I don’t know about you, reader, but often feel so contrived, sitting here and blogging about feminism or social justice. If it isn’t another complaint about today’s sexist trending Twitter tag, it’s another long whine about those pro-life Republican men of privilege out for my womb and its potential contents. Sure, I find it relaxing, if a bit self-indulgent, to have somewhere to sit at the end of the day and release my complaints about the world I am living in. The construction workers who think it is their right to cat-call to a woman walking down the sidewalk; the frustration of walking to classes at my private college each day in shoes that fit me well and with money in my wallet and having to apologize to the homeless men and women I meet along the way; even the cringe each time I hear the words lile “slut,” “fag,” or “gay” used inappropriately.
Even the word “social justice” is beginning to wear on me. Funnily enough, back in 10th grade when I decided my academic interest was in Anthropology (yeah, I’m one of the weird ones who actually knew in 10th grade), I thought that it would parallel my extracurricular interests in human rights so well. It turns out that marrying these two disciplines is far more problematic than I could’ve ever imagined.
Cultural relativism was the first big word to punch me in my happy social justice activist face. Is FGM a cultural equivalent to circumcision? Can a single system of morality be imposed upon a world of differening cultural structrues? Suddenly, my inspiration Eleanor Roosevelt’s Declaration of Human Rights didn’t seem so easy to apply on a global scale. Is there even a point to activism outside of the structure of your own society? Is there even a point to activism within your own society?
And now as I enter the realms of Medical Anthropology, I find myself becoming the bitter old maid who espouses medical nihilism and refutes everything ever told to her by a family of nurses. “Germs are a social construct. Science is a social construct. NOTHING EVEN EXISTS.”
It’s enough to drive a sane non-theist to want to explore religion. Now that’s something to be scared about.