by Holly Fetter, ’13
I’ve seen quite a few dudes in The Daily making assumptions about activist communities on campus, so I thought I’d attempt to counter a few common generalizations. (Note that, as there is not one unified activist space on campus, I am only offering my personal perspective informed by my personal experience with political work at Stanford).
1. There is more than one definition of an activist.
As someone who runs a “blog for activists,” I think the word “activist” is often misused and misunderstood. It’s a useful container, and it can be a powerful source of identity and solidarity, but it means different things to different people. Personally, I think an “activist” is someone who has a certain political consciousness, developed intellectually and/or experientially, that inspires a vision of justice, and a dedication to realizing that vision, both on an interpersonal and institutional scale. But someone else’s unique understanding of that word could be way different than my own. Similarly, activism is not limited to rallies and protests, the typical image of political action. Activism can be art, it can be event planning. It can be having tough conversations about current events. It can even be having certain beliefs about how the world should be, and living your life in accordance with those values. It isn’t always loud, it isn’t always articulate, and it definitely doesn’t always take place in White Plaza. Continue reading