Activism: the big fatigue

Today’s activists are devoting all their time to the cause they defend, sometimes to the point of cracking. Whether they are ecologists, feminists or even yellow vests, many of them have been confronted with the symptoms of burnout. Testimonials.

“That night, I slept two hours. On June 23, a message appears on Paye Ta Shnek’s Facebook page., platform famous for being the first to have published the testimonials of victims of street harassment. Posted by the founder of this Tumblr, Ana?s Bourdet, the message is long.

After seven years of activism, and the day after an evening where she was a victim and witnessed five assaults in twenty minutes, Ana?s is tired. Exhausted even. ” I can not anymore. I can not do it anymore, “she wrote. Because anger and helplessness gnaw her, she announces the end of Pay Ta Shnek, which will remain online but will not publish any more testimonials. In the process, she receives thousands of thanks.

Unknown people, but also sisters of struggle. “All my girlfriends engaged on these subjects are in the same state as me. We work 36 hours a day, we end up in tears, we do not win anything and there are always more victims.

With the hashtag #PayeTonBurnOutMilitant, activists express their fatigue and their frustrations on social networks. The epidemic seems massive. For example, members of Feminist Against Cyber ??Harassment announce that, from now on, they will no longer help victims of cyberviolence. “After a while the workload and the mental load are such that it becomes difficult to manage everything.

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Burnout is when it becomes physically impossible to continue. After our forum on the League of LOLI was sick, my body said stop, “says Laure Salmona, co-founder of the collective. Renouncing the accompaniment of victims leaves him with a bitter feeling. “This decision, whether we took it and we continued to exist, or we exploded in full flight,” she slice.

“BETWEEN MILITANT LIFE AND PERSONAL LIFE, EVERYTHING MIXES. MARIE LAGUERRE, AN ACTIVIST AGAINST STREET HARASSMENT”.

The burn-outwould be an evil that lurks every volunteer. And they are many. In France, 13 million people, one in four adults *, are volunteers in an association. For most of them, this remains an occasional activity. But some find themselves doing a lot more. Because they have launched an online petition, a hashtag on Twitter, an Instagram page, initiated an event or made the buzz with a video, ordinary citizens are transformed overnight into ultra-solicited activists. “The militancy changes, observes the sociologist Sylvie Ollitrault. Before, there were mostly militant organizations, like Greenpeace or the CFDT, with protocols, lawyers, employees. Militancy was learning little by little. There, we see sporadic groups appearing self-organize or single people. The company likes whistleblowers. “Marie Laguerre , who became spokesperson for the fight against street harassment following the mass broadcast of the video of her assault in Paris in July 2018, answered thousands of messages in one year, expressed herself in media from all over the world … and finished exhausted: “In my head, I can not do it anymore, so tired I am. It’s been months that I’m exhausted … It’s been a hurricane in my life. I wanted to have an impact as long as I had the opportunity. And the sprint never stopped. “

At the root of the implosion is an overloaded schedule. Between interviews, writing of press releases, organization of actions, demonstrations, management of social networks, awareness-raising work, responses to victims, the list of tasks is endless. “It takes me four to five hours a day, not counting meetings. We also have a WhatsApp loop for the association office, which receives up to 400 messages per day. Interviews can begin at 5:30 to finish at half past midnight, “said spokeswoman Dare the feminism! Rapha?lle R?my-Leleu. “The fact that there is no frame is exhausting. Between militant life and personal life, everything mixes, “adds Marie Laguerre.

At work tirelessly – and without pay – is added violence. To be a visible figure of feminism is to confront daily stories of sexual assault, rape, harassment … “When a woman is in distress, it must be answered. There are really terrible stories. Anxiety accumulates, it can also awaken trauma … It’s hard, “says Laure Salmona. No fight escapes it. Forced to watch thousands of images of animal abuse for her association Vegan Impact, Alexandra Blanc is disgusted: “Slaughterhouse videos drive me crazy. Sometimes I just do not have the strength to look at them. I had a depression because of all these pictures. Jacline Mouraud, pioneer of the yellow vests movement, has also had its share of suffocating messages. “People have found an outlet through me. I received an avalanche of testimonies that made me aware of the economic misery in France. Someone wrote to me: ‘My pension will go down again, I want to die’. In these situations, it’s difficult to put distance. Especially when added to personal attacks whose activists are often the target. “I received threats of excruciating violence,” says Jacline Mouraud. A man wanted to decapitate me, another to slaughter me, I was told: ‘We are going to shoot you between the two eyes.’ For a fortnight, I did not leave my house, and my companion did not go to work to protect me, “she says, still shaken. “People have found an outlet through me. I received an avalanche of testimonies that made me aware of the economic misery in France. Someone wrote to me: ‘My pension will go down again, I want to die’. In these situations, it’s difficult to put distance. Especially when added to personal attacks whose activists are often the target. “I received threats of excruciating violence,” says Jacline Mouraud. A man wanted to decapitate me, another to slaughter me, I was told: ‘We are going to shoot you between the two eyes.’ For a fortnight, I did not leave my house, and my companion did not go to work to protect me, “she says, still shaken. “People have found an outlet through me. I received an avalanche of testimonies that made me aware of the economic misery in France. Someone wrote to me: ‘My pension will go down again, I want to die’. In these situations, it’s difficult to put distance. Especially when added to personal attacks whose activists are often the target. “I received threats of excruciating violence,” says Jacline Mouraud. A man wanted to decapitate me, another to slaughter me, I was told: ‘We are going to shoot you between the two eyes.’ For a fortnight, I did not leave my house, and my companion did not go to work to protect me, “she says, still shaken. I received an avalanche of testimonies that made me aware of the economic misery in France. Someone wrote to me: ‘My pension will go down again, I want to die’. In these situations, it’s difficult to put distance. Especially when added to personal attacks whose activists are often the target. “I received threats of excruciating violence,” says Jacline Mouraud. A man wanted to decapitate me, another to slaughter me, I was told: ‘We are going to shoot you between the two eyes.’ For a fortnight, I did not leave my house, and my companion did not go to work to protect me, “she says, still shaken. I received an avalanche of testimonies that made me aware of the economic misery in France. Someone wrote to me: ‘My pension will go down again, I want to die’. In these situations, it’s difficult to put distance. Especially when added to personal attacks whose activists are often the target. “I received threats of excruciating violence,” says Jacline Mouraud. A man wanted to decapitate me, another to slaughter me, I was told: ‘We are going to shoot you between the two eyes.’ For a fortnight, I did not leave my house, and my companion did not go to work to protect me, “she says, still shaken. wrote: ‘My retirement will fall further, I want to die’. In these situations, it’s difficult to put distance. Especially when added to personal attacks whose activists are often the target. “I received threats of excruciating violence,” says Jacline Mouraud. A man wanted to decapitate me, another to slaughter me, I was told: ‘We are going to shoot you between the two eyes.’ For a fortnight, I did not leave my house, and my companion did not go to work to protect me, “she says, still shaken. wrote: ‘My retirement will fall further, I want to die’. In these situations, it’s difficult to put distance. Especially when added to personal attacks whose activists are often the target. “I received threats of excruciating violence,” says Jacline Mouraud. A man wanted to decapitate me, another to slaughter me, I was told: ‘We are going to shoot you between the two eyes.’ For a fortnight, I did not leave my house, and my companion did not go to work to protect me, “she says, still shaken. I have received threats of atrocious violence, says Jacline Mouraud. A man wanted to decapitate me, another to slaughter me, I was told: ‘We are going to shoot you between the two eyes.’ For a fortnight, I did not leave my house, and my companion did not go to work to protect me, “she says, still shaken. I have received threats of atrocious violence, says Jacline Mouraud. A man wanted to decapitate me, another to slaughter me, I was told: ‘We are going to shoot you between the two eyes.’ For a fortnight, I did not leave my house, and my companion did not go to work to protect me, “she says, still shaken

“I WENT THROUGH MOMENTS OF DEEP DOUBT, IN WHICH I TOLD MYSELF THAT MONSANTO WAS GOING TO CRUSH ME. PAUL FRAN?OIS, FARMER POISONED BY PESTICIDES”,

As in the professional world, the symptoms of militant burnout are recognizable. “It starts with discrete signs, such as cognitive impairment, fatiguability, decreased profitability, and a denial of burnout. Then there is a major physical, psychological and cognitive exhaustion, with disturbances of concentration, logic and memory. Which entails physical risks (infarction, stroke, diabetes, muscle aches, etc.) and emotional collapse, “explains Marie Pez?*, doctor in psychology responsible for the network Suffering and work. A description in which recognize many activists. “I had tantrums, swinging my phone. Sometimes I spent so much time reading messages that I had migraines. It’s unhealthy, “says Dora Moutot, who created the Instagram account T’as joui?. The ecologist Alexandra White admits to having gone so far as to have suicidal thoughts. “Last year, I could not stand it anymore, I was going to cry in the arms of Brigitte Gothi?re, the founder of L214. It happened to me not to want to live anymore. I thought it would be better, a planet without humans. Of course, when the activist cracks, his whole life is impacted. After twelve years of legal battle against Monsanto, Paul Fran?ois, farmer poisoned by pesticides, can testify. “I went through moments of deep doubt, in which I told myself that Monsanto was going to crush me. We wake up at night with nightmares, we develop a little paranoid side, we say they are spying on us. It made me very irritable and it almost led to separation with my wife. “

Today, awareness is taking place. In militant circles, it is not uncommon to conclude a meeting or an email with a “Take care of yourself! Supported. While benevolent, the advice is not so easy to apply. “We must not overestimate our strengths, because, opposite, the inertia of the institutions is powerful. Changing the world takes time and confronts selfishness and human greed. As for the doctor in front of the patient, it is a question of finding the right distance. But is it easy in front of a raped woman, a child victim of abuse or migrants dying of hunger? Asks psychologist Marie Pez?. Even if they are still fumbling, activists are looking for their own solutions. Dora Moutot chose to no longer watch the hundreds of comments sent on “You enjoyed it? “. She also paused her Instagram account for a month. “I did well because I wanted subscribers to understand that there was only one person behind this account. When people are on permanent contracts, we accept that they take a vacation, so why would not the activists do it? Despite the fatigue, everyone decided not to let go. Jacline Mouraud is working on a tax reform project, Marie Laguerre is writing a book, Ana?s Bourdet is preparing a second season of her podcast, “Yesss”, and Paul Fran?ois is continuing his legal battle against Monsanto. For him, out of the question to give up: “If I have grandchildren, I can look them in the eyes and tell them that I have acted. ” because I wanted subscribers to understand that there was only one person behind this account. When people are on permanent contracts, we accept that they take a vacation, so why would not the activists do it? Despite the fatigue, everyone decided not to let go. Jacline Mouraud is working on a tax reform project, Marie Laguerre is writing a book, Ana?s Bourdet is preparing a second season of her podcast, “Yesss”, and Paul Fran?ois is continuing his legal battle against Monsanto. For him, out of the question to give up: “If I have grandchildren, I can look them in the eyes and tell them that I have acted. ” because I wanted subscribers to understand that there was only one person behind this account. When people are on permanent contracts, we accept that they take a vacation, so why would not the activists do it? Despite the fatigue, everyone decided not to let go. Jacline Mouraud is working on a tax reform project, Marie Laguerre is writing a book, Ana?s Bourdet is preparing a second season of her podcast, “Yesss”, and Paul Fran?ois is continuing his legal battle against Monsanto. For him, out of the question to give up: “If I have grandchildren, I can look them in the eyes and tell them that I have acted. ” so why would not the militants do it? Despite the fatigue, everyone decided not to let go. Jacline Mouraud is working on a tax reform project, Marie Laguerre is writing a book, Ana?s Bourdet is preparing a second season of her podcast, “Yesss”, and Paul Fran?ois is continuing his legal battle against Monsanto. For him, out of the question to give up: “If I have grandchildren, I can look them in the eyes and tell them that I have acted. ” so why would not the militants do it? Despite the fatigue, everyone decided not to let go. Jacline Mouraud is working on a tax reform project, Marie Laguerre is writing a book, Ana?s Bourdet is preparing a second season of her podcast, “Yesss”, and Paul Fran?ois is continuing his legal battle against Monsanto. For him, out of the question to give up: “If I have grandchildren, I can look them in the eyes and tell them that I have acted. ” have grandchildren, I can look them in the eyes and tell them that I have acted. ” have grandchildren, I can look them in the eyes and tell them that I have acted.

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Activism: the big fatigue. (2019, Dec 19). Retrieved from http://paperap.com/activism-the-big-fatigue-best-essay/

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