"Can't we just go back to making fun of Unicorn Moms?"
A question posed after a thread on Trump got a bit heated on my page. (SHOCKING, right?)
Truth be told, I wish we could go back to poking fun at online mom groups, and leave it at that. Those were simpler times, I suppose. We could all bond over the most ridiculous post of the day, gag over the latest photo of baby ass rash, and wonder why on earth women keep turning to mom groups for advice on vaccines. And hey, the payment for those days was being branded an online bully... maybe that's better than the liberal cunt/libtard names bestowed upon me today? Or maybe it's a wash.
Regardless, we can't go back. We can't go back because it's not acceptable for us to be silent bystanders or observers when we have an administration under Trump. Not that it ever was, to be clear. But while we were able to get away with performative allyship for so long, unaware such a thing even existed, it's not enough for us to balk in silent protest, or not participate, as though that absolves us of the responsibility to call out racism and sexism — as though that excuses us from the actual part in which we resist, in which we take a stand and in which we don't leave the labor to everyone else.
To suggest that you don't care about politics, or don't want to be bothered with them, demonstrates your privilege to ignore what does not directly impact you. But, we are far past that now. We cannot ignore our underrepresented and marginalized groups of people under the pretense that they're not our "problem." The concept of equality and equal rights for all citizens is not a "problem" to have. A problem to have is a president, along with his cabinet and supporters, that push through policy which furthers the gap between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots, the whites and the rest. Long over are the days of saying, "I support XXX", while being too intimidated to march, write, call or act in such a way that shows true allyship with those we claim to support.
It's not enough to not hate. It's not enough to disagree passively. It's not enough to put the weight of the battle for these rights on those who haven't been given a voice to begin with. That's not what makes America great again. We're great when everyone has access to quality healthcare, job security, livable wages and a reasonable expectation of fair treatment under and by the law and those that enforce it.
My own journey in acknowledging my ignorance and my passiveness has spanned years... having first had to break down the walls established while raised in a conservative household. Now, I'm not here to debate conservative versus liberal. My childhood and upbringing were idyllic, but sheltered. It took me a long time to learn how to listen to others and identify the questions I needed to be asking. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you don't let Fox News do your thinking for you.
It was years and years before I was even introduced to concepts like privilege and white privilege, for example. Or cultural appropriateness. Or why responding to Black Lives Matter with "all lives matter" is so problematic, and entirely misses the point. I found myself in a lot of embarrassing conversations, ending with me tucking my tail behind my legs. And that's when I started listening, because you can't be an effective ally if you aren't listening to what exactly that means.
And it doesn't mean letting everyone else do the labor while you sit comfortably because you aren't directly affected.
"That explains a lot," parsed a Christian upset upon learning that I don't believe. I'm sure it was meant as an insult, but it really landed as a compliment. A lot of my passion for people having the freedom to live their lives the way they see fit regarding who they love, what they choose to do with their body and so on, correlates heavily with the time frame in which I said goodbye to my belief in a god. And when I made that choice, with it came a lot of heaviness. The weight of understanding I'm not going to see Grandma in heaven, for example. The finality... the concept of simply ceasing to exist — I'm still not convinced it's something humans are meant to grasp, and for that reason alone, I understand religion. But, in eliminating it from my life, I replaced this idea of "good and bad" with a refocused passion for everyone being able to do whatever it is they want with the one and only life they have. And that, in all honesty, has shaped my politics more than anything. And it's with that, that I take seriously the responsibility to ensure that everyone gets a shot at opportunity and life the way it should be... not the way a bunch of wealthy white men demand.
And so I'm sure my political posts are off-putting for those who originally followed me for other reasons, and that's a sacrifice I'll have to make. These days I'm done allowing my privilege as a white woman excuse me from having tough conversations simply because I don't have to. We all have to.