Greetings and Salutations!

Welcome to the longest-running* yet least-read** blog on the internet! Here you'll find me writing about all the things that I write about, which strikes me, just now, as somewhat recursive. In any case, enjoy :)

* not true
** probably true

Sunday, April 19, 2009

(un)AWARE

I should feel bad about the fact that AWARE, Singapore's premiere women's advocacy group, has been eaten hollow by a group of Dobon-esque fundamentalist militants. And I do. But I also think they brought it on themselves.

There are two main points that I can't get past. First, that the old guard could allow it to happen. That's just plain complacency. If they got blindsided, it's because they weren't paying attention to their own membership.

Second, and this will be an unpopular opinion, I think the very fact that AWARE is a women's advocacy group is a weaknes that lends itself to just such exploitation. It's too damned general. Over half the people in the world (and Singapore) happen to be women. And guess what? When an organization purports to represent such a large population, there are bound to be some inside that population who disagree - vehemently - with the aims and goals of that organization. In this case, fundamentalist Chistians who don't like the idea of lesbianism, abortion, divorce, and/or women working outside the home.

I've always had a problem with organizations whose reach exceeds their grasp. When you presume to speak for everyone, when you presume to speak for an entire group or classification of people rather than as an advocate for a particular belief, it smacks of hubris, however well intended. And sooner or later hubris attracts assault.

Couple hubris with complacency, and you get the current AWARE debacle.