The whole semester we were given talks by people who called themselves activists – people who fought for causes usually in relation to important social issues in our country – but do I need to be as “active” as them to call myself some sort of activist? Do I have to be “active” to be considered a fighter for a certain cause?
I guess no one really can be called a fighter without making some sort of action. After all, boxers and martial artists do not win fights by simply standing around there in the ring with their opponents. To win any sort of fight, you have to do something. But the thing is, the term activist has brought along many negative connotations with it. “Anak, ‘wag ka na pumunta sa UP. Magiging aktibista ka lang doon,” is something I’ve actually heard from people. Whether it was a joke or a statement really made by someone’s parents, the point that comes across is that there is a negative connotation in being a UP student and being an activist. So why would I bother being an active UP student, or further even, an activist? Why would I subject a negative outlook upon myself?
The solution to this is to avoid the stereotype. Fighting is necessary to win fights (obviously) or arguments, but we do not have to fight and be violent and radical to get our points across. To be an activist, in my opinion, you do not need to further that stereotype. You can fight for your causes in subtle ways. As long as you are persistent, you do not have to be radical. Avoiding being radical can even bring others to your cause too.