Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Short Disclaimer Before We Begin

So I should say right off the bat that I'm not in school. Neither am I currently active enough to be considered a real activist. However I am deeply interested in social change, feminism, activism, and social justice generally. I've been thinking about going to graduate school for women & gender studies, LGBT studies, social work -- a whole variety of options. If there was a field called "Studies in Ending Oppression and Privilege" I would be in line for that degree. The really big problem for me is that it is really privileged to go to graduate school, and honestly I don't feel like it's necessary in order to have a positive impact on the world. However I sincerely want to learn as much as I can about social injustice, as well as participate in a community that questions the system, challenges me to think more deeply, and encourages me to take direct action. So really I pretty much want to be in school. School for Activists. BUT! I have some ethical problems with attaining a degree that will allow me to get choice jobs over the heads of people who didn't have the money to go to school, but who are probably much more intimately familiar with oppression than I am. Not that we should really quantify oppression, but you get the idea.

Thusly! Follow me as I embark on a quest to read as much social justice literature as I can get my hands on! I shall update you with the new things I've learned, reviews of books I've read, and the status of my quest to effect radical social change. I'm also on the search for practical "how-to" info for wannabe activists, so stick with me and I'll update you on any helpful hints. Not "how to write a press release" hints, although I'm sure those are helpful. More like: how to meet other activists, how to raise hell, how to not starve, how to network with the activists you have a crush on, recommended reading lists, recommended educational programs, activist-y places to locate when you move to a new city, etc.


Also, a few more notes upon poking around a bit more in the feminist/womanist/WOC blogosphere.

1. Yeah, I don't know what I'm doing. Clearly. That's why it's called School For Activists. So — not that anyone's reading this yet — but let's all just stay calm and I'll try really hard NOT to step on anyone's toes, be condescending, erase anyone's experiences, silence anyone with calls for niceness, unwittingly flaunt my privilege, exclude anyone by not talking about them, or generally be an asshat. Because that's some shit. But at the same time I'd like to emphasize again that this is a blog for me to document my progress in trying to become an all-round better informed, more active, and more effective intersectional radical feminist activist. Obviously I'm not there yet.

2. I'm increasingly annoyed whenever I come across statements whose sources are not cited, so (at least in terms of citation, if not style) I'm going to operate as if I were writing an academic paper and cite everything in APA (or by simply linking). Posts will have tags with all the works they cite (author's last name and year, with the exception of statements that are cited through links) and I'm going to keep a running list of works cited under the Reading List if you need more information about specific works.

3. The Blog Roll, Reading List, and Magazine List comprises material that I have either read, read regularly, or really want to read. I'm not going to put anything on there that I haven't looked at least a little bit — enough to know if it's something I want to spend time pursuing or not.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Rock those citations. Your blog is awesome, by the way.