Question of the Week: February 21st, 2017

What is your relationship with the word “activist”?  Are you an activist?  Do you like, or dislike the word?

I admit to being an activist, nowadays.  I have denied it at various times in the past.  I think I just don’t like the expectations, you know?  There are a lot of people who will say that an activist is more than someone who just shares social justice memes on the internet–that’s just slacktivism.  As for me, I don’t even share social justice memes on the internet, because I don’t like memes.  Nor do I participate in protests, or call my representatives or whatever it is activists are supposed to be doing.  I don’t think I really have it in me to do that sort of thing.

About Siggy

Siggy is an ace activist based in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and has a Ph.D. in physics. He has another blog where he also talks about math, philosophy, godlessness, and social criticism. His other hobbies include board games and origami.
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5 Responses to Question of the Week: February 21st, 2017

  1. I say i’m an ace activist because there’s really not another word for “person who put time, effort and resources into working for a social issue when they could just, not do that”. And i do make periodical, conscious work to make my local community literally more active. My local online community, that’s it: i’m the admin after all.

    But there’s definitely an expectation that if you say you’re an activist, you have to be organizing meetings and giving talks and networking, and i don’t do that enough for many people to consider me an actual, proper activist.

  2. luvtheheaven says:

    Hmm idk what my relationship is to the word. I think I need to start doing more things that feel like activism and then, with time, I’ll feel truly like an activist.

    I’ve only recently really felt like a real activist, or more pertinently felt I can count myself as participating in any kind of activism, in a few different areas of my life. I feel like when I talk about asexuality now, either in person or online, but especially as I do it more in person, it’s less about me anymore because I’ve been comfortable in this identity for almost 3.5 years and it’s more now about awareness and trying to help all the people out there who don’t know they’re ace yet and who I want to help.

    I’m actually doing a fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention right now, registered to walk in their Overnight “Out of the Darkness” walk Friday night after talking about it for a week, and by the end of the day yesterday – Tuesday I had received over $1000 in donations (which is the minimum required amount to raise in order to be allowed to walk in June – I still have almost 4 full months to raise more.) I really want to help fund a research more than anything, and I feel kind of like an someone who’s really “doing something” to try and “make a difference” but I don’t even know if I would ever frame it in terms of the words “activist” or “activism” – I probably wouldn’t.

    I also have another aspect of my life where I’ve been doing volunteering with a goal to really help people in a certain… demographic… for 2 years, and since around April or May of last have been podcasting in a similar vein. (Sorry for being so vague; I’m trying to kind of avoid the specifics?) And I’m still doing this volunteering and podcasting… And I feel more and more like an activist as I do these things.

    Even, with time, my blogging and hanging out on tumblr and Twitter, commenting on blog posts especially when I disagree and feel there’s important things to say, can feel like I’m actually “doing” something that is more than just “slactivism”. I feel like actually going so far as to host meetups for aces and for atheists and nonreligious people is helping minority communities in my area in relatively significant ways, and I just …

    … I feel like I woke up one day and realized I’m kinda an activist. It’s a description of one of the facets of what I do/how I spend my time rather than an identity, for me, and it’s not that often a description I realize fits me, but… More and more I am that. All the time.

  3. Sennkestra says:

    I consider myself a sort of accidental activist – in that it’s not so much that I actively set out to make big changes in the world; it’s more that I kept thinking “wow, I wish someone would make this or that resource, because I want to use it”. And since for the most part, no one was currently making those resources, I eventually found myself in the position of saying “ok, fine then, I guess I will just have to make it myself.”

    That said, I tend to find terms like “community organizer” or “educator” more relevant to the kind of work I actually do (like resource creation, organizing events, and answering lots of questions). While some level of persuasion is inherent in any education outreach, my personal focus tends to be much more on creating resources and aggregating information to help people who are already somewhat interested in learning, rather than actively campaigning for specific policy changes on an institutional or governmental level, which is what the specific term “activist” brings to mind for me.

  4. Vesper says:

    …i avoid the word like the plague in relation to myself because it stresses me the fuck out and sends my anxiety through the roof. plus i don’t feel like the things i do count as “actual activism” anyway, but even if they did / do, see above.

  5. Pingback: February 2017 Carnival of Aces: Resistance, Activism, & Self-Care | The Asexual Agenda

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