My really good friend and fellow Chicana blogger, brownfemipower, is hosting a collaboration at her blog, Flip Flopping Joy, with fellow amazing media maker, Jess Hoffman (of make/shift fame).
Their collaboration is called (Re)Thinking Walking and centers ways that we can build new worlds through the process of purposeful walking.
If we allow Sacagawea the complexity of her humanity, we see that the question about her is not so much, was she a heroine (she was) as the U.S. government and many invested in feminist icons would have us believe, but rather instead– in what way was her movement her own? In what ways had her movement been forced upon her–and if she had the power of a respected and honored choice–what would she have done? Would she have gone on the Lewis and Clark journey? What would she say was *her* relationship to exercise, to health, to the outdoors?
I think the point is not to replace dominant culture's rigid, hierarchical boundaries (and disciplinarian consequences for broken boundaries) with no boundaries or accountability whatsoever, but rather with flexible, collaboratively developed boundaries. Our commitments to each other do matter, I think, whether they are in the form of a schedule on a collaborative project or a promise not to hold too fiercely to that project's deadlines if one of the participants gets sick or sinks into depression or has to handle unexpected an family emergency or just needs some more time this week. We do need to be accountable and to hold each other accountable … we just need to do it in ways that are more flexible, collaborative, horizontal, and creative than the ways we're used to from jobs, school, and the like — community-determined ways, to riff on BFP's riff on Paula Rojas's thoughts on creating community-driven structures.
I couldn't have said that five years ago, when I was convinced that the reason the Left is so weak is people's "flakiness," lack of commitment, unwillingness to dig in and do the hard work of movement-making. I've gone through a few cycles now of organizing, getting burnt out on organizing, taking some space to heal and rejuvenate, and diving back in. And I've learned a few things, and changed in the process of collaboratively working for change. Sticking it out, organizing with lots of different people on lots of different projects, has helped me break out of some of my earlier ways of seeing–rigidities, norms I'd internalized from a lifetime in Type A cultures (at home, at school, etc.).
It's promising to be an amazing collaboration between the two, and I highly recommend you head over there to read the whole thing.