What is "respectability politics," and how can we confront it in ourselves?
You know about Martin Luther King, but do you know about the unsung heroes of the civil rights era, like Claudette Colvin and Bayard Rustin?
The fact that myself, or Traister or any number of people think errors have been or are being made, or that all of this could be done better or worse doesn't mean we're right. We could be. We could also be wrong. It could be that despite it seeming like this thing or this other way of doing or saying that would have been the better move, that doing a given thing differently would have less impact.
I want to tell you something very personal about me. Not because I want to. I really don't want to. But I'm going to do it anyway.
Earlier this week, in the context of another conversation, one of our users at Scarleteen mentioned that her feelings on abortion had changed to a negative when she learned that her mother's pregnancy had been unplanned, and that her mother considered abortion. She said that upset her, because she really liked existing. She did say she was still pro-choice, but her sentiment bothered me all the same. Some of why it bothered me was political, and also about the work that I do and have done. But in thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that the ways it bothered me most were intensely personal.
The truth is, I envy her. A lot. I envy she was able to have a discussion in which her mother made clear she had the right to choose and she chose to remain pregnant and parent her.
We're just getting caught up with the myriad of fantastic blog entries that are part of the blog carnival that's been going on over the last three weeks as an effort to help cultivate support for Scarleteen. We've been reprinting some entries here at our blog, and will keep up with that, but here are a handful we can link right to for you to take a look at:
From Cory Silverberg at About.Com: