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Feminism in a men’s prison
As a woman working in a male prison, there are times it is uncomfortable or even unnerving but those times are rare. What I grapple with regularly is how I can advocate for the higher education of incarcerated men who are in prison because they harmed a woman. Does this make me a bad a feminist? A traitor to my own kind?
I feel good about the work I do and believe as a whole it pushes towards a more equitable world, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have the slightest sliver of guilt when helping individuals who’ve hurt women. When I internally struggle to advocate for the needs of both the perpetrator and the victim, I remind myself that it is not my job to punish individuals or carry out their sentences. Instead, my job is to support this person so they can get themselves to a place where they don’t harm others. My hope is that this work makes women safer.
I recognize this sounds optimistic, perhaps even a little naïve, but if I didn’t believe this, I couldn’t get up and go to work every morning. Perhaps this is what being a good feminist is, even when it feels bad.
Criticizing the government
To those who criticize criticizing our government, it’s not just a right, but a civic duty. Our government is accountable to us, not the opposite. Criticizing the government is actually the most patriotic thing we can do.
Criticizing doesn’t necessarily have to be partisan either. Despite being a liberal Democrat, I’m equally able to voice my disenchantment with what I feel are the poor choices made by the very party I most identify with as I am with any other party whose decisions affect my everyday life.
That being said, we’re lazy compared to, say, Puerto Rico, whose protests ousted their governor.
It’s not about overthrowing a government, it’s about taking back government from those unfit to run it. It’s a privilege, not a right, to govern, and those who abuse that right in the interest of self enrichment are traitorous to we, the people, and this great nation.