05 September 2012

The Walls Line the Void Stands with Blag Hag

Mario, my friend over at Episcopalian in Planet Earth, today wrote a post stating that he stands with Blag Hag. Jen, the blogger behind Blag Hag, has retired from blogging for an indefinite period of time. The reason for this suspension, however, is why Mario has noted that he is standing with Blag Hag, and is something I am joining Mario in doing.

I first discovered Blag Hag when she wrote a post discussing fliers for the Queer Student Union, Society of Nontheists, and Delta Pi Rho being vandalized. From that post on I have been following Blag Hag through twists and turns, and even joining in a few activist activities and events with her and the organization she founded. The work that Jen has done, her work in the sciences, her discussion of the handling of sciences and the various us'es, and her role in social justice activism have all been influential for me. If you want just the slightest glimpse of her brilliance as a thinker (beyond her scholastic work in biology), you need only read , "How I Unwittingly Infiltrated the Boy's Club & Why It's Time for a New Wave of Atheism."

Unfortunately, brilliance and strength are sometimes liabilities. Over coffee with a former president of the Queer Student Unions, and a person I have considered a role model since meeting her, I was told that if there are rumors about you it means people feel threatened by you. A variation of this has hit Jen - people feel threatened by her and are thus lashing out. The vitriol that is being directed at her is uncalled for and unacceptable. Probably the worst part is the vitriol is because of the strength and power of her work.

These events remind us what we are fighting - a system that can't tolerate difference, and imposes its strict roles upon us without our permission while denying our right to question.

At times we can feel that there is so much weight on us, that we are carrying a burden for others who, for one reason or another, are currently unable to carry it. In social justice work there is a huge emotional burden. We fight through this burden because we know we must. If we don't do it, who will. We need a better support system, and I am stating this from experience. I don't know how that support system is to be done, and of course each person's strain in this work is different, but we need it. Remember that the vitriol means they feel threatened. Remember that the arc of history is bending towards justice and that it is because the us'es won't give up. We can't give up. No social justice work goes to waste.

I hope that Jen takes the time she needs to take care of herself, and will maybe even have some people realize what kind of an awful thing they have done. I also hope she continues to grace social justice blogging with her brilliance.

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