December 31st, 2005

2/25/07

'the violent curiosity'

how can i explain....

a colleague of mine while a student at vassar coined the phrase 'the violent curiosity'. ( I hesitate to name the person, bc of conflicts they endured at the time, but I wish I could attribute things properly!)

The 'violent curiosity', if i understood correctly, refers to the experience of being a subject of inquiry, wherin people are asking you questions about your experience to fulfill their own curiosity -- yes there _is_ such thing as a stupid question.
A question does not immediately have merit and insight just because it was asked.

In the study of Talmud, the asker is challeged to 'ask better', in that this is the pursuit of learning: to ask better questions.
ie. an informed question is interesting, a question that asks the answerer to do your thinking for you via answering, is not fair and not interesting.

So many times, it happens, on the subject of ethnicity, culture, and transness, that people make this kind of demand of me.
I have yet to find a way to explain how it makes me feel that does not evoke a backlash from the inquisitor.
Too many times I have heard I should be flattered to be found interesting, or that they are asking because they are interested in me, and I should be heartened by that, or just with anger.

what do you do with this, when people ask about your situation?

x posted, just to see what would happen.