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Ann Dixon's picture

costs and the call to generosity

While Anne joined Cixous in calling us to "be generous and share everything" and even describing the more reticent of us as "selfish," I vigorously disagree (and this is coming from the alum sitting in the corner recording the conversation). The idea of equating generosity with participation in public conversation doesn't address the disparity of costs to the individual. While someone with an extroverted personality would incur almost no costs in speaking up and speaking out in the world, someone with an introverted personality would incur extraordinary costs for the same act.

For there to be equitable generosity, we would need to construct a scenario where an extrovert would incur extraordinary costs, too. What would that be? (I don't have any idea, but maybe an extrovert might give us some insights.)

Alternatively, we could change the definition of generosity so that it doesn't extract the high toll on certain individuals. Must we expect all feminists to perform public acts that are excruciating? Why can't our diversity inform our definitions, acts and movement?

Ann

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