I’ve been thinking a little more about Dan’s observations on academic claims to marginalisation. I don’t really have much to offer on this topic, but I’ve been struck by a memory that it triggered.
On a particular occasion I decided to stay all night in the city, without food or money or anything like that – just to see what life is like for those who are in that situation. It was an interesting experience, trying to sleep in some bushes for a bit, moving to the doorway of a building, being moved along by some authorities, being yelled at by some drunk guys… Anyway, during the night I met a girl who was also walking the streets, and we got to chatting for a few hours. She was cursing about having only received “4.95 from the last guy.” Naively, I asked her what the payment was for – and she simply replied, “You do what you have to…”
So anyway, it’s made me think: When I’m tempted to put myself in the category of the marginalised, I’ll recall her gentle incredulity at my naive question… am I really going to equate my plight with hers?