「生まれて、すみません.」

太宰治

女生徒

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明日もまた、同じ日が来るのだろう。幸福は一生、来ないのだ。それは、わかっている。けれども、きっと来る、あすは来る、と信じて寝るのがいいのでしょう。わざと、どさんと大きい音たてて蒲団にたおれる。ああ、いい気持だ。蒲団が冷いので、背中がほどよくひんやりして、ついうっとりなる。幸福は一夜おくれて来る。ぼんやり、そんな言葉を思い出す。幸福を待って待って、とうとう堪え切れずに家を飛び出してしまって、そのあくる日に、素晴らしい幸福の知らせが、捨てた家を訪れたが、もうおそかった。幸福は一夜おくれて来る。幸福は、

Film stills from the NHK adaptation, available for viewing here (Japanese/Korean subs).

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Tomorrow, yet again, will be more of the same sort of day.  Happiness will never come.  I’m understanding that more and more. And yet, right before sleep, it would be  lovely to believe that it will definitely come with the next morning. Making a determinedly loud sound, I flopped onto my futon. Ah, nice feeling that.  The futon was pleasantly cool; and my spine shivered in delight. Right away, I felt dozy.  Happiness comes one night too late . . . faintly, I recall that phrase.  Waiting and waiting for happiness, finally unable to endure it anymore, the girl flees her home.  And the very next morning, the wonderful news, that good luck, finally arrives at the place from which she had run. But so the tidings arrived too late.  She was gone. Hence the saying . . .Happiness comes one night too late . . .   Happiness . . .

Dazai Osamu, The Schoolgirl (1939)

(My own late-night translation.)

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Interview with ‘The TransAdvocate’

Licensed for controversy, Rani Baker (@destroyed4com4t) recently interviewed me for The TransAdvocate. I am sincerely thankful to her for this opportunity to reflect — in casual and honest conversation with someone whom previously I’ve been both friend and foe.

Rani’s open, respectful, and unfiltered engagement with me speaks much to her integrity as a writer and a colleague. I also wish to offer my gratitude to Cristan Williams, for her editorial patience and willingness to share her platform.

You can read the interview here, which also has a text->speech module for those (like me) with visual impairments.

‘Ancestral Recall’ Now Available!

I’m not cool enough to have a launch party . . . (reality: the parcel just arrived and I’m still in my yoga clothes) . . . — but, imagine if you will . . . me about to break open a bottle of Napa Chardonnay with a toast:

The hardback is in my hands, not by my own power alone, but steadfast love and help from Our Lady; the belief in me from great scholars; and many friends who helped me press on, improve, and finally publish this: my first book!

Space is limited. Gratefulness is not.

Thank you always for your readership.

–aoife assumpta

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Updated – How a Trans Woman Learns Her Dad is Dead (21st Century Version)

“This is my last message to you: in sorrow, seek happiness.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

 

My biological father passed away on 24th June, 2016 (may God rest him.)

It was not until four days later that I received this generic, dispassionate, impersonal, templated, mass email on 28th June. The author (name redacted, above and below) is a legal secretary. The Mr (Name Redacted), mentioned in the email’s single sentence, was my father.

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A Prayer for My Feast Day

“On the eve of our life we will be judged by how much we loved.”

-St John of the Cross

On the afternoon of January 5th, 2015, in a winter-locked clinic … my fingers twitched in spasms, splayed over a steel gurney rail. The thick IV needle was embedded just below my forearm tattoo — grip unable to tighten because of the deep wedge in the skin.

“I won’t damage your ink,” the French-accented anesthetologist assured me, medical-taping the nozzle into place and turning on the drip.

Then (as goes typical hospital protocol) he switched on his headlamp and studied a buzzing monitor, simultaneously instructing me to count back from 10.

“9,” I exhaled.

Already my eyeballs had begun to roll inward upon their own orbits. Seven seconds. My sex reassignment surgery. Every accumulated wish from that lifelong unrequited emptiness within, summarized as a buried dread:  “Why wasn’t I born a girl?” Losing, breath, sinking, last cry.

Throat could only accomplish a coarse offering that barely passed across cracked tongue. Final seconds. Prayer.

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Changing My Mind, Among Others

Overwhelmed with the miasma of bad faith politics, bathroom laws, and an intensification of the war on trans — I’ve shuddered for the last few months under my own disingenuous neutrality. Keyboard and street. My left hand was arguing for archaic sex essentialism even as I was accused, publicly, of infiltrating a convent for kinkster thrills (class acts, those TERFs); and my right hand, meanwhile, was acting freely and unfettered as an extension of the woman I am, to everyone and to every place. With no footnotes, no question marks.

Ie.: Gendercrit = male in the tweets, female in the streets.

I’ve withheld responding directly to the two libellous (and lawsuit worthy) essays grossly served up against me — one of the authors of which having died suddenly and very shortly after posting the slander.

Her death. Not even a fortnight after her disgusting attacks on my livelihood, in the midst of a change of location, nation, and job. Depressingly, Jaqueline Sephora Andrews‘s last days, aided by anonymous TERFs, were invested in inventing all manner of awful falsehoods about other trans women, all to appease the pantomime of “men in dresses”. In other words — of belittling and humiliating repetitiously, they trans who are no less nor no more than she in their gender identity, but somehow ruled invalid and worthy of condensed scorn.  For what?

Andrews’s legacy now exists as a litany of interpersonal hate-fueled abuse: her entire output was a robotic monofeed yelling “You’re a man!” at random translings on twitter. The more egg mode and vulnerable, the more merciless she disparaged them. Every day, all day. And when not making a hobbyhorse out of social media harassment, Andrews was a shill-speaker for Alliance Defending Freedom: an SPLC listed hate-group … being yet another example of gendercrits willingly collaborating with extremist evangelical  groups. Thus, Andrews’s ideology virulently enacted harm from multiple angles, the sorts of  sinister deeds gendercrits do to demonstrate their fidelity to the Cause … their quarry often being those suicidal kids whose online presence Andrews hunted, and the quacking cowards who were pleased to have a puppet proxy for their psychotic disdain towards trans people.

And myself bloody well doubts that more than a mere few TERFies even chipped in tokens (pun intended) to pay for Jaqueline’s funeral. That’s the reality:

A dead trans woman is just another dead trans woman to them.

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Spring Update

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg

Another brief post, but important:

(1) My immigration process and permanent residency application into the United States of America is now well underway. Due to the conditions stipulated by the USCIS, I may not leave the country for any reason, for a period of about six months.

(2) Although lawyers are a brilliant help, the requisite filing and assorted preparation took up an enormous amount of time. I’ve not been writing much, and considered deleting the blog due to my business resulting in recent, massive life changes.

(3) And I’ve questioned my nerve about whether to continue commenting … notoriety or recognition never appealed to me, or I’d be pitching essays at pop feminism outlets. PayPal links or Patreon petitions … not really what aoifeschatology has been intended to support. And given the blistering schisms that are the gender wars, and the horrendous personalities who manufacture anonymous conflict for unicoded kicks … “Why fucking bother?” has crossed my mind …

(4) But in the end I decided that, hands dirty, the personal satisfaction I get from writing — being both an ex academic and a failed novelist — will find its thrill as long as my finger joints still flicker with typing.

(5) So I’ve updated the biographical and professional pages of this website — part apology, part explication — to situate and gain a fresh perspective forward.

(6) I’ll be posting again regularly, soon, because your kind interest motivates me. aoifeschatology is independent: this blog represents and speaks for no one but Aoife, and maybe her cat.

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There’s been, as of recent, an inordinate amount of time and energy being mobilized, from the mole hills of monotony, to malign and slander me and everything concerning me . . . from my religion to my womanhood, my reputation to my well-being.

As a minor blogger, whose best-read post couldn’t rival the average HuffPo listicle, I might wonder what is motivating their obsessive attention and this onslaught of insults? But we all know the answer.

Here’s the thing. I refuse to allow my blog to continue to be a place of petty recriminations, or a platform for insipid, sectarian posturing — in short, in being “gender critical”. I want nothing to do with that anymore. Indeed, I’d rather share this thoughtful, sensitive painting, by Jacqueline Emmens, offered to me today by a dear friend. A real friend. (I’ve learned a thing or two over the last year as to just what that means. And I’ll be writing on that — When I’m ready. In my time.)

I will use my words. You will not stop me.

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Essay Available through ‘Signs’

I’m very appreciative that the academic journal Signs has included my essayTrig Reciprocal Functions: I’m a Trans Woman Adjunct Prof and I Use Trigger Warnings” for their series entitled Currents: Feminist Key Concepts and Controversies. Currents is part of the Feminist Public Intellectuals Project.

My work is featured as recommended reading (along with many other excellent resources on inclusivity) for the subject of pedagogy and trigger warnings.

 

Conference Presentation, June, U of PEI

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be presenting a paper at The L. M. Montgomery Institute’s 12th Biennial Conference, “Montgomery and Gender”, hosted by the University of Prince Edward Island.

My paper is entitled “Breaking Slates like a Girl: Prescriptive Femininity and Anne’s Embodied Gender.” Applying Iris Marion Young’s theorizing of female comportment as a physical tension to Anne of Green Gables, I asses how Anne’s encounter with gender is, before emotion or cognition, a material locution of authority and resistance. Anne is neither fully complicit with nor dismissive of the feminine as corporeal event of subject formation. I will be considering depictions of Anne from both English and Japanese language contexts.

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This is a very much a lovely opportunity, given my own longstanding admiration for Montgomery, as both fan and scholar, to visit PEI and speak on Anne and regulatory femininity, two of my favorite topics for commentary.

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