Posts Written by Angela

Activism & Theory: My Conflict With #OccupyWallStreet

This Friday, I decided to head over to Zuccotti Park to see for myself what has become the Occupy Wall Street movement. Despite being a passionate life-long feminist, I found myself there and feeling very out of character—I felt no desire to join, no righteous fury pulsing through me. I wasn’t moved in the slightest. In fact, I actually scoffed at a few young activists sipping wine coolers out of paper bags.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” I asked myself. Even my friends seemed perplexed. Whether it’s activism or direct service, I have always felt it my place to make a difference in the world. I live for justice. I would not be able to function if I was not trying to live every day like it really mattered. I really needed to get to the bottom of my hang-ups and understand where I fit into this rapidly expanding movement.

Upon first thought, like many, I was frustrated that there seemed to be no strategy driving a specific, common goal. As someone with experience in community leadership and having worked in public affairs, I know how much strategy matters. Upon voicing this opinion to a respected friend and colleague, it was swiftly pointed out that my experience itself makes me what she cleverly calls an “establishment feminist”: someone who works for the machine, someone who comes from a place of privilege that makes them an outsider in many ways.

Then, my criticism was crushed further ...

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