Thursday, August 13, 2009

A great post from Feministing about "safe space"

by Josh Franklin

In which it is argued that while creating safe spaces is impossible, we should strive to create accountable space. I think both the piece and the comments that follow are a worthwhile read.

I've been skeptical of the construction of EW as a safe space, simply because despite the fact that we cover a diverse range of global issues, we write from a privileged position as students at a prestigious American university, often inhabiting the top of hierarchies of both race and class. Maybe it's my own male privilege that blinds me to the importance of safe space here on EW, and please tell me if you feel that way in the comments.

In "There are no safe spaces", Jos writes:

When framing social justice spaces, especially those centered around learning, I have come more and more to embrace the idea of accountable space. Accountability means being responsible to oneself and each other for our own words. It means entering a space with good intentions but understanding that we all screw up and need to accept responsibility for our mistakes. It means being OK with and open to being called out. It means acknowledging when others are triggered and when we feel pain and working to learn and grow from this experience. And it requires something incredibly difficult, a trust in those we share a space with that their intentions are good, that they mean well just like we do, that we are all in a process of learning and growing and that making mistakes is part of how this happens.

What do you think of this? I believe that is important for EW--as a community--to articulate its goals in terms of being a safe space in order to shape the way we run the blog, especially in terms of post content and comment moderation. So I'd love to hear your comments! And, hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.

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