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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » Can't handle activism

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Author Topic: Can't handle activism
mizchastain
Activist
Member # 32224

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I've been trying to get involved in doing something to support equal rights relating to gender and sexuality. Trouble is, every time I try, I just end up getting angry or miserable at the arguments and divisions within the groups, and end up being no help at all. I know nothing's obliging me to join any of these groups, I know my AS means I'm always going to have some level of difficulty in dealing with people in some circumstances, and I'm trying not to take it personally, but I feel like a failure for being so totally unable to handle conflict.
Posts: 475 | From: UK | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You know, I'd say that activism isn't the same thing as handling conflict. For sure, that's part of activism, but activism requires more than just that, and you know, it's just not for everyone. Nor is every activist group the right one for a given person.

I see none of those things as being about anyone being a failure: we're just not all the same people with the same skills and tolerances, that's all.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Also? There are so, so many ways to be an activist for something. If that's something you want to do, but being right in groups isn't working for you, that doesn't mean you can't still do activism. You just might find yourself better suited for something more laid-back and solitary, like, for instance, letter-writing campaigns.

(I know Amnesty International still does a great deal of that, and that was some of my first activism decades back. They also work with these issues and have for an age, very solidly. So, maybe take a look and check them out?)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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mizchastain
Activist
Member # 32224

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I do already sign a lot of online petitions. I was rather hoping to do something more concrete, but I guess maybe that's not for me.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Signing online petitions isn't the same thing as letter-writing campaigns.

With the latter, you can either be alone or with a group -- including one you organize yourself -- and you write individual letters to various people, organizations, companies or groups, rather than just signing on to one letter digitally someone else has written.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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For the record, I'd actually say letter-writing is more powerful than petitions, especially online petitions, at this point. Not only is their an online petition for anything anymore, getting big numbers isn't hard. Individual letters, on the other hand, often sent by mail, are more and more rare, and give you the ability to speak from your own heart and mind, which can potentially land better than what someone else has written.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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mizchastain
Activist
Member # 32224

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Yeah, I remember a problem with one petition site where people put up joke ones and got the signature requirement raised. I'll keep the letter-writing in mind.
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Starfire&Shadows
Activist
Member # 31388

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Also, a lot of organizations need people to seal and stamp envelopes, and generally do whatever small chores need doing. For instance - cleaning and making snacks, organizing the library, etc.

These may not seem much like activism, but it can free up people who are good wordsmiths/orators/educators to do more of that.

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We are all made of Star Stuff...
-Carl Sagan

...Their eyes beheld, first of all things, the stars of heaven.
-Silmarillion

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