Friday, September 25, 2009

Shedding Light on Anonymity

I was enlightened about this concept of 'anonymity' yesterday where I shared a videoclip titled 'box this'. This was my take off point to discuss power/s derived from anonymity. I explained that assuming a posture of anonymity, one can possibly resist stereotypes by not donning those stereotypes. Anonymity can also serve as a space for exploring one's individuality, for instance when a male would not identify as gay in a bathhouse simply because that is not his gender/sexual identity; he just wanted to explore the sexual pleasures by that body. Also, while in that space or state, one can engage in visioning one's 'ideal society'. I was not able to emphasize that one assumes anonymity in those cases, not out of fear, but for the sake of positive goals such as pleasure aand visioning an ideal society.

During the open forum, I appreciated it very much when a professor commented that 'balancing identity and anonymity" might be an ideal state. He elaborated that the government is on a 'default identity' because it always account for each and every citizen's identity; in so doing or as a consequence, it curtails 'anonymity'. Another thing I realized was about 'anonymity' of youths when they are online. A psychology professor said that these youths might be forming their 'future' selves in this state of anonymity online. When I asked about 'why a suicide bomber traded his/her identity for anonymity to the point of annihilating oneself, a philosophy professor opined that this is some sort of 'perversion'. I don't know what he means by that but I believed he alluded to something like 'fanaticism'. I intend to read about this matter because I want to debunk that belief of "being anonymous is not being authentic"...

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I was reflecting on the past GSTs we had with student organizations. Part of this is an orientation on sexuality. Everytime I asked them to raise their hands if they are in a relationship or if they already disclose their sexual identities, i only saw two to four hands raised. I was searching for possible answers...Then, I heard somebody blurted out that "at present, we young people do not label our relationships..." Perhaps, that was one of the answers. So, I asked my older friends. They said the '70s generation (flower power) was similarly like that. They also do not want to label their identities and relationships.

What possibly do they derive in doing so? I, for one, never divulged about my identity and relationships so I have this inkling we are on the same boat. First, divulging or being visible can put one in a stereotypical role or identity. The disadvantage of which is that stereotypes are often molded by media. So, it is not one's creation. Another disadvantage is one can be stigmatized or be put down by anybody who is not respectful of human rights. "To be or not to be", as Shakespeare puts it. For me, the bottomline is individuality. One can truly explore oneself and be everything in every moment without being dictated upon. I believe this is more in accordance with the Tao principle, "Tao is a thing taht is both invisible and intangible...subtle and obscure, there is essence in it (Tao Te Ching, chap 21)" or "when you organize, you must of necessity use names and order; but given that, you must know where to leave off naming and
structuring (chap 32)."

I remembered very well when I called a "gay-looking" student, "Miss", he was angry at with and corrected my signifier. It dawned on me that markers such as clothes and looks could be deceiving because they are markers from the outside of someone who was looking in. Beings are not identifiable fully from what they wear, what they do, what they feel. They must be understood from the knowledge of the dynamics of all of those and from the person/s admittance of her/his wholeness. Dimensions of a human being cannot be well defined and may show off inconsistently depending on the context in which they are examined. Thus, unless they admitted to who they are, we do not have the right to 'out' or 'name' them.