According to dictionary.com: Controversy [kon-truh-vur-see]; -a prolonged public dispute, debate, or contention;disputation concerning a matter of opinion
Over the past 2 months the occurrences where people think that I am radical/extreme/nuts has increased significantly.
Very often I feel like I am teaching/talking controversy. I like to share and I like to talk and combine these joys with something I feel passionately about and it explodes into what people very often catagorize as controversy. This is what happens when I talk about Feminism and this has happened a lot more in the past 2 months.
This generally doesn’t bother me personally but professionally there are the times when I am concerned that people might rule me to the margins because of what I may question. Additionally, who wants to have to explain everything with the concern that their discussion may be seen as too contentious and disregarded?
I wish I could say that it was easy to challenge people on my views but it really isn’t. I am always put in the position to prove myself where everyone sits back comfortably in groupthink. I also wish I could say that I am not surprised by some of the positions put forward in some of these arguments, please believe that I am shocked on the regular.
My wish is that people will make a personal connection with notions of power and privilege and greater social justice expressed in my beloved feminism but it just isn’t so. Why we are so comfortable reproducing and protecting particular perspectives, even those that we all know are kicking our asses. Shout out to long standing offenders racism and classism. We sit back and complain and blame but we find it hard to think from a different angle, try new perspectives, and explore a new set of issues. Oh, and did I mention that this new perspective is developed by women? This is usually where the name calling starts.
Over these past 2 months I have been working on my strategies, reading, listening, thinking, dreaming about how I can share my opinions and work on notions of social justice especially among young people. All the side-eyes and radical talk can be motivation to come better next go round.
I think that controversy can be good, hell, don’t tell anyone but I have known to go for a little chaos and even a touch of anarchy so I think I am on the right track. I am gonna stay up on my reading and listening and talking and hopefully my controversy will become our controversy and hopefully we can get this living together as human beings thing sorted out.