Beginning

Perhaps I should begin, as is good practice in research, by making explicit my position.

I am Rebecca.

I am born female, although more and more I am wrestling with what this means.

I am ‘white’ South African, a child of privilege.

I, until about a month ago, considered myself heterosexual.

I am researcher; interested in gender, sexuality, violence, dehumanisation, intersectionality and a lot of other things.

I want to be activist.  I want to write about injustice and violation, but I want to do more than write. I want to think more, challenge more and reflect more.

I am counselor (although it has been a while since I occupied that particular chair) and have been privileged to bear witness to many stories of pain and survival. These stories have weighed me down, caused me nightmares, but most importantly have reinforced my commitment to try to listen differently, to think different and to be differently.

I am ‘rape survivor’, torn apart, tying to reconstitute self, safety and love.

I am frightened child. I am still often trapped by fear, of what might happen, of what might not.

I am almost PhD student. I am almost investigator of “post-rape subjectivities”. I am almost auto-ethnographer and interviewer of other women.

I am tired and frightened and excited.

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