So, January is ending on a pretty weird note eh. I have thoughts, here are some of them:
1. Keep listening to each other. Saturday was a wonderful day filled with a kind of elation that only happens when you feel part of a collective pushing toward the same goal. But as it happens not everyone feels a part of the collective or even wants to be a part of it. I've read a lot of criticism of the Women's Marches - lambasting them for their whiteness; particularly indigenous and women of colour calling out how reductive, narrow and exclusionary feminism can be. That as a 'movement' it is often unwilling to recognise or step aside to make room for intersectionality, dissent and criticism. That's the problem with collectives or 'movements' - more often than not there's a dominant voice that calls for unification and homogeneity which works to silence the minority, the marginalised, the non-conforming. There's a problem with mysogyny but there's also a problem with feminism. I'm a feminist and I feel extraordinarily proud of the events of the weekend but I won't let that close my mind to the experiences of others; I will resist the defensive #notallwhitewomen stance that I could feel rising within me as I read some of the criticisms (the "but, but I'M not like that." Just no) just as I have rejected #notallmen because this is bigger than me; because it's the least I can do; because recognising my privilege does not mean becoming complicit in oppression but is actually a step toward dismantling it.
2. On that note, here's a great article on the New Republic by Jess Zimmerman on The myth of the well behaved women's march speaking about the correlation between race, power, property and sexism and how all of those things play out in protest. I agree that the fact that these protests were peaceful, with cops actually even high-fiving some of the marchers, is really nothing to celebrate but something to be interrogated. It:
"...does require recognizing that this zero-arrest protest wasn’t something a largely white and female crowd earned. It was given to us, whether we asked for it or not, because of our frailty. Because we are something to be protected, not a serious threat. Because our safety has been the engine of our oppression and the oppression of others. We owe it to ourselves, and to those others, to use this gift wisely. If the police stay their hand with you, white women, it is not a compliment. It is condescension. But it is also an opportunity. How will you use it?"
3. There is humour. Always humour. We need humour:
Toby Morris of the Pencilsword strikes again. Toby is a true hero.
And then there's this:
4. We need great art! Art helps us think, it helps us feel and it helps us see new perspectives. And it brings us joy. In times like these, a silver lining is that you start to reconsider what brings you joy, what makes you think, what helps you empathize. To aid in this, here is an Artsy list of 20 artists for the Trump era.
“artists are nothing if not relentless chroniclers and analyzers of the world around us. Much ink has been spilled over the ability of artists to make change, but what is beyond doubt is their ability to help us see.”
On that note, we at Tusk actually have a bit of an arty thing up our sleeve for 2017 so watch this space….
5. We also need great writing. After initially missing Courtney Johnston's latest edition of Things to read this weekend, due to getting buried in our Promotions box, I read it on the bus to work one morning this week and was completely blown away. I highly recommend signing up to receive Courtney's regular newsletters in which she responds to the week's events by threading together articles, thoughts etc around a common theme. This week's piece was a little different; she writes in response to a piece by Thomasin Sleigh on motherhood and time with her own take on this - widowhood and time. Or how time, perception and self are shaped and manipulated by a single life-changing, life-defining event. The piece is beautiful and vivid and exposing and dark and quietly hopeful.
At the recommendation of a colleague I'm going to have a crack at The Power by Naomi Alderman. The Guardian review of it opened with this question:
"What would the world look like if men were afraid of women rather than women being afraid of men?"
Let's end the week with a fave: