Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Didn't we already work through that?

This is something I see alot, A LOT.

It's that whole linear historical trajectory thing that "Western" people love. That "progressive view of history", right?

Don't know what I'm talking about? For instance, this:
Whenever I tell my mom (who was a women studies professor and general all-around ass-kicking feminist when I was growing up – 70s and 80s) about all of the fighting in online feminist communities about intersections and such – she just shakes her head and is all “I thought we worked through all of that years ago! I can’t believe people still aren’t getting it!”
I've seen this sentiment a lot. Like "the feminist movement" already covered this, why do people still not know (only one out of many movements this sentiment is applicable to)?

And as long as I've been hearing it, I've been wondering a) what to do about it and b) why it happens (in that order, because doing something about it is, to me, very important).

At first I thought, "well, there's always new people coming into the movement, they're n00bs, they have to learn the ropes and they're making mistakes because they're n00bs and that's what n00bs do". *Dusts off hands* Done!

But when I saw the quoted comment above today and that thought went through my head but another thought followed it: "But WHY DON'T the n00bs of today start off with more information? HASN'T all this good work been done and useful knowledge produced? WHY isn't it sticking?"

I mean, us, the generation of knowing how to use computers, and our younger siblings or children, growing up in a world that never didn't have computers and video games. They know how to use these things. They learn very, very early on how to use this stuff because it's all around them, it has saturated their daily lives.

So, why are the n00bs of today as seemingly woefully ignorant as the n00bs of forty years ago?

That comes to my head as I puzzle about this? Because we don't have that saturation of info, not at all.

What are we saturated in, growing up? For the most part? The same old shit. That's what. For as long as we (womanists, feminists, anti-racists, socialists, LGBTQ activists, dis/ability activists etc. etc.) have been doing this work, something is preventing our hard work from becoming part of the social fabric.

Fuck, that is a depressing thought.

So now, the next thought (to rattle around in my brain for another year or so) how the fuck do we change that? Because it seems like every generation thinks they've done it, but clearly we keep coming back to this place.