Jo’s thoughts on past events and femjoy

‘abstumpfen’ {vb} German = to deaden, to blunt, to dull

The German verb abstumpfen has several meanings. It can describe the unwillingness of a knife to carry out its duty to cut (vegetables, skin, the bark of a tree), but it can also be used to refer to a person who has ‘deadened’, who has somehow lost her ideals and has stopped caring. Maybe that person has witnessed or experienced too much pain. Maybe she has fought too many battles that brought about no change and has resigned. Before joining Femjoy I felt abgestumpft, I felt like a feminist without an edge, I had become cynical – although I would like to believe that a cynical feminist is an oxymoron.

Being part of Femjoy and attending conferences together has been at the same time difficult and challenging as well as beautiful and amazing. It provided a breathing space, the possibility to engage, to reflect, to question and – somewhat surprisingly – to allow emotion. The life of a cynical feminist is, I have to admit, by far easier and more comfortable – one does not run the risk to be ridiculed because nothing really matters. Yet post-femjoy life is richer and more meaningful. In a way the group has functioned as a blade sharpener, the knife is cutting again and has removed (nearly) all traces of cynicism. The three days in York where we could be creative, discuss and celebrate encouraged us to try to do something similar – the impossible: to combine theory with activism, creativity and fun.


One Response to Jo’s thoughts on past events and femjoy

  1. Hils says:

    I identify with this so much Jo… also thank you for giving me a word for that feeling which seems so apt!

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