Thursday, July 9, 2015

Let's All Be a Little More Curious, Shall We?

Today, a lengthy, food-for-thought quote from a favorite gender scholar.  I want to work toward making curiosity more central in my life and actions:

"The moment when one becomes newly curious about something is also a good time to think about what created one's previous lack of curiosity. So many power structures--inside households, within institutions, in societies, in international affairs--are dependent on our continuing lack of curiosity. 'Natural,' 'tradition,' 'always': each has served as a cultural pillar to prop up familial, community, national, and international power structures, imbuing them with legitimacy, with timelessness, with inevitability. Any power arrangement that is imagined to be legitimate, timeless, and inevitable is pretty well fortified. Thus we need to stop and scrutinize our lack of curiosity. We also need to be genuinely curious about others' lack of curiosity--not for the sake of feeling self-satisfied, but for the sake of meaningfully engaging with those who take any power structure as unproblematic.

Why is a state of uncuriosity about what it takes to produce a pair of fashionable sneakers so comfortable? What is there about being uncurious about how the military base affects the civilians living in base towns that seems so reasonable? I've come to think that making and keeping us uncurious must serve somebody's political purpose. I also have become convinced that I am deeply complicit in my own lack of curiosity."

Cynthia Enloe, The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), pp. 2-3.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the've got me thinking too.