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So much life force from inside me seems to come fr…

So much life force from inside me seems to come from my genitals. So much sensation. Sensation that is distinctly in male shape. This fucks up my ability to be in the moment but also feels like an enlivening force within me. Do I need to learn to accept my male genitals? To be comfortable with them?

I don’t know if I should look to escape the sensation of being male to lose more inner life (how much more?) or risk it all? To be a doll? Would I objectify myself into an automaton? Would I be happier like that? Is that what I really want?

Trans(per)forming Nina Arsenault: An Unreasonable Body of Work, Nina Arsenault

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Our first manifesto we released by fax. We didn’t …

Our first manifesto we released by fax. We didn’t have problems spelling the word, ‘cunt’; I think it was the word ‘manifesto’ we had problems with.

VNX Matrix, Virginia Barratt & Francesca di Rimini, overheard in Wired interview in my lounge

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The popular story of a leg transplant performed by…

The popular story of a leg transplant performed by physician saints Cosmos and Damian changes in its late-medieval retelling to emphasise not only the grafting of a black leg onto a sick white man but also the attaching of the gangrenous white leg onto the corpse of the Moor from whom the original graft was taken104. Such tales surely suggest that the intact condition of the body, even after death, had deep significance.

104. Judith-Danielle Jacquet, “Le Miracle de la Jambe Noire,” in Gélis and Redon (eds.), Les Miracles miroirs, pp. 23-52.

Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion, Caroline Walker Bynum

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A careful and comparative reading of texts by male…

A careful and comparative reading of texts by male and female authors from the twelfth to the fifteenth century thus suggests that it is men who develop conceptions of gender, whereas women develop conceptions of humanity.

Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion, Caroline Walker Bynum

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The relatively high standing of blacks in medieval…

The relatively high standing of blacks in medieval court culture becomes evident in the characters of Belacâne and Feirefiz in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Arthurian epic, Parzival (1197-1210). Belacâne is the Moorish Queen of Zanzamanc in Africa who gives birth to Feirefiz after being married to the Christian knight Gahmuret, who is also the father of Eschenbach’s hero, Parzival. Significantly, Gahmuret’s romance with Belacâne presents an interracial (and interreligious) relationship in a positive light, although Belacâne wishes to become Christian. Likewise, Feirefiz, who is described as having black-and-white patched skin, is regarded as Parzival’s equal. Parzival even claims that, together with their shared dead father, the three of them are in essence one because of blood bond. After renouncing his pagan faith, Feirefiz marries the white Grail bearer and is granted all the privileges of a Christian knight.

Germany and the Black Diaspora: Points of Contact, 1250-1914, Mischa Honeck, Martin Klimke, Anna Kuhlmann (eds.)

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A theatre which honours its audience will demand o…

A theatre which honours its audience will demand of its writers that they write in hazard of their consciences, for writers are paid to think dangerously, they are explorers of the imagination, the audience expects it of them. If they think safely, what is the virtue of them? Do you want to pay £10 to be told what you knew already? That is theft. Do you want to agree all the time? That is flattery, and the audience is always flattered, which is why it has become so sleek.

An honoured audience will quarrel with what it has seen, it will go home in a state of anger, not because it disapproves, but because it has been taken where it is reluctant to go. Thus morality is created in art, by exposure to pain and illegitimate thought.

Death, The One and The Art of Theatre, Howard Barker

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Two complimentary early proto-bergmetal moments, h…

Two complimentary early proto-bergmetal moments, however, do merit highlighting at this stage as potential reference points for future measurements. The first is the appearance of the mountain as object of ludic post-futurality and mystical flight in Black Sabbath’s “Supernaut”: “I want to reach out and touch the sky / I want to touch the sun / But I don’t need to fly / I’m gonna climb up every mountain of the moon / Find the dish that ran away with the spoon” (Black Sabbath Vol. 4 1972). The subject of this song is the darkly innocent paradox of a conquering spirit who has left conquest behind, a pure climber-flyer who summits everything without needing to fly, exceeds all limits, yet is not in the least weighed down by the accomplishment of doing so and who alpinely dwells above all contingency and relation: “Got no religion / Don’t need no friends / Got all I want and I don’t need to pretend.” The Supernaut is a mystically playful mountaineer of telos and time itself, one who thus ends up assuming the high apophatic topos of the old God of Mt. Sinai whom none can see and live: “Don’t try to reach me ’cause I’ll tear up your mind / I’ve seen the future and I’ve left it behind.”

Bergmetal: Oro-emblems of the Musical Beyond, Lieut. Nab Saheb of Kashmir & Denys X. Abaris O.S.L.

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To emphasise that engagement with feminist struggl…

To emphasise that engagement with feminist struggle as political commitment, we could avoid using the phrase ”I am a feminist” (a linguistic structure designed to refer to some personal aspect of identity and self-definition) and could state, “I advocate feminism.” Because there has been undue emphasis placed on feminism as an identity or lifestyle, people usually resort to stereotyped perspectives on feminism. Deflecting attention away from stereotypes is necessary if we are to revise our strategy and direction. I have found that saying “I am a feminist” usually means I am plugged into preconceived notions of identity, role, or behaviour. When I say, ”I advocate feminism,” the response is usually, “What is feminism?” A phrase like ”I advocate” does not imply the kind of absolutism that is suggested by “I am.” It does not engage us in the either/or dualistic thinking that is the central ideological component of all systems of domination in Western society. It implies that a choice has been made, that commitment to feminism is an act of will. It does not suggest that by committing oneself to feminism, the possibility of supporting other political movements is negated.

Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, bell hooks

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“The princess expressed interest in making me up…

“The princess expressed interest in making me up … First she covered my eyebrows across the forehead with mascara and turned each of them into a bow-shape, then she dyed my eyelashes, covered my cheeks with white powder and red blush, and finally made my lips red without forgetting to draw a thin shade of a mustache over my lips, which is apparently considered one of the beauty marks for an Iranian women’s face.”

Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards, Afsaneh Najmabadi

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Specific, distinctive, original, the whole body in…

Specific, distinctive, original, the whole body invents; the head likes to repeat. Head, stupid; body, brilliant. Why didn’t I learn its creative force sooner? Why didn’t I understand when I was younger that only the glorious body could be taken for real? This is why, in the twilight of my life, I sing of it, for the edification of my successors. What are you going to do in the high mountains, at your age? Prepare my writing. Study, learn, certainly – something of it will always stay with you – but, above all, train the body and have confidence in it, for it remembers everything without weight or overloading. Our divine flesh alone distinguishes us from machines; human intelligence can be distinguished from artificial intelligence by the body, alone.

Variations on the Body, Michel Serres