In the last few years, I’ve often become frustrated trying to answer a simple question: What can I do to achieve greater change in the world? I’ve read that true change is achieved in groups, through collaboration, and not on one’s own, and at the same time, I worry that maybe I don’t work well in groups without taking a leadership position because I have Asperger’s, and thus, I can never truly follow the direction of other, more seasoned activists.
I don’t think of myself as an activist. Some others do. I’ve written articles on particularly race and sexuality and sometimes studied and talked a lot about these issues, but I worry that I don’t really do anything in terms of a greater political struggle. Then again, I don’t know if anyone can do anything productive individually, but then I come back to the idea of having trouble working in groups and I just feel lost.
I’ve thought about going through anti-racist training; that costs money. I’ve thought about joining various political struggles, and the people sometimes disgust me with their hypocrisy. I’d rather not join them and be a fellow hypocrite, even if I might be one already.
I’m a big fan of the idea of intersections between issues: how something like racism doesn’t exist in isolation, and how one form of privilege can intersect with another form of oppression. This is a very useful framework for analysis, but knowledge of it can be stifling as well—in some way or another, I am an oppressor, so how can I ever resist the privilege I cannot change? This truth can make me think that there’s nothing I can do to cause change.
At the same time, there’s a lot I can do in my personal life: consume less, continue working on issues from my past to move forward, and focus on greater independence. But what can I do to cause greater change outside in the world?