Posted in Kitty Whispers

Activism is A lot of Things

I was pondering reactionary responses to oppression and the performative nature of people who criticize those who discuss socio-political issues and conduct various tasks of activism when it’s not blowing up on the news and social media. If you think this is necessary now, please keep the same energy you have when big stories have made the news when you hear people speaking about oppressive issues at other times. Y’all love to use your right to an opinion or your preferences to ignore voices and devalue opinions when convenient, and that’s part of the problem.

The other day I was discussing with someone how individualist ideologies are hurting us. That is not to say that being your own person and having your own sense of self and desires outside of family and community is wrong. It’s when your individualism is valued more than the collective needs of all as an essential foundation when it becomes problematic. The whole “this doesn’t affect me, so I don’t know about it” ideology. I mean, yes, this is the reality of most, especially those surviving, but for some of you, it isn’t just survival that has reduced your exposure. It is a choice. It is your choice to ignore the everyday struggle of folks. It is our collective choice to become reactionary rather than proactive in our social support.

Reactionary responses are the result of silencing. Silencing is repetitive and often overshadowed by the feelings and guilt of the non-oppressed. It is ingrained in many of our cultures and social circles. The idea that something is someone’s personal business because we stigmatize it and hide from discomfort. 

Please remember that. 

Make listening to minorities an everyday thing. Make understanding the flaws in our economic, social, and political systems something that we are ok with because it is necessary to grow as a social system. 

Activism is a lot of things. As I have witnessed, activism, at its roots, is helping to bring people back to the foundations of being civilized. We often attribute civilization with colonized beliefs of power and hoarding resources, but being civilized is more than that. You can have the tools or technology available, but if you are not culturally and socially adept as a social system, are you civilized or just technologically advanced.

So, before we condemn activism for what we do not understand and why it disturbs us outside of what we consider extreme circumstances, remember the various ways that activism can exist through advocates, education, and support. This is a general but not an exhaustive list. Some types are more effective in general. Some are more effective situationally. There is no one way, and you are misinformed if you think non-violence is the only way people have won their rights. 

xox,
kitty

Community building
Artivism
Communities of practice
Conflict transformation
Cooperative
Cooperative movement
Craftivism
Grassroots
Guerrilla gardening
Transition movement
Lobbying
Media activism
Culture jamming
Hacktivism
Internet activism
Peace activism
Non-violent resistance
Peace camps
Peace vigil
Moral purchasing
Petition
Political campaigning
Propaganda
Guerrilla communication
Protest
Boycott
Demonstration
Direct action
Performance Theater
Protest songs
Sit-in
Strike action
Hunger strike

<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">

Intervene.

Sometimes people need help.

To be safe. To not cause harm. To heal.

Societies are social. We need to remember that isolation makes none of us better. Ignoring something doesn’t make it go away.

It is your business. Your communities being healthier is your business. Do something about it even if it is the small change of reaching out to one single person.

Small acts are not as insignificant as they seem.

xox, kitty

Intervene.

Posted in Kitty Whispers

When your choices force you to change.

TW: Suicide and eating disorder mentions.


So this is one of the many reasons why I have tried to be more healthful. When I first got my ID I decided to be an organ donor. As I got older though I realized I probably didn’t have super healthy organs because of my eating disorders.

I was struggling with my eating disorder so I knew I was going to struggle to be restrictive in any capacity. After the first suicide attempt that I had in which people were involved and I got put into the hospital the care team was extremely concerned that for the majority of my life I had never been attached to living. In fact, I live my life with the idea that I was going to go at any point in time. They were concerned that so many people in my life were unaware of that fact. “How did [I] hide that so well from so many people?” “How did no one see how my previous attempts affected my body?”

While I was getting that care they reminded me that it is okay to attach your life to something that is not yourself if it helps you get to a healthier place. So I have been searching for the healthiest thing for me to attach my life to for me and only me. What I’ve discovered is that that thing is service.

I enjoy service activities. I enjoy helping people. And the major thing that I get out of it is that I actually feel attached even if it’s just for a short time. So even though being healthy is hard I always try to make small changes for my health based on what I can do at the time and how my eating disorder is affecting me to try to make my body as healthy as I can so that if I go my organs may be able to help someone.

I damaged many of my organs with my eating disorder but some of that damage was repairable for instance my heart was weakened because of the stress of my eating disorder but my care team reminded me that if I exercise ate healthier much of that damage would be repaired because it hadn’t gotten to the most extreme.

I don’t know I just thought that sharing about how considering others can positively impact your view of self and life.

Posted in Kitty Whispers

A is for Activism

I just want to invite everyone to take a moment, really think about what your definition of activism is. I really mean it. Take a moment. What does activism mean to you?

Activism is disruptive. It’s not supposed to make you comfortable. It makes you think, even in ways you don’t assume, it should make you do so. It’s supposed to make you feel. It supposed to drive change. It does, even when we hate it.

But there are also different ways in which this disruption occurs, which is why many people have a tendency to be upset with movements and find flaws with the fundamentals of them because of the type of activism that is engaged. It doesn’t fit their perspective or their personal preferences of how to disseminate that idea. There’s nothing wrong with being uncomfortable with the way, things are done.

 Let’s take a moment to think about some of the emotional movements that have happened and are still happening. These are not the only ones that have happened; these are ones that I am comfortable with an emotional fallout over discussing these.

The Civil Right Movement
Gaining voters rights/addressing voters’ suppression.
Veganism
Labor
Black Lives Matter

Each of these movements actively engages different types of activism and some that make people uncomfortable. Some of these just honestly hurt people’s feelings as they make them addressed beliefs they have about the world that they live in that they did not want to consider or think about.

Y’all the reality of the situation is that activism sucks. For everyone. It’s emotional. It’s making you address things that are not fun. Everybody wants just to enjoy life and live. The individuals organizing activism and the people who experience it. It’s an abundance of emotional labor. The problem is that without action, there are groups of individuals that can’t enjoy the life that they have and they only have that one. No matter what spiritual belief system you have, we can all agree that there is only a guarantee for what we have now, but that can get sucked away on the whim of political choices by people who are removed from the situation. Activism addresses that our current existence should not be less because of how other people believe we should exist.

So for just a quick down and dirty, let’s review some of the ways that activism exists.

  • It exists in the Arts and things that move us.
  • It exists in acts of defiance and Civil Disobedience that disturb the people around us and point out the inequity and injustice of the system we live in.
  • It exists in community support and cooperatives, community building and radically engaging a world that seeks to separate minorities from their community.
  • It exists in small silent changes in our everyday lives that make people want to change. It exists in our use of new technologies.
  • It exists when you actively engage the system that gives us information, providing new, decolonize, and reformed information.
  • It exists in protest and nonviolent demonstrations. It exists in personal accountability.
  • It exists in radically defining what spirituality means to you and identify what your personal philosophies are.

Many of you will be surprised if you take a moment of introspection to note that you often engage in forms of activism that on a large scale you dislike because it’s so visible and disruptive, but you do it in small ways every day. I invite everyone to sit with yourself. Think about why activism as a whole or activism in part makes you uncomfortable; why when it’s related to different movements, it makes you uncomfortable.

Activism Is disruptive and uncomfortable. That’s an unfortunate fact.

Sometimes it’s explosive. Sometimes it’s a slow burn.