Dean Spade ’97, law professor and founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, gave a lecture last night in the James Room that was, I thought, fantastic.
He made some great points about inclusion politics–it’s not just about gay marriage, for example, and equality in the eyes of the law, but about structural and bottom-up change. (This reminded me a lot of the idea in food activism that it’s not all about eating organic if your kiwi still comes from New Zealand, but eating locally, sustainably, making sure the workers who picked your kiwi get paid enough, etc.–major structural changes.)
His point that feminist laws sometimes have inappropriate solutions also hit home for me. I’ve considered both domestic violence laws and prison reform, but never really put the two together to realize that maybe more jail time for abusers isn’t the best answer.
What did you think of the lecture? In fifty years, will we be glad we did what we’ve done?