Frances Lee writes on the pitfalls of empathy and the commodification of suffering


Frances Lee’s article, “Seeking change without the commodification of pain and suffering,” was published in The Seattle Globalist on Dec 10. The Cultural Studies alum discusses how social movements rely on emotion and the dead end this creates. “If you don’t care about someone or a group of people until the media has made it abundantly clear that they are suffering, then your concern and engagement is not laudable, but ordinary, expected, and unremarkable.”

Lee invites readers to exercise more humanity toward communities in crisis, saying, “I believe we need to treat each other, our areas of capacity, our suffering, and their accompanying questions with much more care. And I believe that the bulk of the work we must do to support each other is impossible through social media.” Read the article.

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