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Let's Get in Position(ality)

Hi! Welcome! It’s my first post on the decolonization blog, so let's talk positionality. My name is Alexandra Grebenyuk, but I go by Alex. I am a 19-year-old, white, able-bodied, ciswoman, part of a non-nuclear family, and a Sagittarius. I am currently a second-year Political Science student specializing in Political Theory here at the University of Amsterdam. I was born in New York to two Ukrainian parents, and prior to moving to the Netherlands, I spent my life between New York, Ukraine, and Switzerland.

Both platonically and romantically I’m attracted to any person who can go on conversation marathons, and bonus points if you can get me in my laughing loops. I think ideas and how people think are the most interesting thing about life, and if anything is worth sharing it's what your beautiful mind came up with. Although sometimes falling into a pit of existentialism, sharing thoughts with different individuals to me means playing a game of connecting the dots of what part of your background made you this way. Although race, gender, class, etc. are socially constructed concepts, they have had real implications and consequences for people and communities for centuries, and acknowledging them means understanding the world more deeply.

The places I’ve lived are a big part of who I am, and I’d describe them as safe but existing in mostly bubbles of whiteness. While being born in New York, I only moved there permanently at seven years old. It was definitely the most diverse place I’ve lived, however, outside of going to school, I spent most of my time surrounded by the ex-soviet immigrant community. I can say that in the 12 years since I’ve lived in Ukraine, it has taken some steps towards openmindedness, even though getting worse on the political corruption aspect and potentially getting invaded soon. However, if you don’t know the general ex-soviet state vibes, it's very white (with the exception of Kazakhstan) and homophobic. Finally in Switzerland, I went mostly to private school and hence fell into the “expat” crowd. I say this to acknowledge the privilege of the opportunity to go from “immigrant” to “expat” in countries because although the same in theory, is drastically different in experience and in the way one is perceived.

Other than maybe my big nose (we love her now don't worry), I fit into the western beauty standard. I’m white, skinny, have long blonde hair, got curvy at a young age, and I’m the average height for a woman. Not saying this in a drop-dead gorgeous way, I’ve definitely stood on the side as my friends were getting hit on plenty of times, however, it does mean people are nicer and treat me differently which is often an advantage. Which of course also comes with plenty of unwanted attention and harassment, but a negative experience completely different from those who do not fit the norm or are seen as “exotic”.

I’d describe my writing interests as surrounding womanhood, the role sex plays in our lives, sex worker rights, acknowledging/ working with one's own privilege, and self-improvement. However, to be completely honest, I hate putting my interests into writing for others because it cements my current feelings and interests in a seemingly-fixed way, meanwhile, I know for at least myself, I feel like a completely different person month to month. While, sure, I’m most likely to write about these things, don’t hold it against me if in four months I'm writing about why Scandinavian goats are homophobic.

Hope this helped you get a better grasp of who I am as a writer, and enjoy my future blog contributions.


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