I finally did it. A month and a half ago, just before World Vegan Day, I made the switch. Coming to it from a position of immense privilege and more than two years of living on a vegetarian diet, it wasn’t as big a transition as I’m sure it is for many others, but I’m still counting it toward my goal of becoming a more compassionate person.
Or, What Is Biculturalism?
we French&English never lost
our civil war
endure it still
a bloody civil bore
the wounded sirened off
no Whitman wanted
it’s only by our lack of ghosts
— Earle Birney, “Can. Lit.” (1962)
One of the perks of being a feminist ally is gaining a new appreciation of social diversity. As your constructivist laser vision makes every fixed idea you ever entertained about gender crumble before your very own eyes, you start to feel lighter somehow, less encumbered by prejudice and the need to conform.
Before I departed for Canada in August, I was dead set on joining a political club or youth organization once I’d settle there. Having looked at the options, however, some uncertainty has started to trickle in.
I’m here, back among Canadians. It’s been three years since I last walked on this soil. But it’s my first time acknowledging to whom it belongs.
My General English teacher from three years ago was very fond of dropping the phrase “There’s nothing wrong with being a Marxist in theory” whenever politics was being discussed in class. From her tone of voice you could tell that she was declaring herself a Marxist with that statement, so I was always quick to respond that Marx’s conception of historical materialism — especially its reliance on the idea of an “end of history” — doesn’t hold up when you look at how the world actually works. Of course, my teacher wasn’t talking about the philosophy underpinning Karl Marx’s writing so much as radical wealth redistribution. But she didn’t elaborate, she gave in to my half-assed retaliation, probably because she could tell from the way my eyes were gleaming with that cocky teenage certainty that I had completely made up my mind:
If your model of society rests on such shaky theoretical ground, why bother with the nitty-gritty? Why should I give you the benefit of the doubt?
These days it seems like the worst insult you could think up is to accuse someone of being biased. I’ve often noticed that online, but I bet you’ve also had discussions IRL where that rhetorical strategy cropped up. Perhaps you’ve used it yourself at times.