Over at the Deep Green Resistance blog, they posted a request for donations. The request was made by pointing out that resistance movements of the past have been funded by those who were gainfully employed. My first reaction was my usual application of the “hypocritical!” label. There was Deep Green Resistance, an organization built on dismantling the systems that are killing our planet, calling for us to participate in the very same systems!
And yet, the post somehow stuck with me, as i continued to struggle to figure out where i can use my skills. At the same time, a discussion ensued around my anti-marriage rant and a response to it. Ian and i continued the discussion via email. And again habitual reactions in me emerged: “He just doesn’t get it!” and “he won’t be able to figure out a comeback to this argument! (aka “Ha! I got him!”)” Well, it turns out that i didn’t get it! No, i haven’t turned into a marriage supporter, especially now that i see that many of the benefits Ian sees would be more justly expanded, thus minimizing marriage as the matrimanical institution it is now.
What i didn’t get, though, was that singlism is merely a symptom of a system (or systems) that thrives on its hierarchical nature. These hierarchies are maintained by privileges and shame. Since you are reading this post, you have at least two privileges: Access to the internet and enough education to be able to read.
Changing these privileges does not happen by rejecting them! Somehow i missed that when it comes to marriage because marriage is entered in (more or less) voluntarily. As a white person, i cannot reject my white privilege because i have it whether i want it or not. Sure, maybe marriage would change or even disappear if most of us would boycott that institution. Such a boycott, though, won’t have an impact if only a handful of us refuse to marry. And that refusal might hurt us way more than it does the institution.
Circling back to the DGR post, i realized this was what i was doing to myself, just in a different set of privileges! Although i have tried to create a wise livelihood for myself, truth is, i am failing pretty miserably at it. I can only survive because i have savings to draw from (another privilege!). Realizing the dissonance in myself has helped me move closer to accepting that i might want to compromise because i am not ready (yet?) to live as simply as a rejection of money would require. So, i made the decision that maybe my role is to earn money. Although this wouldn’t use my skills directly, it would use them indirectly, which seems to be the only way i can use my analytical skills… Okay, and, yes, it would also allow me to have some fun! So, i have started to look for a job – no longer in the next economy, now i am focusing on the old economy. That’s where the money is. We’ll see where this leads or even if i can still do this… It’s all part of my big experiment!