thoughts on the 2017 women's march24 Jan 2017
so it’s tuesday after the women’s march and, as usual, there’s a shitton of critique being thrown around. i have two thoughts:
divison and critique in movement work is standard play
objects in hindsight are messier than they appear. movements and actions, when looking backward through history, are always cleaned up and sanitized.
“the civil rights movement” when was happening was hardly known by that name by people who, today, are considered leaders of it. there were actually a bunch of different groups advocating for different things. they worked together. they disagreed. they fought. they worked alongside one another. all of these things happened. any narrative that doesn’t honor those realities is wrong.
i might even go so far as to say that that clean narratives are oppressive. at the very least, they’re counter-productive.
because they give the impression to present-day actors that if everyone isn’t on the same page, something is wrong. this is a narrative that is problematic and needs to be shed.
critique is valid; shaming is not
i very much believe that critique and teaching are important parts of this work. that said, much of the critique i’ve been seeing lobbed across blog posts, articles, memes, even signs at the march in dc is aimed at shaming. white feminism took/is taking most of the heat as far as i can tell, but there are other casualities as well.
now, don’t get me wrong. of course, i believe that if you show up uneducated and expect cookies, you have no right to be butthurt when you are left cookieless.
that said, imo, if what we want to do is win, shaming people isn’t strategic. not only does it shut them down and make them less likely to show up for you in future, it makes them less likely to learn.
and regardless of how woke you are, we all are have something to learn. the position of shaming is only held by people who believe they have nothing to learn, people who have forgotten that someone taught them things that got them to where they are now.
i think we need to shake off that narrative and fast. we don’t have time to be causing casualties among our allies… especially not as our opposition just sits back and laughs while we do it.
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