Nineteen years ago, on 15th February 1999, an international conspiracy culminated in the revolutionary thought-leader and feminist Abdullah Ocalan being imprisoned in a Turkish jail, in which he still resides -if he is still alive.
Reading Ocalan’s words today contributes to my increasing realisation that, by the standards of mainstream modern civilisation, I too am a ‘radical’. I don’t necessarily like the connotations of this word, and how it might falsely seperate me from some of my not-so-radical friends. Because, in the sense that I just want to live a free and balanced life, in respect of all human beings and the ecology of the planet, ‘radical’ is only normal and natural. Moreover, on these terms there is a radical inside all of us, waiting for the moment to have the courage to speak up. Surely it is in our uncorrupted Nature to wish to achieve balance in all things? Surely the global civilisation-mesh that we now live in is the most imbalanced in history?
This was supposed to be a personal diary extract, taking the pressure off from discussing wider concerns and complex social issues. But of course, I am inseperable from what is going on in the world.
One of my so-called ‘radical’ responses to the world I live in is to practice celibacy, and that includes with myself. After a few months of practice, this seems to be bearing fruit. Sometimes, there are moments where I feel I am denying myself. I may even experience physical pain as a result of this. But in other moments I feel less denied and more contained and focused. My creativity then bursts forth in writing, theatre and song.
I also contemplate how my celibacy is linked to my feminism. Wanting to be a better person, to improve my self, my male / queer gender and its relation to other genders, particularly women. In the past, I admit I have been a trawler of images of women, not specifically pornographic but led by porn, so that everywhere I looked, I would see women as more or less stylised images; not as themselves.
I would like to say I am free of all that but I’m not. I may be free from pornography but I am not free from the pornographication and sexualisation of culture which is everywhere around us in modern society. We categorically do not live in sexually liberated times. I know what sexual liberation is, in my body, heart and mind. I have found the beginnings of it in practice, in the communes I have visited. I am sex positive, and if society was truly liberated, I might not be celibate. Modern consumerist society, however, mistakes sexual proliferation for sexual liberation. It’s not the same.
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. I dedicated my love to the women of Afrin, who are right now defending the most radical women’s movement in history, in Afrin, northern Syria, against a horrific Turkish invasion. Please help me support them.