Further thoughts on our discussion of Half the Sky
Since I was pretty clearly shaken up and a little incoherent today during our discussion of Half The Sky, I thought it would be beneficial to post here with my calmer, less certain thoughts, and see if we can't figure out a very complex set of problems together.
To begin with, I think that one thing that's important to discuss is the problem of problematic language vs valuable action. This to say that, while I found much of the language in the text problematic, and while I felt rendered helpless by it, neither of those things make the actions of those inspired by the book less valuable. Similarly, while I'd love to see, and try to work toward, a less binarist language of gender, using binary terms while attempting to raise money that will help to educate those who would otherwise be denied access does not negate the absolutely real and tangible value of such a drive.
It's easy for me to sit in a position of relative priviledge at BMC and call out the problems in a text for which I am most likely not the audience, but the reality is that actions like those advocated for in Half The Sky are absolutely needed, and those actions absolutely need the financial backing of wealthy and well connected people to carry them forward. The questions I am left with, however are numerous. At what point is problematic language a problem that takes presidence? At what point does abuse closer to home take priority over global abuses? Where does actual progress and solution end and white knighting begin?