checking privilege and the women’s march on washington

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“Defend Dignity” by Shepard Fairey

There are many privileges I enjoy at a cost borne by someone who doesn’t enjoy them. They include a financially stable childhood, two well-educated parents, being a native English speaker, being born and having grown up in stable, open and wealthy countries, and being able-bodied. These privileges I don’t think about even on a weekly basis, let alone daily; that, of course, is part of the privilege! And it’s all the more reason why it’s so important for me to “check my privilege.” This I take to mean being aware of and acknowledging the advantages I have over others based on factors outside my control and unrelated to any efforts that I made, understanding the historical roots of these advantages and their current impact on myself and others, and taking action to correct the unjust systems that perpetuate these inequalities.Read More »

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women at the helm

Women are not pro-woman by nature of being women. The structures within which we navigate are intensely patriarchal and anti-feminist. Stronger women than you and I have tried and failed to break free of them. They have infiltrated our expectations and thoughts and behaviour and we have internalised the arbitrary boundaries of what is possible, feasible and achievable in gender equality. This does not change when one is in a position of power – especially political power. The political straitjacket is perhaps tighter still as she must prove that she belongs in this male-dominated sphere. God forbid the female leader be seen favouring her own kind – never mind that male leaders have been favouring their own for all history.Read More »

twice as hard

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one thing minorities have quickly learned is that nothing is given; all victories are earned. we’re always reminded that just to get half as much you must work twice as hard – and have a bit of luck.

i’ve been told that implicitly from a young age, and heard it more recently on the airwaves from larry wilmore, host of the nightly show; from jessica huang, on fresh off the boat; from viola davis, when accepting her prize; and from scandal’s rowan, with words both painful and wise.Read More »

migrantische communities in st. georg, hamburg

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Gegenseitige Ökonomie: Die Centrum-Moschee mit den auffälligen Minaretten befindet sich neben Lindenbazar, dem wahrscheinlich größten türkischen Supermarkt in Hamburg. (Foto: eslam.de)

Lezte Woche habe ich an einem besonderen Stadtrundgang teilgenommen. Das Thema war migrantische Communties in Sankt Georg, einer der vielfältigsten Stadtteilen in Hamburg.

Es hat viel Spaß gemacht. Was ich gelernt habe:Read More »

things i learned from working at the wfc

Here I will focus on ‘content’ knowledge rather than the broader life lessons of how to work, how to treat people and so on. Now that I no longer work there and have no agenda other than my own, I don’t have to say anything I don’t actually believe.

So here’s what I believe:

  • Technology cannot, in and of itself, correct injustices and inequalities. It is a useful and often necessary tool, but technological and scientific advancement only creates the minimal conditions needed for change. It does not drive change.
  • Policy and legislation are signals given by a position of authority (the government) to the rest of society about what SHOULD BE. Regardless of the extent of implementation and execution, signals are important. They are a point of reference for us.
  • Policy and legislation create structures and frameworks that guide the actions of various actors.
  • Policy and legislation do not guarantee change. There needs to be implementation, enforcement, accountability, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Sometimes policy leads. Sometimes it follows.
  • The money to fund progress is there. The question is allocation.
  • Change is possible, and it’s happening. Ever so fucking slowly.
  • Democracy is the keystone.