Monday, November 29, 2010

That's not real activism.

I hope those who celebrated over the weekend had happy and delicious holidays.

I have a post to write about the smugness of anti buying that shows up this time of year but not right now.

Instead let's talk about activism.

In all my long years of online and meatspace activism I have heard the words "that's not real activism" in so many contexts it's not even amusing.

For right now I want to talk about the context of activism and blogging.

I've heard it said many times in many places that blogging isn't real activism and I think that sentiment is detrimental to every cause.

The thing is.

From my own life experience I've learned that I myself (and many other people) only have so many spoons. Using myself as an example here.

A while back I was talking to someone I know in meatspace who scoffs at the idea that someone blogging can be considered activism. What tweaked me was the (and it wasn't just that person but people in general) smug everything-ism in that idea.

The fact is that no matter what your cause is, chances are there are going to be people who can't afford to go to consortiums or other events, people who are not physically able to march or show up at a place, people who have varying mental and physical illnesses for whom blogging is their lifeline to activism.

There are people who live in places where they do not have the opportunity to do in person activism or it might not be safe for them.

For a lot of us because we have insane schedules, because we have families, because we are in school, because we are sick, because we are disabled, because we have partners who may be disabled, because we may have disabled children, because we may not feel safe, etc etc blogging is what we have.

The dictionary tells us that activism means:
   /ˈæktəˌvɪzəm/ Show Spelled[ak-tuh-viz-uhm]
the doctrine or practice of vigorous action or involvement as a means of achieving political or other goals, sometimes by demonstrations, protests, etc.
Philosophy .
a theory that the essence of reality is pure activity, esp. spiritual activity, or process.
a theory that the relationship between the mind and the objects of perception depends upon the action of the mind.

Someone who spends their energy talking about something passionately is absolutely being an activist.

To bring this to the intersectional place in regard to fat politics, I want to talk about fat fashion blogs.

One of the reasons I joined Fatshionista when I did was to see the normalizing of fat bodies in clothing. Beyond that, I got to have a dialogue with other fat people (or not so much anymore, my participation has waned) about fat and clothing and what it means to not be able to go down to the local mall and buy a pair of fucking pants.

I think that even if you don't give a shit about fashion, that it's important to acknowledge the seriousness of putting fat bodies out into the world and sharing resources, is absolutely activism. I think that creating a sense of solidarity in varying ways is a huge benefit to fat activism and it makes me really sad when folks dismiss fat fashion as "just fashion" because it really isn't to those of us who do care.

My over arching point is this.

Whatever you can do, if you are passionate about it and you feel like you are making a difference count. Fuck anyone who tells you otherwise.

Perhaps all the activism you can do is to walk around being who you are and keeping your head up high.

Maybe you will post flyers and things.

Maybe you are someone who speaks at events.

Maybe you are like me and you have a blog or want to start a blog.

All of it helps.

My view is this. There are issues I care about passionately and to me just talking about these things with people is of value to the cause. It is valuable to me to sit here at my desk at my day job and talk about being fat, to blog about boots or sex or feminism etc. Almost every day at least a few people who aren't regular readers come by and I hope that something I say sticks in their minds.

If you're too shy to have your own space, comment at other blogs. You can make up a name not associated with your own if you are shy. Or yes, do it start your own blog.

Yes, what you have to say is important and absolutely counts.

Yes you can participate in activism in any way you are comfortable with and are able to.

Yes you. No really, you right there.

Okay that's all darlings. This week I have THINGS to tell you. I had some mental health/self care victories over the last couple of weeks. Things that if you've been reading me for awhile you know I have issues with. I have some new sex advice forthcoming (COMING YES..sorry) probably tomorrow.

So now tell me how are you my darlings? My PNW homies how did you survive the snow? Did you do Thanksgiving? Did you eat anything awesome?

Your homework is to be nice to yourself after you read this. Especially if you tend not to be nice to yourself. Two minutes (or more if you so choose) be excellent to yourself. Give yourself some dirty talk, have a wank, rub your feet, touch your hair, romance yourself with sweettalk and a bon bon. Pick a flavor and do it. Report back if you are so inclined.

Homo Out.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Best. Homework. Ever.

Subscribe To My Podcast