I was a music student at the University of New Mexico 1979-1980 when I first found, in radical feminist theory, the tools for putting my experiences and understandings into words. I have been writing theory ever since that time, despite the fact that my first efforts resulted in incarceration in a psychiatric institution. After several intervening years of writing theory outside of academia, I entered a women's studies program at SUNY / Old Westbury, wrote more papers, did well, and went on to pursue a PhD in Sociology at SUNY / Stony Brook. This venture was not successful, due in part to the low status of theory in general at a very research-oriented institution, and in part to the limited recognition of radical feminist theory as an authentic theory type.
I am no longer a graduate student of sociology, but I am still a theorist,
a participant in the psychiatric inmates' liberation movement, and a conceptually
problematic participant in the movement against patriarchy.
"Welcome to my theory class. I am qualified to teach the theory course because I am a theorist. 'Theory' is a way of describing the world in words in order to help people make better sense of it. This presupposes that the world is sufficiently confusing that it is in need of additional explanation. It also implies that if 'theory' doesn't cause you to be less confused, it isn't worth a damn. The theories I am going to introduce you to fall into a category called 'radical feminist theory'. Some of you may think it is a rather 'sissy' thing for a man to do, to present feminist theory. That's OK. I am a sissy.
This is also, concurrently, a course on deviance. I am qualified to teach the deviance course because I am a deviant. I escaped from a mental institution, and the theories I will be introducing you to, to try to make the world make better sense to you, are the same ideas that caused me to get locked up as a paranoid schizophrenic with delusions of grandeur.
Oh, and this is also a course on spirituality and the question of the existence and meaning of God. I am qualified to teach that subject matter because, in keeping with my diagnosis, I think I'm God.
For the benefit of those less crazy than I, I shall start off by stating that as a fallible human being I might be wrong, in any assertion I make here. If you will approach these issues with a similar attitude, and provide me with feedback, I think we will all have a good time and will learn much from each other."
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