What is a radical? It seems today that people are terrified of the term, particularly of having the label attach to them. 【Q16】Accusing individuals or groups of being radical often serves to silence them into submission, thereby, maintaining the existing state of affairs, and, more important, preserving the power of a select minority, who are mostly wealthy white males in western society.
Feminism is a perfect example of this phenomenon. The women's movement has been plagued by stereotypes, misrepresentations by the media, and accusations of man-hating and radicalism. When the basic foundation of feminism is simply that women deserve equal rights in all facets of life. When faced with the threat of being labelled radical, women back down from their worthy calls and consequently, participate in their own oppression.
It has gotten to the point that many women are afraid to call themselves feminists because of a stigma attached to the word. If people refused to be controlled, and intimidated by stigmas, the stigmas lose all their power, without fear on which they feed, such stigmas can only die.
To me, 【Q17】a radical is simply someone who rebels against the norm when advocates a change in the existing state of affairs. On close inspection, it becomes clear that the norm is constantly involving, and therefore, is not a constant entity.
So why then, is deviation from the present situation such a threat, when the state of affairs itself is unstable and subject to relentless transformation?
It all goes back to maintaining the power of those who have it and preventing the right of those who don't. In fact, when we look at the word "radical" in a historical context, nearly every figure we now hold up as a hero was considered a radical in his or her time. Radicals are people who affect change. They are the people about whom history is written. Abolitionists were radicals, civil rights activists were radicals, 【Q18】 even the founders of our country in their fight to win independence from England were radicals. Their presence in history has changed the way our society functions, mainly by shifting the balance of power that previously existed. Of course, there are some radicals who've made a negative impact on humanity, 【Q18】 but undeniably, there would simply be no progress without radicals. That been said, next time someone calls me a radical, I would accept that label with pride.
Question 16: What usually happens when people are accused of being radical?
Question 17: What is the speaker's definition of a radical?
Question 18: What does the speaker think of most radicals in the American history?