Friday, November 18, 2005

Tears are not enough

Some of you might remember "Tears Are Not Enough"--a little song written and recorded in 1985 to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia; it's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" with a soul.

Anyway, today I invoke "Tears Are Not Enough" not in support of any relief effort; today I invoke that song as a rallying cry.

Because this has got to stop. Not the remembrance, of course--it bothers me to feel as though I need to clarify!--but the hatred and the violence. But neither tears nor memorials alone will bring about change.

Of course, education about biological sex helps.

But you know what I think might help even more? Education about how society manufactures gender, its roles and its diversity (or presumed lack thereof!) through discourse/the use of language.

I am a firm believer in discourse's power to blind (need we reflect on the numerous, recent instances of political propaganda?), but also to reveal, if only we pay more attention to the words we use and the effects they produce. Yes, I know I'm being reductive, but I have a lot of work to get through this weekend and this post was not meant to be rant or a tirade. Especially, it was not meant to be a dissertation.

I just felt the need to address this; I felt that it would be irresponsible--that in some way I'd be betraying myself and my ideals--if I shut off my computer without writing anything about (trans)gender here tonight. I had to say something about this. And I hope that all of you will, in turn, say something about this to someone else.

I know that I'm idealistic--I really do believe that education is the only thing that can put an end to the malice--but you know what? Idealism is often the only attitude you can adopt to face the most appalling injustices and still maintain hope for the future.

Have a thoughtful weekend, everyone.

[Above links, except for the link to "Tears Are Not Enough", courtesy of PopPolitics.]

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