FMLA et al

I'm putting thoughts and motivations in hypothetical people's heads in this post. Be aware that I could be wrong about all sorts of things, like lines of reasoning and people's beliefs. Just remember that a lot of this is speculation.

I went to the FMLA movie and potluck today. We didn't end up watching a movie, but instead we sat around and talked for several hours. These folks feel like an extension of my inner circle some times, and I hardly know most of them. I was going to say something about us not being as closely in accord as the inner circle, but then I scrubbed away the mists of stupidness and memory and recalled that my inner circle is about as fractious as it is possible to be. We are held together by friendship/love and an enjoyment of eachother's assorted company. I've got as much in common with some of these men and women as I do with my closest friends, I'm just not close friends with these people, hopefully yet.
*chuckles* There are some slight discrepencies in the way some of the folks involved see the world and the way I see it. Not a shock, but occasionally jaring. On the other hand, it was somewhat reassuring to find myself on opposite sides of a position with my original contact with the group. (Believe me, after a while it becomes nice to find a point of disagreement with people.)
So it seems that there are two different images of what the FMLA is/should be. Some folks want it to be more active in direct activism, to stake out a cause and go after it full tilt. Others see it as more of a, if you will, social club. In their vision, it acts as a safe haven, a community that can do a lot to enable cross-activism. Sort of like the best of blogging moved into meatspace. There's obviously a spectrum of thoughts on this matter, I'm just pulling out the polar ends. I personally think that it serves its purpose best as a meeting for people who each have allied causes without doing too much specific activism. Honestly, I suspect that I am the only person who comes to the meetings who isn't active in at least one other organization, and the FMLA itself acts as a more than a little useful crossfertilization zone for the actions and memes of each of these groups. I'm all about the meta, the interstices, the crossfertilization, so, of course I like the way things seem to work now. It seems that being too active outside of what the group already does might well be counter productive, especially since most of the members are already active in their own organizations and if the FMLA starts demanding more from them, they are likely to say "screw this."

Of course there are already the sorts of things that the FMLA here traditionally does. They host a Women't Health Day thing, they do/intend to publish a newsletter thingy about stuff going on in the world of feminism. They do/intend to publish an essay collection on feminism. They help organize the production of the Vagina Monologues.

Of course, in the eyes of the first group, these aren't actions, they are the sort of thing that you do to fill in the gaps between real actions.

Personally, I see them as building community, doing outreach, helping to expand the memespace. Since all activism needs to be cross activism, I really think that these are as important as any direct political action, possibly more so. Hell, reclaiming the word "feminisim" from the blackhats is almost entirely the place of this sort of thing, it is entirely a matter of changing our cultural memespace and doing better than the blackhats at one of the things that they do better than almost anything, defining the public conversation.

I think that I've mentioned this before, but at the center of things, I have three primary social causes:
a Social Justice
b Environmental Conservation
c Civil Liberties

I think that I have also mentioned before that I don't think that you can seperate any of those from any of the others.

It is late. I might continue this later. Depends on my mood and or feedback. Good night

No comments: