Excerpt from “Grassroots”…

19 10 2006

I’m currently reading Grassroots , a guide to
feminist activism in book form, and for the next
several posts, I think I’ll be taking some excerpts from it,
since the authors seem to say what I’m thinking, except
in a more articulate manner.

 “The more profound reason to look closer to home is that everyone who is spurred to activism is really responding to a need inside himself or herself. It might be unacknowledged guilt over privilege. It might be empathy because you feel out of place and thus relate to other outcasts. It might be that sexism or racism damaged you, but you haven’t yet realized it. Looking close to home can be threatening (and thus critically important), because then you have to admit that you are possibly part of the problem and confront people whom you actually know. Telling your Catholic father about your abortion is more dangerous than wearing a keep your laws off my body T-shirt at a march. The consequence is greater – you could be ostracized in your family or community for acting up – but the revolutionary potential is much greater, too.

When you yourself embody your activist values, then every space that you inhabit – from the ice-cream shop to the dentist’s office to a seat on the subway – has the potential to become an activist space. After all, political realities intersect with every aspect of your life. Incorporating what you think and believe into what you do confirms that you are an activist. Doing this is challenging because you begin to question every decision, from the paper products you buy to the car you drive. When your activism is this instinctual, you stop asking “Am I good enough?” because you realize that you are doing something – you are always doing what you can.”

-From “The Revolutionary Next Door”, Grassroots
I really like this bit because it shows that anything you
do to try and make a difference counts as activism-an
important point to be made for many women, who may
feel that they have to be out on the front lines, marching
constantly and putting up posters everywhere,
making their presence known. This doesn’t have to be the
case, as Grassroots states. This is a necessary book
for any young activist who wants to make a difference,
however small.

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