Sunday, February 10, 2008

"...You are my sweetest downfall..."

I'm sitting here at Crazy Mocha reading over my policy memo to CIVIC and the more I read it over, the more I dislike it.

(Let me just make an aside and tell you that part of my irritation right now may be coming from the fact that the woman sitting next to me is listening to music on her laptop WITHOUT HEADPHONES. And I can hear it both over the music in the coffee shop and the Patty Griffin I am listening to on my headphones. She's violating a norm. And I should say something to her, but quiet frankly, I don't want to talk to anyone who listens to Taylor Swift in public.)

I think I dislike my memo for the same reason I ended up disliking my policy paper last term about reforming Sudanese rape laws: It's because realistically I know policy reform and norm building are really difficult things to execute. I know if the Sudanese government read my policy paper about reforming rape laws, the reccommendations would have been completely ignored (partially because I am a Westerner and partially because I am a woman -- which, whatever, they're entitled to their cultural norms but only to the extent that those norms don't turn into policies that actually end up endangering women even more.)

I find myself being much more of a realist these days. I fear that building a norm that would hold governments accountable for the harm they cause to civilians during war is next to impossible.

My policy memo is written with a light of hope and idealism shining on it. But my downfall these days is allowing my hopefullness to be severely tempered by doubt - doubt that the humanity of well... most humans... is enough to rely upon.


Mercedes said...

I also hate my policy memo. Except, I hate mine because I think it's crap, and I can't seem to write a decent one.

Anyway, I know what you mean. It's hard to stick with idealism when you actually have to observe the real world. Sucks.

Becky said...

Cheer up PeaceTurkey! The worlds not all bad. I'll prove it tomorrow night over wine and celebrations!