Why such a long title? This is the shortest one I came up with that encompasses my thoughts. What this blog is about is the climate of my life’s work. I would typically quantify my work as Philosophy, but apparently it’s not. What I am drawn to do is research and write on critical race theory and social issues that focuses on gender and sexuality. As I am in graduate school right now, I was having a discussion with a good friend who is also in the field and realized the plight of our situations. What is there on the other side of the pasture? What will become of us when we graduate and have to move on with our humanities graduate degrees? It seems that critical race theory, queer theory, feminist theory, basically any discipline reflecting the LACK of systematic social change, are all dying. This death can be seen blatantly within our society with the politicians we elect, the government regulations we accept, the fact that schools can overtly discriminate against professors and teachers within these fields, to the governance of marginalized bodies. A couple of examples that I choose to provide in this blog, specifically focusses on the silencing of critical race theory and the further disenfranchisement of already marginal people in the fields of feminist philosophy. One that I felt the most was the censoring of critical race theory in Arizona. How is this to be understood? What they are claiming is that CRT is something that promotes racial resentment… so it is prohibited in the state. WHAT IS THAT REALLY SAYING?! It is a clear and disconcerting attempt to maintain the hegemonic norm of White, Middle-Upper Class, Patriarchal privilege. Yeah, we can sit back and say things like, “But women are being CONSIDERED now,” or “There are government protections for the poor and for minorities.” What? Where did all the activists go? To the University to slowly become indoctrinated into the system, while the field is crumbling under the weight of the hegemony that is wooing us. They want us to THINK that things are changing, progressing. But entire fields are being SILENCED, and only a lonely few are responding. All of these aforementioned critical thinking fields are not supported within our society, there is just NO money within these fields. So what we are left with are few of us who are hoping that with clout (i.e., degrees) we can make change, along the way learning the activism of the past, which creates the false sense of comfort and the thought of, “look how far we came.” Yes. I want you the see how far in fact we came. We can no longer rely on the actions of the past and the rhetoric of the present while ignoring the wrongs that are being perpetuated around us. In our stagnant vacillation, we are slowly watching all of the previous decades of activism and perseverance unfurl. All the studying will be for naught, as this is the time that we need to take action before there is ABSOLUTELY no future in these critical fields within the society in which we live, as there are currently meager ones at best.
So what can we do? Is there ANY hope within these ivory/ebony towers? Well, honestly, I don’t know a best-fit response to these questions, but I do know where I am going to start. I am going to write. I am going to research. I am going to network with others in my field as well as people I come into communication with in the context of these social mediums to try and ignite the fire of rage. We should be OUTRAGED. We shouldn’t stay within the safe pastures that the privilege of being a graduate student provides. We shouldn’t MISTAKE THESE CONCESSIONS for resolutions or liberations. We need to make ourselves more visible, make life more uncomfortable. There is a reason things feel ‘easy’. We need to re-examine what is really going on RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR FACES. I’m doing what I can with my blinders newly lifted. I will do what I can to promote awareness of the critical fields I am so drawn to work in, to show the need for these fields, and to expose the discrimination people within the field face. We need to work to break down the social labeling these fields face for discrimination’s sake, and work to foster the knowledge that these fields are in fact important to our society’s functioning. These aren’t simply, race, queer, feminist, etc., studies. To be frank, these are SOCIAL philosophical/political/psychological/anthropological+ studies. To avoid running off on another tangent, I will digress. I will aim to further flesh out what I’ve alluded to in my next blog.
I thank you for your time. I really hope that this is clear to those of you who are choosing to read this. For those of you who are with me in these critical fields, I just want you to take the time to write, research, and communicate the need for systematic change.