept of ‘women’ and also deconstructed ‘sexual difference’ among humanity. I have been studying those differences by analyzing key terms such as ‘culture over nature’, sex and gender and ‘sexual difference’. It seems that Irigaray’s theory was based on a historical point of view, which rejected Freudian theory of binary opposition of ‘women’ and ‘men’. She emphasises women’s value and position in the western society in the 1980’s. Conversely, Butler focuses on the ‘multiplicity’ of ‘gender identity’, whose argument seems more relevant to ‘sexual difference’ in general (with respect to racism and homosexuality) today.

While Irigaray and Butler are fundamental to Western thought, in my opinion, Globalization has broken the boundaries between people who have different identities and come from different cultures. In this sense, people who are from non-western cultures may have various opinions about ‘sexual difference’, which may bring new insights to the discussion.

Feminism studies: Compare and contrast two competing accounts of ‘sexual difference’ – between Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Part 4 – Sexual difference

When P. DE Sagazan questions Irigaray about how men and women are different, Irigaray’s answer was that ‘they are corporeally different’. She articulated that this ‘biological difference’ leads to other differences such as constructing subjectivity, connecting to the world and relating (Irigaray, 2000, p.96). In contrast to ‘biological difference’, Butler argues that these ‘corporeal styles’ (differences) are a sedimentation, which has been produced over time. It appears in sexes that sit in ‘a binary relation to one another’. (Butler, 1988, p.407)

‘Sexual difference’ for Irigaray is heterosexually based, which is the major distinction between her and Butler. Irigaray stated later in conversation that ‘…two genders have different forms of consciousness: one remaining more faithful to the body and to her sensibility, to the concrete environment, and to intersubjective relationships, …the other, constructing a universe of non-natural objects…’ It seems that she clearly separated the idea of ‘sex’ into two genders. Conversely, Butler rejects the heterosexuality of sex/gender division, she claims that heterosexuality (the same as gender) is, as mentioned above, ‘culturally produced’ and can be ‘subverted and dismantled.’ (Stone, 2006, p.7)

Furthermore, Irigaray believed that ‘sexual difference’ is a universal difference, which can serve as a standpoint for understanding other differences. According to her, ‘there are traces of instincts derived from animality and human passions in the relations between women and men’, such as respecting other gender. For her, this can be seen as from the ‘most instinctive to the most spiritual’ – the most spiritual being that which bring humans to respect other differences such as race, generation, culture and so on. (Irigaray, 2000, p.99) So ‘sexual difference’ (which by her means sex difference) obviously was a fundamental difference for her, which Butler denies. Butler stresses the ‘multiplicity’ of ‘sex’ and ‘gender performativity’, which bear cultural meaning with it.

Bibliography

Butler, J. (1988). Performative Acts and Gender Constitution. In Conboy, K., Medina, N., Stanbury, S. eds. Writing on the Body: Female Movement and Feminist Theory. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.

Irigaray, L. and Lotringer, S., transl. Collins, C. (2000). Why Different? New York: Semiotext(e).

Stone, A. (2006). Luce Irigaray and the Philosophy of Sexual Difference. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Feminism studies: Compare and contrast two competing accounts of ‘sexual difference’ – between Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Part 3 – sex and gender

It seems that Irigaray and Butler’s interpretations of ‘sexual difference’ are based on different starting points. Irigaray focuses on the rejection of female sexuality in cultural theory, and claims that gender is sex based. However, Butler states that it is extremely limiting if one understands gender as a separated model, which is based on sex, and does not take into account other bases of gender identity and different forms of sexuality (Long, 2006). She articulates Merleau-Ponty’s reflections on the phenomenology of perception on “the body in its sexual being”, saying that the human body is “an historical idea” rather than “a natural species.” She is also inspired by Simone de Beauvoir’s notion of “woman”, for which ‘any extension, and gender, is an historical situation rather than a natural fact.’ Butler explains that ‘[Beauvoir] clearly underscores the distinction between sex, as biological facticity, and gender, as the cultural interpretation or signification of that facticity’ (Butler, 1988, p.403).

According to Butler’s theory of sex and gender, one can argue that biological sex does not oppose performative gender. Sex and gender can be seen as an interacted relationship (sex/gender). Sexes can be seen as gendered bodies, which are created by culture. Butler elaborates gender as an aspect of identity, which are created through ‘a stylized repetition of [performative] acts’ (Long, 2006). In this sense, gender can also be defined into multiple assumptions. As Butler states

‘…there is neither an “ essence” that gender expresses or externalizes nor an objective ideal to which gender aspires; because gender is not a fact, the various acts of gender creates the idea of gender, and without those acts, there would be no gender at all. Gender is, thus, a construction that regularly conceals its genesis’ (Butler, 1988, p.405).

Even through both Irigaray and Butler agreed that patriarchal power has been influencing and controlling human interpretation of ‘sex’ and gender, one could argue that Butler reveals more possibilities for the understanding of sex/gender. Butler’s notion of sex/gender is sublimated to an intellectual level, which free individuals to define their own sex/gender.

Bibliography

Butler, J. (1988). Performative Acts and Gender Constitution. In Conboy, K., Medina, N., Stanbury, S. eds.

Writing on the Body: Female Movement and Feminist Theory

. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997
Long, V. (2006). Subjectivity and Gender: Luce Irigaray’s, Judith Butler’s and Riot Girl’s Gender Challenge. Internet (last viewed 10 January 2007).

a love letter+ a red rose +a little poem

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

凌晨, 当秒针刚刚跨过了2007年2月14日的大门。
我,身着睡衣,依赖在‘苹果’前,终于完成了上一篇稿子,关于是否应该把国宝归还给原属国。
身后,一只玫瑰悄悄的探出头来。
拥抱,我不由自主的扑向他的怀中。
一封情书,那是来自他传达给我情人节的另一份礼物。
信尾,一首诗舒展在淡蓝色的影线之间

My little poem, 是诗也是我。

my little poem, 我心中的小诗,
i brush gently against your joy, 我温馨地梳理你的喜悦,
i move my hand over your hair, 任随指尖在你长发间穿梭,
barely touching you, 时而接触,时而疏离,
shining in front of me. 闪耀在我面前。

my little poem, 我心中的小诗,
i will keep trying to find the words, 我会一直找寻那些为你臣服的发自我内心深处的言语,
for what i felt for you. 为你,为你。

Heritage, Origins and Otherness

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

I have recently been working on my research file for my option subject ‘cities of modernity’. My study area, at this time, is about ‘Beijing Siheyuan’ (a traditional residency in Beijing which has a history going back 800 years). I could not find much information in our college library so I have been researching on some Chinese websites. Or I could even translate them to English. I thought it would be a way of disseminating Chinese culture to ‘the other’ who had castles (equivalent to residency) in history.

I quite enjoy doing the research as it helps me to obtain my own culture. I was looking at all kinds of national treasures that Chinese have had in history such as paintings, calligraphies and Chinese porcelain and so on. It reminded me, one of the framing art lectures, which I had attended last term. The session was called ‘Heritage, Origins and Otherness’. We were asked to watch a documentary, which is called Stolen Goods National Treasures, directed by Tim Robinson in 2000. The video was about whether should the British museum return national treasures to their original countries.

Some people wonder why people should travel all over the world to experience different cultures and ways of life. One can get a taste of the Greek culture, or a chance to see the best Chinese calligraphy in the world by visiting the British museum. There are, however, others who take on another view, in which they argue that Western Europe should pay respect to countries that they have taken these treasures from by returning their lost treasures. Should this be the case then? It is always difficult to answer such controversial questions when people come from different culture and have different opinions. I have been thinking whether the returning of these treasures would be beneficial to countries where these treasures were originated, and the antiques themselves.

Returning priceless objects to their countries of origin is a way of expressing a diplomatic gesture of friendship. Many people from these countries of origin had been deeply upset when their treasures were taken away. These treasures were symbols of their culture. Therefore, their loss was not only objective, but also a subjective one as in a loss of spiritual values. Moreover, returning these treasures would help settle any long-term disputes created by the act of their displacement and consequently create a more peaceful and tranquil world.

Furthermore, many tourists, and people who are from these treasure’s original cultures believe that the only way to fully experience the cultural effects of these exhibits is to view them in their original cradle. Being in their origin enables these treasures to appear more charming. They would be better staged in their natural condition instead of being in a glass box in London. Culture is the spirit of a race. Without being immersed in its original culture, an antique loses the spirit it was intended to carry. It is all about the restoration of a culture’s spirit rather than the monetary value of these treasures.

However, some superintendents argue that such precious antiques should be preserved in well-built museums that facilitate good temperature conditions and security. Moreover, since Europeans tend to be more experienced in antique preservation, it could be better off for these treasures to remain in their present state. Moreover, risks of damages during displacement can then be avoided.

I am holding an impartial view at this controversial issue. In this civilized and developed era, European countries should return these priceless objects to their origins not only because people should respect each other’s culture but also human dignity as a whole.

Feminism studies: Compare and contrast two competing accounts of ‘sexual difference’ – between Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

Part two – Why ‘culture over nature’

Both Irigaray and Butler agree that culture is ‘over’ nature. Similarly, both of them reject the ‘given truth’, and believe that humans are cultural beings. We engage in activities of transforming ourselves in the material world. However, the term ‘culture over nature’ was elaborated in different ways by these two thinkers.

For Irigaray, ‘culture’ indicates the notion of ‘man’ (the ‘only one sex’) who revalued ‘woman,’ which is therefore a culturally constructed idea (of what it is a woman should be) that appears ‘natural’. Irigaray claimed that, traditionally, the need for a representation of ‘nature’, was seen as good or bad depending on whether it is created by men or engendered by women (Irigaray, 1987, p.96). It seems that Irigaray was trying to describe the power relationship between culture and nature, and also self-awareness among ‘women’. In her book This Sex Which Is Not One, she claimed that ‘ “women” always remains several, but she is kept from dispersion because the other is already within her and is autocratically familiar to her, which is not to say that she appropriates the other for herself, that she reduces it to her own property.’ She focused on the female position in human society and emphasized that women should create their own systems in terms of language, discourses and sexuality.

Stone argued that Irigaray could be seen to use the concept of nature in two main senses. ‘Firstly, the ‘nature’ of something, for her, denotes its defining character or essence – in the sense men and women are said to have different natures.’ (Stone, 2006, p.5) Besides that, Irigaray denoted ‘nature’ as character and essence of human – she believes that men and women have different natures.

One could argue that by encouraging and also emphasizing female positions, ‘sexual difference’ for her is to distinguish male and female identities or positions.

However, Judith Butler questions the notion of natural, biological or true gender identity. She stepped further than Irigaray’s analysis by explaining the hidden ‘reason’ behind why ‘nature’ was understood as natural. She claims that culture is continuously changing and gender is a constructed idea. As Long stated,

Butler contends that culture requires gender to be inscribed upon the body…gendered bodies are created. Gender is a facet of identity created through a stylized repetition of acts. Gender performance and prescription is internalized as a form of self-discipline. (Long, 2006)

For instance, Butler also argues that ‘heterosexuality is a cultural artifact, which can be subverted and dismantled’. She explicated ‘Phenomenological theories of human embodiment have also been concerned to distinguish between the various physiological and biological causalities that structure bodily existence and the meanings that embodied existence assumes in the context of lived experience.’ (Butler, 1988, p.403) This explanation reflects what Stone stated about Judith Butler’s idea that bodies do have a natural character, but one of multiplicity (Stone, 2006, p.6).

Bibliography

Long, V. (2006). Subjectivity and Gender: Luce Irigaray’s, Judith Butler’s and Riot Girl’s Gender Challenge. Internet (last viewed 10 January 2007).

Butler, J. (1988). Performative Acts and Gender Constitution. In Conboy, K., Medina, N., Stanbury, S. eds. Writing on the Body: Female Movement and Feminist Theory. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.

Irigaray, L. (1987). Sexual Difference. Transl. Hand, S. In Whitford, M. ed. (1991). The Irigaray Reader. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Stone, A. (2006). Luce Irigaray and the Philosophy of Sexual Difference. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

傲慢与偏见

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

傲慢与偏见

80年代的人常常讲,花花世界太多诱惑了。花花世界这个词,好像很土啊!到底花花世界是什么?在那里?难道就是资本主义国家和社会吗?花花世界对于每一个人,都有不同的定义和解释。

习惯了城市的喧嚣和吵闹,已不觉得有任何特别的人,反而喜欢郊外淡淡的微风和稻草的清香。但那可能只是一时‘城里人’对现实社会的逃避。每一个住在伦敦的城里人可能都有同感。因为伦敦的魅力已经不仅仅在与方便和时尚。 对于一些人,伦敦是一个让人觉得压抑却又具有推动力变态工厂。

生活在这里的人,常常抱怨,常常愤怒,可与此同时,他们又以种种傲慢而沾沾自喜且心怀满足感。抱怨是因为,这里申请一个固定电话要等至少3个礼拜,开一个银行账户就需要你比等电话更有耐心。所以一些中文极为美妙的学子称’BT’(British Telephone line)为‘变态’。因为那是一种精神上的折磨。没有电话就意味着没有网络,那你就如人间蒸发了一样,会被以前的朋友骂到狗血喷头的。因为他们会说你到了london,人品也变得london了!意为you傲慢you偏见。因为你没有和他们及时联络啊!另一方面, 说道心怀满足感是因为,你常常被身边的小事而震惊。就好像当你发现原来一代宗师Freud竟在50年代的时候就读与与你现在同一间学校。那是一种欣喜,感觉完全不同与你在机场偶遇某个你早在少年时期为之疯狂的Super star。股子里,单纯的你变的虚伪了一点点儿。然后,更有可能告诉后来到伦敦又在为等点话线诉苦的人,说,‘嘿,这就是london啊!u should be proud!’

女人,感情来了,理智丢了。

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

情人节快到了,突然想到了自己以前曾经写过一些小故事关于情人。特搬来和大家一起分享。(注:这里的‘我’不是我,纯数第三人称)

情景一

我和他已经很久没见了。自从那次他认为我其实不是因为喜欢他才和他约会,而是因为日子寂寞难熬才找他‘填空’的。我其实不是那样的人,了解我的人都知道。我慌然大悟,因为他喜欢我但又不了解我,所以才误会了。有些时候是这样的,人一有了感情,理智就靠边站了。男人们更明显,他们若即若离。当然,并不是所有男人都是这样,而且他们可能认为女人也是这样的,于是才有了讲也讲不完的爱情故事。。。。。。我就这样想着,突然被微微颤动的书包带回了现实。原来我是在等电车,但为什么眼看着上一班徐徐开走了呢?哦,是电话震动!我来不及再回忆自己在做什么,急忙把书包翻过来任凭随身物品撒了一地。

‘喂!?’终于没错过他的电话,是的,是他,想曹操,曹操就打来电话了。
‘我,你在家吗?我在你家门口!’
‘哦,我。。在外面,不过马上就到,你等我啊,马上,马上。。。’
‘没关(系)。。。’

没来得及听他解释,我已经挂断了。像农田里拔稻草一样,我急忙把地上的零碎捋进背包。我没有再等下一班车,而是改道回俯了。鬼知道其实我想去那儿,可能只是家里以外的地方。第一次觉得地铁站的台阶竟然这么多,马路上的信号灯是不是被调过了,行人怎么走的这么悠闲,别挡着我。。。所有这些都在我脑海闪过。

‘嘿,啊,,呼,,呼,等,等了很久吧?’气还没喘齐,我差点儿撞到他。
‘没有,你不用跑的,我就是来看看你,不会离开的。’
‘,,,‘ ’我以为,,,你再也不会出现了呢!其实上次,,,’
‘没有,没有上次!’他打断了我,摇着头示意要我不提前贤。‘我知道,时间已经证明
一切了。我只想再和你聊天。我想知道你,了解你,,,行吗?’
我感到一阵暖意,并夹杂着淡淡古龙水的清香,右脸庞被微微的刺到了,又是那只大手抚
摸着我软而长的头发。我已经再他怀里了。‘为什么没刮胡子?’我开着蓄意的玩笑。
‘因为胡子也想你了,想你想的长长了!’

我们彼此望着笑了。



晚上回家整理背包时,偶然发现里面有一只烟蒂。怎么想也想不通,怎么会有烟蒂在我的背包里呢?难道是谁在和我开玩笑?望着那个只剩下躯干的碳素笔,我明白了。笔帽一定还在那个电车站台上,这个烟蒂也一定是从站台上来的。

女人,感情来了,理智丢了。
我摇着头笑了。

Ed says, ‘you are my little poem’.

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

当Ed第一次对我说 ‘you are my little poem’, 我的心被深深的触动了。
当他给我这个‘布拉格’,鼓励我写英文记事,写感受,表达内心世界,分享学业与经历,纪录人生的点点滴滴,我命名这片天地为‘ a little poem’.

今天,晚餐后,当一切犹如以往一样安静,祥和。在我们对坐于mac开始工作前,他说,让我为你读首诗吧!

Love is encompassed…

Love is encompassed in my Lady’s eyes
Whence sheennobles all she looks upon.
Where e’er she walks, the gaze of everyone
She draws: in him she greets, such tremors rise,
All pale, he tures his face away, and sighs,
Reflecting on his failings, one by one,
Fleeing before her, wrath and pride are gone,
Come, ladies, sing with me her eulogies,
All gentleness and all humility
When she is heard to speak in hearts unfold,
And blessed is he by whom she first was seen.
When she a little smiles, her aspect then
No tongue can tell, no memory can hold,
So rare and strange a miracle is she.

这首诗写于1290,是但丁为Beatrice所作。同但丁一样,Beatrice 来自于佛罗伦萨,貌美绝伦的她年纪轻轻(24岁)就不幸去世了。在但丁的记忆里(从童年到成年),Beatrice 一直拥有完美的女性形象。Beatrice去世后,自然而然她的成为了但丁心中爱神的化身。但丁用诗歌,回味她,歌颂她,悼念她,同时一如既往的爱着她。