Opinions of the Hour

Bringing stand-out, non-Peak op-eds into the spotlight and under our appraisal

Vogue’s ‘New Suffragettes’: where are the women with disabilities?Frances Ryan, The Guardian

Written in response to British Vogue’s “decision to mark 100 years since women were granted the vote,” involving a feature spread discussing seven women who have been instrumental in fighting for gender equality, this Guardian article caught my eye for raising a valid point: the continued erasure of people with disabilities, even from conversations about marginalization.

In Ryan’s words, “it says something about disabled women’s exclusion that we are somehow too marginal even for a conversation about the need to be included.” As important as topics like racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia are and will continue to be, we can’t let ourselves forget that ableism, too, can blind us to the existence of a veritable mass of wonderful individuals.

Privilege comes in degrees and variations. It’s not, nor will it ever be, easy to make sure that nobody is made to feel shoved to the side for their identity. But we can’t cherry pick our diversity.

 

Their Campus: Fleeting friendships across the pondLeo Yamanaka-Leclerc, The Ubyssey

Part of The Ubyssey’s Their Campus series, Yamanaka-Leclerc talks about his experience at Lancaster University in England. Being there, he realized something key about “fleeting friendships,” like the kind you make on exchange: they’re a chance to be whoever and whatever you want.

You might be questioning this choice of article to look at. It’s short, personal, and highly anecdotal; does it count as an argumentative article? Maybe, maybe not. What this article does do is express a worldview and message that’s incredibly important for university students.

Fleeting friendships aren’t just an exchange student phenomenon. They’re a life phenomenon, particularly for us at SFU, a school that we frequently criticize for its lack of long-lasting relationships. Remembering that there’s value in the friends you make along the way even if they don’t ride the whole route with you is big.

 

On Stop-and-Frisk, We Can’t Celebrate Just YetPhillip Atiba Goff, The New York Times

Goff’s piece talks about the stop-and-frisk practices of police officers in New York City, which are particularly biased against Black and Latinx people. I found myself drawn to Goff’s assessment of how we talk about the effects of certain police practices on a community.

“Crime has traditionally been the only outcome deemed important enough to measure,” Goff writes. “A recent National Academies of Sciences report on proactive policing lamented that compared with the research on how policing influences crime rates, ‘there is proportionally very little’ research on racial bias or the social consequences of police contact.”

We talk about how a practice affects the crime rate — and never in terms of the damage we do in the process of trying to change that crime rate. We measure the success or failure of a police force by their effect on crime, and that makes sense . . . if not for all the innocent, marginalized people that get hurt as an aside. Our way of thinking about law enforcement aims has to change.

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