Can We Critique and Honor at the Same Time?




With the recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Carly discusses how it is possible to both honor and critique an icon. She dives into this issue further talking about how to practice this in our personal lives too - seeing multiple perspectives about our own experiences. Nothing is ever good or bad, it's often everything at once.


Please note, this episode has been transcribed by a computer, expect some typos!


Carly Puch

Welcome back to another episode of Consciously Clueless. Thank you for joining me on another solo episode. If you are getting ready for the week, and it's Sunday evening, or maybe it's Monday morning and you're driving to work for whatever day it is, I'm really glad you're here. Before we get going, I am going to read the review of the week from Apple podcasts. This five star review is titled love this for my conscious heart. Caprice crystal from Canada writes, I stumbled across this podcast and Carly's Instagram randomly. I feel her and her guests are speaking from my own heart and head, she gives people the platform to talk about what is important in life. For those who want to make a difference. This podcast is for you. Thank you, Carly. Thank you Caprice for writing this review. I love that you said for those who want to make a difference, because that's always on my mind as these conversations will motivate people.

So today's conversation is really important and really timely. Recently, Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, leaving a incredible legacy behind her on the Supreme Court. There have been so many articles and posts written about all of the amazing things she's done. For years, I have looked up to her as a feminist icon, have a shirt with her face on it. She truly became this star in the last few years and this face of feminism. And that is so so important to have those people for young ones to look up to, and for us to look up to anybody to look up to. She did so much for people in this country to so much specifically for women in this country. But there are a lot of people, specifically people of color, talking about some of the decisions she made on the Supreme Court, that did not always include them. And I think it's really important to talk about those. And in that vein, I've been thinking about the both and when two things can be true at the same time, this theme seems to come up again and again in life. But can you critique someone and honor them at the same time? Or can you be critical of a situation and also see its value?

This question can apply really to anything in life. So starting with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, otherwise known as RBG, she was a trailblazer, truly a trailblazer for women in this country. She was a part of so many landmark decisions. And a lot of the things we can do as women today, we can give her credit for. But there have been some articles that I've been digging into about things I didn't know because my privilege didn't make me have to know them. They weren't decisions that affected me. That is what privilege does. You only see what affects you. But there have been some decisions, specifically, for example, there was a vote to allow the Atlantic coast pipeline to pass through indigenous Appalachian territory. And that decision could result in cultural genocide. That pipeline goes through ancestral land. And she voted to let it go. I didn't know of that boat that didn't make the headlines that I was seeing. And I can honor her and think of all the amazing things she's done. And also think that that was a really shitty decision. And that was a really, really damaging decision. There is an article called BIPOC Women have valid critiques of rbg, they deserve to be heard by Saeeda Shabazz. And she really summed it up with this sentence, "Their criticisms aren't meant to tarnish her legacy. They're meant to point out that no one is perfect and detail how we can continue to do better"

I really loved what she said here, because that's the both and that's the saying, Wow, she did so much. She was an incredible human. And then also saying, there are some things that could have been better She wasn't perfect. That's what happens when you become an icon, that it's like everything you have to do is measured against perfection. And when we get into that territory holding anybody up to that standard, we're bound to get disappointed. And it's also okay to say, she was amazing. And she had some shitty votes. Both of those things are true, doesn't take away from her legacy. But we have to be able to talk about those things in order to do better next time. And I honestly believe that she would want that, that she would want that conversation to be really truthful. And so this doesn't just apply to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this applies to so many things.

At least, when my brain started spiraling on this, it made sense to me, so stay with me. But I think sometimes we want to make things all or nothing, they're good or bad. That person is good or bad, that relationship was good or bad. That job was good or bad, that experience was good or bad. That day was good or bad. Whatever it is, humans really like to see things in black and white layout to categorize things, we like to make it easy. But everything is more likely in that gray zone. And that in between zone. Today was good and shitty things happened. That relationship was hard. And it taught me so much. That experience was traumatizing. And here's how I'm stronger. There are so many situations where we can both honor and critique. Or we can both celebrate, and talk about flaws. And I think it's really important to be able to do that no matter what the situation or the topic or the conversation. Because it really just reminds ourselves and the people around us that being a human is really messy

And this is not to excuse, bad decisions or to not hold people accountable. But it's a reminder that, again, that idea of perfection is just bullshit, we have to get rid of it, I just wish that word didn't exist, because it's not real. And the more we chase it, the more disappointed we get, the more we want the person we look up to to be perfect, the less they're perfect, the more we want ourselves to be perfect. The less we are, the more of our flaws we see, we have to be able to do both. We can't make things all good or bad because they're not seldom are things all good or bad. They are everything in between moment to moment, day to day, month to month, year to year, whatever it is, things are so much more complicated. And I also think it's really important to hear people's critiques of something specifically, when you've never thought of them. It's easy to get defensive. You know, my white feminism, it's easy to say, oh my gosh, I don't want to hear about those critiques of rbg. Because she's so important to me. But that's not fair because those critiques are coming from people whose experience was so different from mine. And I have to be able to hear those. And I have to be able to try and understand them. Just like if you haven't had an experience, and somebody else has, and not on a scale of like a Supreme Court justice, but someone talks about their day. And you try to tell them that it's okay, everything's fine. It wasn't that bad. Like you don't know how their day was. You have to listen to what they tell you. Listen to other people's experiences, listen to other people's critiques. Listen to other people's words. So I guess I started this podcast and talking about critiquing and honoring at the same time, which I still think is important, but it really comes down to listening to voices that are different than yours.

Because it would be easy for me to ignore those critiques. Full disclosure, it would be so easy to not read those articles and only read the ones that talk about how amazing she was. But that isn't the full story. And that isn't fair to all those people who feel like they can't look at her like an icon And I have to be willing to hear that we have to be willing to hear that. Just like we have to be willing to hear critiques, and celebrations of everything in life. That's how we learn and grow. I mean, if you're listening to this podcast, you're probably all about learning and growing and trying to understand the world better. And I think that's a huge part of it. I'm no expert, I'm still learning. But that ability to pause and listen, before getting defensive, if that skill could be more widely available, I think conversations specifically right now in our world would go a lot better. And I want you I want you to think about that. Like, if you are someone listening to this podcast, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, first of all, I hope you know who that is. But if you don't quick Google, but if you have looked at her like an icon like I have, and you heard me start talking about critiques, how did that make you feel? Didn't make you feel upset? And that's okay, that's a normal response. But can you sit with that, and hear it and then move forward? Not just sit in that and ignore what people are trying to tell you, or what people are trying to talk about. Because it's the critiques of things like that, that have gone on heard for so long. And it's a way of living that just isn't sustainable.

We can't continue to view things as good or bad. It doesn't work like that. It doesn't work to say that breakup was all good. That breakup was all bad, that friendship. It's all good. That friendship is all bad. It's never like that. And that's okay. Humans are messy. We screw up all the time. We lead with our egos, instead of our hearts so often. But can we slow down and listen? And hear those other voices? And can we slow down and listen and just see things from a different perspective? Maybe it's not another voice. Maybe it's your own experience? Maybe there's something in your life right now that you're just seeing as negative, it's all negative. But what did it teach you? Maybe that experience taught you something? Maybe you know, yourself better now. And maybe you're holding something up on a pedestal. But there's probably some things you could look at, to critique that as well. Find that middle ground, I hesitate to use the word balance because I think in the health and wellness sphere, it gets thrown out like confetti.

But there is something to be said about finding that balance, finding that in between spot where you can do both, and it's a practice. It is such a practice, to be able to not See things in black and white or not try to categorize them in that way. But it's so worth doing because in the long run, it ends up that you can see humanity more clearly you can see your life situations. more clearly, you can have empathy for other people's experiences, you can learn from your own experiences instead of just categorizing them as good or bad. So I think we can honor and we can critique. Both can be true at the same time. Both are valid, both need to be heard.

Thanks for listening to another episode of consciously clueless. If you are enjoying this podcast, make sure to hit subscribe wherever you're listening. If you want to help me get this into the ears of more listeners, share it with a friend, send it to a family member, post on social media, whatever it is, I would so appreciate it. And if you want to be read as a review of the week in the future, head to Apple podcasts lever you and you could be read on air. Until next time.