Dreams stolen brutalized murdered drowned degraded broken shattered
The world is overrun by generalized sadism, misogyny, and injustice.
My dream was always to be an intellectual, and before I arrived in Paris, France for a year abroad, I had studied French Thought in English. My boyfriend was a jazz musician and philosophy major obsessed with French philosophers. For his birthday I got him pins with iconic photos of Deleuze.
He was obsessed and I was always invited to reading groups and privy to his anxious grappling with the unsolved problems of continental metaphysics, as exacerbated by the analytic field.
Of course I had my own interests and predilictions.
Then in Paris in the neighborhood where I first lived I found a bookstore first thing.
I had already read conspicuous amounts of them, but when I looked at the books of my old philosopher friends, the stern book worker vetting my selections said I could not read those books.
Even though I bought the books of philosophers elsewhere, I never bought any of the big ones I had been eying there that day in 2008.
I was on the Dean’s List three years in college then I got raped.
When I was an undergrad I always dreamed of doing a master’s or a doctorate in France.
Then I found work as an au pair and made it abundantly clear that I wished to take classes at the university while working.
Instead, the mother in the family, my overlord and persecutor, registered me for au pair language classes.
The instructor was sick and then his mother died.
I went to the first class many weeks later and it was so obvious I was fluent in French that the instructor would not let me stay and mop the floor with the beginners, and told me to come to the advanced level.
The issue with the family’s behavior though is that I had already taken classes at Paris 3 and Paris 7 at the third year university level (L3) and completed more than enough coursework for an undergraduate degree in French.
What they did is akin to sending an F1 racecar driver who consistently ranked at the top of his class into driver’s ed, as if he didn’t know how to drive.
But the insults to my dignity, my language skills, and my dreams did not stop there, and are so extensive that I cannot include them all here.
I also dreamed of taking cooking classes but was paid so little (less than 3€/hr) and also forced to pay for food, transportation, and medical costs out of pocket so that I ran up significant debt: I could not afford to pursue any of my hobbies, or passions, not a single one.
I have been living under the oppression of economic trauma and exploitation, which continued in France even after I left the abusive family in Le Vésinet.
In 2015/16 I had a whole cluster of dreams, all of which were violently murdered.
I arrived with no money but plenty of work lined up.
I worked hard — 7 days a week — teaching English so that I would be able to pay down my debt.
I also dreamed of furthering my education with a Master’s that year in Paris, and an MFA program in California the following academic year.
Just one more dream was to dabble in music.
Sadly, I was kept too poor and also thus discriminated against, and though I was able to pay down my credit cards without using them at all for five consecutive months, all I did was work.
I hardly ever went out or socialized, as my dreams were being murdered and I was being emotionally mutilated, with such gratuitous violence.
I paid tuition for a Master’s at l’Université Paris 3 Sorbonne-Nouvelle, but was never permitted to register for classes, despite engaging with the responsible functionaries countless times, and visiting their offices almost weekly, offices that were often closed ceremoniously during regular business hours.
Paris 3 Sorbonne-Nouvelle please expect a bag of dicks with your name on it.
I had always dreamed of a Poetry MFA. Finally, I applied to the program I wanted and my dreams were coming true!
Due to being offered a job in Paris, I decided to defer one year.
I wanted to rework one of my essays and asked if I could. The coordinator didn’t write back for a while and I was in the middle of teaching an intensive language course to high school and college students, and also spending hours in communication and meeting with a branch of the Ministère de Justice called “Paris Aide Aux Victimes.”
Then she gave an ultimatum. I had been severely traumatized and given the constraints on my time and energy, her delayed response couldn’t have come at a worse time.
“Hold tight,” she also wrote, which I still read as some sort of misogynistic slur. She claimed that she would send information so that I could log in and register for classes but never did.
MFA Program Coordinator, you get a bag of dicks too! Congrats.
Lots of people offered support but reneged, which dug me into a far deeper hole, signified much time lost, and also meant that I was and continue to be punished for their sins.
Treason, betrayal, disloyalty.
The dream I dream is justice, which does not exist on earth.
I have dreamed so many splendid loves, only to find that egotism prevails, and men use women as objects of masturbation, deceive, and use them, and are encouraged.
comp lit (stolen)
Mar 27, 2016
My dream (also stolen)
In light of being degraded and not paid at all for dozens upon dozens of hours of WORK (childcare, driving, cooking, tutoring, language instruction, cleaning, ironing, acting as family whipping boy are real work, but wealthy families prefer to believe that young, vulnerable foreign women do not deserve to be paid at all for what amounts to millions, er billions, trillions, googols of hours of overtime) as an au pair and nounou, also not having access to the bare minimum of my legal rights under French law, being flagrantly and nastily exploited, suffering all sorts of mistreatment, continuing to learn about the insults women in the care industry suffer, I would like to organize them and stage a women’s rights strike.
The point of course being that work seen as “more important,” “more valuable,” “more respectable” would not be possible without domestic workers (predominantly women) taking care of the homes and the children!
As it stands, the free world economy, wealthy households, and working mothers are absolutely dependent on care and domestic workers.
Without women workers, they couldn’t go to work to make the big bucks period.
A greater reality is at stake though: that the fact that the upper classes are dependent on this work causes them to mistreat, exploit, underpay, threaten, harass, sequester, intimidate, and terrorize those who were slaves, imported help, servants, lower class, underclass persons who so often had no rights or were systematically denied them.
This means that you still have subjugation going on, and the wealthy thinking they can get away with it, because they always have.
So such a worker’s strike is NECESSARY to reverse subjugation, the violence of enforcing it when the wealthy are in reality dependent on the domestic workers, which is why they need to emotionally break, belittle, minimize and force into submission workers who could otherwise paralyze every big city, every “civilized nation” on this earth if they went on strike and NO ONE could go to work.
I am pretty sure #ADayWithoutAWoman was my idea first.
Please contribute to my fundraiser. It’s urgent!
Another dream that has figured prominently is of wanting to be an artist.
I thought art modeling might be a way to live out that fantasy, if simply from a writerly perspective but I soon realized how essential misogyny is to art.
From ladies drawing me as a floozy, to men paying micro attention to my private parts, to the owner of the studio commenting about me “starting to age,” I feel that more than anything else, I exposed my body to misogyny.
And like let’s be clear here: I’m 28, I am not obese, my body is not perfect and I have cellulite, but it is the misogynistic gaze drawing me fat that still stands out to me.
Once, when I art modeled for a class, some old men tried to convince me to marry Donald Trump.
They also drew me as a Cro-Magnon or as someone with Down Syndrome.
My gut says that’s sexual harassment, because they would not have urged a male model to “marry a rich man in New York and live in Trump Tower,” also I am not a Cro-Magnon and I don’t have Down Syndrome.
The reason I art modeled though is because I wanted modeling to be a safe thing for women to do, I wanted to make it safer for other women to do it.
But what I continue to feel are the exceedingly violent aspects — the appropriation of my body in weird, sadistic ways: total misogyny.
And whatever, they are artists, they can do what they want with the female form, but I still did notice when someone would draw me way more fat or ugly than I actually am in real life, and the temptation to do so seemed too intense to resist.
Lots of the classes drew caricatures, and it seemed like a cheap way of expressing power, subjectivity, and “artistry”.
There was an exception though, the students and professionals at the Draw-A-Thon I worked — their gaze was less misogynistic than the amateurs and some of the ass-hats — though one did draw the beard of one of the other models on my face and that disturbed me.
that time I tried to implement a recycling center in a university dorm in Paris post-COP21
“Jordyn, I know you won’t take this well, but you must see a shrink (Jordyn je sais que tu va le prendre mal, mais il te faut un psy).”
“Zinzin” “Putain de merde” “Conne” (French curses)
“Réveille toi Jordyn! J ne suis pas ton père pour te faire la leçon mais ouvre les yeux! Avant que tu partes tu dois comprendre!
Comprendre que tu fou la merde de partout. Et qu’au final:
Les habits sont à l poubelle, les résidents n’aiment pas ce que tu fais et que tu as insulté des gens!!
C’est grave d’insulter de gens! C’est mal! Ça ne se fait pas en France!” and “une des residences de pitié n’ont pas de porte d’entrée (cassée), des dealers de drogues qui squattent .. Une autre résidence on des murs pourris avec des champignons dans les chambres, Dans une autre résidence il y avait 2 terroristes et du trafic d’arme…”
These words are from a person paid to represent students in the dorm where I lived, the student representative. I never insulted any person: I only said it was ridiculous not to recycle in a university dorm when France literally hosted the largest environmental conference in history, and it is ridiculous, in fact, I stand by my assertion.
“It’s not about that who speaks, but what he/she says. If you speak illogical things nobody will listen you no metter which gender you are or how important you are. And here the thing is not that you are woman, but that your attitude is not appropirate. And instead of answering directly and facing with reality and your actions, you are turning the tables on us.”
“You also stop with your smears and insults toward others. Stop writing just to write. Even in your cover photo , you sleep on carbage. Isnt it true ? Why your photo isnt taken down?, good luck with your carbages.”
“Jordyn Pfalzgraf, I have an impression that you seek for attention and leadership here in the group, and not really only for recycling, because you are terrorizing us with your non-stop commenting, sharing personal life and insulting others. I come here to find useful, short news, not to read your timeline of shopping.
People are putting garbage and skin of banana (dangerous) in corridor, what kind of recycling you expect then and you attack everybody who says something different than your opinion.”
“I agree with Jovana Filipović, we dont have to see your arrogant and agressive comments. Jordyn Pfalzgraf Who are you to speak in a such way with people ? You can sleep in rubbish can if you like so much your beloved rubbish. ;)”
“Va jouer les femens autre part et arrête de pleurnicher stp”
That Time I Cried Over A Guy More Than Five Years
The dream of sharing dreams and love
He published our private conversation on his public blog without my consent.
In hindsight you see these egregious elements of subjugation, sabotage, negging, public humiliation, and men claiming a superior subjective position from the get go.
Once, the first time I visited him, he didn’t kiss or hug me goodbye and I had a mental breakdown.
He had told me to write and I wrote him, feeling then such a sense of loss and confusion, and in his response he mocked me.
When you are starry eyed and in love you don’t notice the subtle things causing mental breakdowns and turning your life upside down.
For some reason I thought that we could share our passions.
Both writers, I sensed affinities endless, and felt so in love.
He claimed to not understand why I liked him.
I tried to tell him all the ways, thousands of them.
We skyped 5.5 years in to kiddie pools of tears I cried, and he told me to write as much as I wanted.
In the very beginning, he had told me to trust him, that he was different, and I wish it could have been different.
I can’t imagine anything more painful, I can’t.
But let’s not forget when I came to New York with nothing hoping to build a life for myself.
Does desecration of a woman’s body, her mind, her dreams constitute the lowest blow imaginable?
What is the cause of so much cruelty and abuse?
The Patriarchy’s Last Stand?
Given the abrasive, abusive, and completely irrational behavior of so many (and the ideological purity of my self-assertive identification as a feminist) I have to ask myself if the “patriarchy’s last stand” has been enacted on me, on both my public & private self, with women alienated and oppressed doing impressive damage, unprovoked by me, but jealous.