Now that I’ve started this blog, I guess I should tell you all a little about myself. I’m a senior at the University of Florida studying anthropology, spanish, and latin american studies. I’m currently studying abroad in Valencia, Spain, and when I get back to the states in May I’ll start my thesis on global economic structures and labor rights in Latin America. I plan to get my masters in Human Rights Studies once I graduate this December. I have a soft spot for stray animals (not always appreciated by my family or my wonderful boyfriend, but they humor me), books, and canceling plans to watch Netflix with my cat.
I’m a white cis female and I am aware of the privilege that comes with that. I was born into a middle-class family living in a safe part of town with access to almost unlimited resources. My parents are two of the most intelligent, thoroughly good people I know. I have never experienced true adversity or been the victim of structural violence. Being female of course brings a certain set of disadvantages (e.g. being groped, dismissed, and otherwise harassed), but considering that I am otherwise extremely privileged I don’t feel that I have been held back.
I am particularly interested in structural violence and mental health issues. Though I have never been victimized I have struggled with mental illness my entire life, which I attribute to faulty wiring and a (perhaps unfortunate) awareness that that the world is really messed up. I have been diagnosed with OCD (resolved), generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks, chronic depression, insomnia, and inattentive-type ADHD (that face you’re making is the same one my therapists make). I firmly believe that medication and family support have saved my life. Had I not grown up under the circumstances I did, with parents who loved me enough to get me help when I needed it and supported and empowered me endlessly, who could afford to get me treatment and had the luxury of time to spend supporting me, and had I not been given the best education possible, I would not be here today.
This is why I am so devoted to structural issues. I understand that my own success is almost entirely due my location in a highly discriminatory, corrupt structure, and as such I see the influence of structure on every aspect of our lives. I intend to spend the rest of my life using logic and compassion to dismantle discriminatory structures. I also know that there is no way for me to possibly understand the experiences and subjectivities of others without being told. So please tell me. I vow to use my whole heart and mind to challenge discrimination wherever I see it, but first I must be able to see it. Help me see the world for what it is, shatter my rose colored glasses, I do not want them.