This post reminded me of a terrible poem I wrote back in college.  (I wrote a lot of terrible poetry back then).  In essence, it was a rant against my then boyfriend, now husband, that I would not be his personal feminist librarian.  I was in that first flush of feminism: angry, depressed, yet filled with rage seeking an outlet.  mr. jolt read the poem and, in some ways, backed away.   I think, looking back, he felt somewhat clueless, and in keeping with his general undergraduate persona, he took the lazy way out, and continued to rely on me to inform him of feminist viewpoints (dear reader, he has improved in this regard – but more on that later).

I am torn on the issue of feminist education and my individual obligation to provide it- I think it depends on the place and the person.  There are people who I think are not unreasonable, who seem merely unaware, who I try to draw in, educate, a little at a time.  I think I do this more often where I live now, which is a generally more conservative and traditional area than the BigCity I moved from a few years back.  So I try to have patience and remind myself that ignorance is not always arrogance.

But.  In a legal group I belong to, a certain portion of members are nominated as students by an officer of the local law school who is also a member of this legal group.  This year they were all male, all white.  I was discussing this with one of mr. jolt’s colleagues I’m friendly with, who said, yes, you need to tell Mr. G and he’s always appalled at himself, and says “please remind me, I just don’t think.”

Sheesh, the privilege in that.  He means to nominate women, to nominate non-white males, but just can’t remember unless someone reminds him.  Give me a break.  One or two years of “oversight” maybe- the guy is of an older generation where enlightenment is less commonly found – but this is absurd.

Anyway, I find myself torn between opposing drives: the drive to convince people I know that feminism is not as scary as they think it is (more on an interchange on that subject in a later post) and the drive to say: fuck ’em they’re just a bunch of entitled, privileged assholes.

When I was in college I always knew that I would be more comfortable working “in the system” trying to change it from the inside out.  I knew I didn’t have the heart or mettle of the revolutionary radical.  Which leads me to conclude that I must continue to educate and subtly manipulate.  And, where necessary confront, as I may well do with the guy above who just can’t “remember” because reminding him is not so much education but insistence on action.  But jeez, providing all this enlightenment gets old.

Advertisements