Activism: What can’t you handle?

In UCD a few weeks ago, Patricia Hill Collins spoke of how the US state is one topic that she would never tackle as an activist and a critic. It is too big, too powerful, and she said that she has seen people lose themselves entirely in trying to change it. She knew she wouldn’t be able to cope. So she stays away, and does her best to support people who do try to tackle it.

I feel that way about climate change. I can deal with most of the usual -isms. I know that influencing one person at a time and making spaces for small groups of people to feel safe is worthwhile. I feel like the small difference I can make is real and rewarding. It feels okay. But climate change? It’s too big. It terrifies me in its immensity, and I feel tiny and inadequate to make even the tiniest difference. And like Patricia Hill Collins with the state, I know that if I tried to tackle it, it would eat me alive. So I stay away, and I do my best to support people who do try to tackle it.

How about you? What topics do you find easier to handle when it comes to making the world a better place, and what’s harder for you? Is there a particular topic that, for you, is just too damn big and terrifying for you to handle engaging with?


Patricia Hill Collins? On MY internet? Today?

Patricia Hill Collins is brilliant. Seriously. She gave a lecture in UCD on Wednesday night. I spent the hour frantically scribbling notes, trying to keep composed and look like a Sensible Adult. Inside my head, though?

It turns out, though, that the lecture theater couldn’t actually hold the entire population of Dublin, never mind Ireland. Or Europe, or everywhere. But guess what? The lovely folks at West Dublin Access Radio are interviewing her! Today! At 3.30pm GMT! And if you miss it, it’ll be repeated at the same time Monday! Tune in here! Or, y’know, click in, or whatever we’re calling it these days.

I mean, unless you don’t like listening to one of the people who originally articulated intersectionality as a lens for analysing and interacting with multiple systems of oppression and marginalisation. Or, I guess, if you have to work or sleep or something. I hear people do those things.

But if you get the chance, she’s well worth a listen.

Oh, and as I’m fangirling? GPOY TIME!