How can performance prevent rape?

On-stage performance can help us reimagine what we take for granted. This blog looks at how performance can explore different ways to be a woman or a man, and negotiate relationships that are flexible, fun, and freeing.

I suggest that performance can be used as a tool in rape prevention. I look at how performative methods of rape prevention may build upon and develop other forms of social education that work to end rape, creating possibilites for different ways to engage in intimate relationships.

This blog is a personal, theoretical, and performative exploration of how performance can be used in rape prevention.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dear Greg Evans, I'm trying to learn how to love

Dear Greg Evans,

I'm trying to learn how to love. I thought you might know? You seemed to get it right so often in the 80's.

I don't think I'm doing it properly. I never got taught how to love. Or maybe I just forgot. Is that possible? I never used to feel unloving, it's just that lately, I've thought about it a lot cos I think I used to get it wrong. Like love the wrong people. Or in the wrong ways. Or maybe I was the wrong person? Like, maybe I just don't know how to love.

To make it more clear, this is what I think of as to be loving:
  1. really try to listen, even if they say stupid things
  2. work with this person as part of a team - understand that you are woven together through your love
  3. be really really honest, even if it's embarrassing
  4. make them feel a bit special sometimes by treating them like a princess
  5. even if they're a cow sometimes, let them get away with it

But Greg - this isn't working. My track record is pretty bad. We always end up hating each other in the end. And now, well I think I have the chance to love again - but better.

Could you more clearly outline love for me?

Thank you in anticipation,

Aurora Murphy

PS - I have also been reading Romeo and Juliet and The New Faber Book of Love Poems. They however, seem to have it as arse-up as me.


  1. i'm trying to channel greg ...
    trying to work out what greg would say ...

    what i can say is that i've never thought of you as unloving. i've always thought of you as the opposite - as being full of love that you love to share - that you're excited and delighted to share. i so hope you get your loving mojo back - it suits you so well!

    (you do know you've only got three questions don't you, and you have five points ...)

  2. Dear Aurora,

    I've thought a lot about love and loving. I've thought a lot about Irigaray's question "How can I say I love you without it meaning I wonder if I am loved?" and her assertion that the unknowable Other cannot return one to oneself. Resisting the (western) myth of Romantic Love can be a useful strategy. at the very least it gives you something To Do. Resistance requires meeting boundaries (your own and others). Boundaries are useful for then you can fall (in Love, or out) without losing form or integrity.
    humbly yours, etc...

  3. Dear Her Cotton Socks and Dawn,

    Sorry my reply is so tardy. I have to work out how to make the computer tell me when I have comments.

    Actually, lately i have learnt so much in love. Yes, I agree with you dawn that we must unravel the Western romantic myth of love. this myth actually outlines lust, not love. and I don't have a problem with lust! And yes, Her Cotton Socks, I do burn to share love so deeply. I think this can be a little intense? Or perhaps it makes me hold on for too long?

    I also think I get fooled. I fall for pretty words. So many pretty words! And such an ugly chain they make. These words are so quick to rust and they scratch and itch.

    Now, I think LOVE IS AN ACTION. I had to yell that cos i really mean it. Love is not a static feeling. It is not a turgid emotion. Love is the doing, the act of listening deeply, caring, considering. I do not love my lover because she is kind. I love her because she is consistently kind to me. A little kid taught me this. He said he loves his girlfriend cos she 'is nice to me'.

    And that's about it, really. It's so banal to be nice. But it's the most loving act we can do.