Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dan the Dude: Lessons in Organizing

Anton's blogpost yesterday mentioned Dan the Dude, an amazing zine that explains the "Dos and Don'ts" of non-patriarchal, privilege conscience organizing by following the exploits of Dan, a straight white man and committed organizer. I love it so much (thanks Anton!) that I decided it's worth its own post.

Robin, the artist behind the zine, wrote it to express some of her frustrations as a feminist member of Students for Democratic Society, but she is careful to point out that

Dan is a white, straight male because many of his bad behaviors are ones typically carried out by people with these privileges. However, despite the "dude" label, these behaviors are not confined only to people who look like Dan. Women, transpeople, queer people and peple of color can also be guilty of committing Dan's "DONT"S.

And it's true, in reading the zine I recognized both the privileged behavior of others but also that of myself (much to my chagrin). It served as a reminder that I must keep myself in check and always be aware of how my behavior is affecting those with whom and for whom I am working. The zine is a must read for all activists, no matter their identities.

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