Field notes from a writer in progress
Updated: Nov 26, 2017
November 2017, Dalian/China
By the authority not really vested in me by the social structure...
I come across with the idea that female writers feel less confident or fail to find the authority in themselves to write. The authority that seems to be granted to male writers by the structure of the society.
Now, is authority more valuable when it is self-originating or when it is attested/confirmed by the society? Or does authority feel almost self-originating when some external subject or institution grants it? Men feel and possess authority just like anything? And for women authority means lack of self-confidence and a melancholic remembrance of all those years of not being allowed to have a voice? So are we talking about having the permission to write here? I don`t think so. I believe the answer to these questions is not a simple “YES!” or a “NO!” and each writer might feel in a different way.
However, I am certain of one thing: if one can questions the issue of authority out loud, then she is either coming from a relatively privileged background - her country, city, neighborhood, nationality, religion, education, and social class rank higher according to the standards of that oblique universe of authority – or she could break the cultural, social, and financial limitations of her own “lower class” belonging to put herself in that relatively privileged place. Not only she could have the time and the space to make these observations (that I think are highly valuable) she could also write her words down and have them heard and shared.
Why would she be haunted by the idea of authority then? I don`t think it is out of lack of self-confidence or yearning for socially approved, internally instill-able sense of authority. I think that moment of nervous hesitation is remembering where she has come from, and paying respects and acknowledging she-people who have paved the way for her. Most importantly, it is the moment of wishing for more people to have more words, because along the way she has figured that she doesn’t want to be that authority she has been fighting against all this time anyway.
So, she-writer is taking a moment to declare that she is making a sisterly standing on stage and she is not transitioning into the dark side of the force. It is a promise that her stage is meant to be shared, not to be defended.