Archive | September, 2014

Climate Marches and The Futility of Child-Abstinence When You Are Assumed To Have A Womb

24 Sep

Here I was thinking I was depressed but really I was just angry. Angry that she could tell me “You’ll understand when it happens to you”*, assuming I would want it eventually and implying that it “happened” to her. It’s a fucking choice when you’re a white woman of certain economic means and education, with the option to use protection, abortion, to choose and control the medical treatment you receive and when you can afford paid support.  It’s a even a privilege to have social resources.

And it’s my fucking choice to refrain from adding another resource-sucking, commodity consuming, emotion and focus draining being to this Earth when there’s plenty of humans and animals already present in need of care.

I’m angry because I fall prey to as many societal justifications as she does and am no more removed from the normative thinking that sucks the passion from each of us.

I’m angry because on Sunday, 400,000 people came together with the seedlings of desire for change but all we could do with it was feel satisfied and superior as we burst into party like noises after a self congratulatory minute of barely disciplined silence.

How long before that energy collapses?

Knowing that I participated, people have been asking me “what now?” I know of little practical behaviors** that I imagine would create at least some small change. But my lack of faith in our current system grants me no fantasies about larger, regimented change. Capital centralized criticisms of the march were spot on: Companies are the maladies of a more palpable disease and until we break from our complacency and challenge our commodity worship these marches/demonstrations/protests will continue to lubricate the machine we think we’re dismantling.

Marches/demos/protests that (at least in the case of the one I refer to here) have been marketed to us and provide a certain amount of cultural capital.  Rather than return to the hopelessness of the daily grind, can’t we adopt an expansive, overarching policy of regular action and criticism to accompany otherwise symbolic action?*** Movements fuel us by reducing the alienation we would otherwise feel in the face of a complacent world. They give us ideas and support, help make us more efficient in a lot of ways. But individually there should be a persistence that withstands the whims of culture, that takes it’s cues from independently constructed ethics rather than media-fed trends.

Won’t that help us more, to take satiation from the process rather than assuming some specific resolution (that ultimately will be contingent on numerous forces and therefore subject to change?)I think we can expect more from ourselves by shifting our values away from solutions and towards incremental changes and by forgiving our set backs through constant reassertion.

*For the record, this well-meaning individual and I have talked about kids before and I had frankly stated, with respect to her feelings on it, that I would not be birthing a child myself despite having an interest in eventually care taking when I am emotionally and economically ready to do so through adoption or foster care. But this is not a given nor an inevitable to me and if it doesn’t happen I won’t feel diminished as a person. I hold no personal animosity towards her but to the assumption and entitlement that I’ve heard her and others express regarding the institution of parenting.
** Avoiding the impulse and temptation of emotional catharsis through shopping, cooking locally and at home, bringing my own lunch and beverages, minimizing my participation in industrialized agriculture, engaging in conscious vegan living (as opposed to vegan marketed consumption), biking almost everywhere, unplugging appliances and avoiding overuse, reusing what plastic, paper and other waste I can, utilizing my local compost (trust me, chances are high that there’s one available to you without much extra effort), cleaner cleaning supplies, avoidance of chemicals on my body and at home, absolute refusal of air conditioning. Please feel free to give me more ideas.
***Having recently become more politically active, I understand that there are probably lot’s of things I’m taking for granted, speaking ignorantly about or misunderstanding. I welcome your ideas but felt that this rare feeling of motivation towards writing had to be enacted.
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