This week I had the pleasure of going to both of this week's WMST brown bags. (SPOILER ALERT: They were both awesome.) The first one was on Tuesday and was a celebration of Dia de Los Muertos. Fun, fun fun all around! It was a wonderful afternoon where we contrasted the American idea of mourning the dead to the Mexican idea of celebrating life. We celebrated the lives of several incredible women all over the world who were significant and extraordinary in their own right. We heard the work of Caribbean poets and African activists heard the story of a Syracuse woman who's death was a landmark case in the persecution of hate crimes in the state of New York and the United States. After the presentations from interns (myself included), faculty and students, we ended the brown bag on a positive note with arts and crafts. There were rooms for skull and matchbox decorating, mask coloring and COOKIES! It was an overall great time and I'm glad I arranged my schedule so that I could attend.
I'm currently posting LIVE from today's brown bag: Same-Sex Marriage and the Limits of Equality. I was unable to go to Anne Pellegrini's lecture last night, but if it was anything like the current conversation I definitely missed out! Pellegrini is actually discussing a side of LGBTQ issues that people often do not consider. Many Americans see religion and sexuality as mutually exclusive ideas, but it seems like Anne Pellegrini and I disagree with that.
I think it is unfair that everyone should have to be governed by the religious ideals of one particular religion. I am a Christian, but I know that everyone is not. I am also an American who supports equality for all Americans regardless of their lifestyles or what they believe. I do not think that these 2 parts of my identity have to go to bat with one another.
Pellegrini also established that tolerance cannot be the moral language in the United States. This really struck a chord with me because it is something about which I feel very strongly. I agree with her point that the idea of tolerance is just a way to exacerbate oppression and domination of a majority group. The rhetoric of tolerance implies that there is one way that things are supposed to be and if something is different, it can exist only because it is allowed to by those doing things appropriately. I disagree with this mentality. I hope that one day (in a perfect world) other people can understand that there are ways for us to peacefully disagree with one another without stripping others of their humanity.
- Renyelle Jimenez