the philosophactivist

Sunday, January 30, 2011


So, what exactly is a philosophactivist? Well, in a nutshell it is how I've decided to define myself after a decade of shaping and reshaping my political beliefs, philosophy, and ideas on social change. When I hear people call themselves a "philosopher" or say that they're into "philosophy" I think "Oh brother." Because, what does that "vaguery" mean,exactly? I think of the armchair philosopher sitting there theorizing about politics, social justice, global affairs, and the innerworkings of society safely in the comfort of their own cerebrum and never really applying anything. Well, that's not me. I believe in the utmost application of values, ideas, and beliefs. I (metaphorically) throw stones at the windows of ivory towers and attempt to liberate all those that are willing from it's iron gates.(Ala "Who's coming with me?!").

So, couch activists also do not hold a special place in my heart. These are the kind who know everything about everything everywhere and have not lifted a finger. I've heard all kinds of reasons. For instance, "It's my job to stay educated about this and educate others". And what are you doing about all of the stuff you know about, "Well, I'm telling others." Ok. Well, as a strong believer in social change and organizing for social change- I don't have much patience for the idle and self-proclaimed experts at local,national, and world affairs who comfortably lounge in their lazyboys while shouting at NPR news feeds and local newscasts. This may sound harsh, but I'm just attempting to mobilize.

So- a philosophactivist is someone who is able to see the deeper connections- the structural and institutional oppression and then organize and strategize to create change. For me, it is important to have both aspects. Think. Do.

One of my favorite quotes explains this further:
"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."

So a little about myself, as I feel it will help any readers to understand where I'm coming from in this blog -
[clears throat]

I'm genderqueer and don't buy into the gender binary which, in my eyes, is just another flawed social construct. A sociologist- who is very interested in the intersections of race,gender, and sexuality- especially as it pertains to health outcomes, food and housing availability, and other civil rights concerns. I'm a (socio)cultural ethicist/bioethicist (another phrase I've coined)- meaning that I wholeheartedly believe in the four pillars of ethics: non-maleficence, beneficence, (distributive) justice and autonomy but believe that they should be contextualized in a macro sort of way in order to find solutions instead of used for theory in a microethics-y way. I am a civil rights activist (*including for LGBTSTGNC communities of color, trans and genderqueer people in communities of color). A health advocate/activist (again committed to the larger community and also to communities of color and LGBTSTGNC communities of color). An anti-racist and anti-oppression (homophobia,ableism,sexism,etc.)organizer. An anti-oppression developer and facilitator of workshops for health care and public health professionals.

Not quick to take on the title/label "radical" these days but I realize that some of my ideas are definitely very much in line with radical politics- though many aren't. I'm more likely than not leaning/stumbling/falling uncontrollably left and teetering on socialism (so the online surveys say). Heh. Closet radical? (People of color don't have the luxury to be out and rad. It's just the Truth). (I'll speak more on this in a later post).

I'm an academic writer, a creative writer, a poet, a screenwriter, a playwright. A budding filmmaker. And there are many, many other layers.

A student of life. A lotus blossum towering over the murky pond.A boddhisattva in training with an inherent buddha nature. A peacemonger. A compassionmonger.

...and most of all. I'm just an ordinary superhero like the rest of you. Inspired by all that you do and wanting to give back in a way that is sustainable.

- I AM Of the People.