On Woman's rights' Delicate Armed force

On Woman's rights' Delicate Armed force
                            On Woman's rights' Delicate Armed force 
Sara Ahmed was the type of scholar-activist we like to invite. The purpose of our speaker series is to break down binaries between “thinkers” and “doers”: It was launched on the premise that theory and politics are two sides of the same coin. Ahmed has long understood this commitment and, early on in her new book, she writes that “theory can do more the closer it gets to the skin.” It took me several interactions with Ahmed and her writings, and some time mulling over my own political history, to realize the full import of that claim: Intimacy with our theory—and by extension, our politics—is not only powerful, it can also be painful.

When I first wrote to Ahmed almost a year ago to ask her to speak, she had just resigned from Goldsmiths, University of London, in protest against the institution’s failure to address sexual harassment. At first, Ahmed told me that she would not be able to come. “I am actually stepping back from all commitments for the rest of the year—just to rebuild my life after a very difficult three years.” Ahmed had been bruised by running into what she calls “brick walls”: hard structures that emerged to block any efforts to bring mysteriously disappeared cases of sexual harassment to light. When students approached her four years ago with stories of groping, harassment, comments from male faculty, she joined forces with them, only to encounter the brick walls of sexism springing up. Whenever she and those she organized with would point them out, the obstacles would be dismissed as figments of an overzealous imagination or as ghosts, phantoms, and hallucinations. The rejections took the shape of walls blocking their ability to confront sexism and harassment. Colliding with them left Ahmed—and the faculty and students she worked with—injured. In a short statement Ahmed posted on her blog within days of her resignation, she referred to the immense damage of constantly running into solid bricks: “I have resigned because the costs of doing this work has been too high.”
On Woman's rights' Delicate Armed force On Woman's rights' Delicate Armed force Reviewed by Read to Digest on 4:42 AM Rating: 5

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