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Conflict Is Not Abuse

Sarah Schulman in conversation on Autostraddle (Jun 2017)

Sarah Schulman talks about her book Conflict Is Not Abuse on the great website Autostraddle.

"Some people are overstating harm for supremacist reasons. Like white people who claim that they’re being oppressed by immigrants. And some people are doing it for traumatized reasons. They can’t bear to be self-critical because they are so fragile they can barely hold it together. But the fact remains that if you are on the receiving end of this, whether it’s from supremacy or trauma, it can destroy your life. It happens all the time, it happens every day.

"I think we should call off shunning. You know, there are people who had an argument 17 years ago and one person still won’t speak to them - their friends have to intervene and say 'come on, I’m not gonna support you in this anymore, it’s time for us to all sit down and talk.' And if the person won’t talk then the friend should go to the object and say 'why do you think this is happening?' I think that’s the sentence that starts the repair process. 'Why do you think this is happening?'"

Now in its fourth printing, Conflict Is Not Abuse won the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Non-Fiction from the Publishing Triangle in April. You can read the interview in full here.