Take Pride in Who We are
We have become a nation ruled by legislation that fuels phobias instead of progress.
by Susan E. Stutz
Ten years ago (almost to the day) my first article was published by the folks at Everyday Feminism and it spoke of my awakening to the reality of the world we live in and how I had come to realize that all of my doubts and questions about sexuality, gender, and race have proved to be warranted. That awakening has continued unabated ever since. Every day, I learn something new. Every day, one more scale falls from my eyes. Every day, one more thing I took for granted to be true, proves to be a lie.
To this day, one of the most important lessons I learned was that there is enormous privilege in studying oppression without having to live it. I am a woman, but I am a white woman which comes with oppression to be sure but not anything as compared to what others suffer. Our country has made great strides over the last few hundred years where women are concerned, but we still have so very far to go. We remain a land where the pinnacle of success is seemingly barred to all but a chosen few. Women are at least 50% of the population but are considered second class citizens. People of color continue to occupy the role of the other and are pigeon-holed into a narrow set of positions that are acceptable by the ruling classes as their success strikes fear in the hearts of those at the top.
Additionally, there will come a point in the not-too-distant future when humanity in its current state will be no more than a blip on Earth's timeline. As with every other being, we will evolve into newer versions in order to meet the challenges of the day and our future selves may look back on us as we do on our predecessors–as oddities that have yet to realize their full potential. And, that presumes we survive the next mass extinction (of which there have been 5 thus far). Whether we recognize our former selves when the time comes, remains to be seen. In the interim however, we should take pride in who we are and not enact laws that feed the phobias of a few.
We have become a nation ruled by legislation that fuels phobias instead of progress. And, although it may at times feel like we are screaming into the void, scream we must. We must do all that we can to keep the precipice that we stand on from falling from beneath our feet.
“When you are writing laws you are testing words to find their utmost power. Like spells, they have to make things happen in the real world, and like spells, they only work if people believe in them.” –Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
States across this country have enacted voting laws that single out communities of color in the hopes of barring their access to the ballot. Many are pushing through legislation that outlaws, among other things, medical treatment for transgender individuals and calls for neighbors to report each other. And, more still are hammering away at women’s reproductive rights following the Dobbs opinion. In the freest country in the world, instead of marching forward, we find ourselves led by representatives that are trying to silence us by banning books, banning the word gay, and restricting displays of rainbows.
Want to let your representative know how you feel on these issues or any others? Text STATE to 50409 and as always, let your thumbs do the talking. Not sure what to say? The following are a few of the petitions superuser Jess Craven has written on the topics of LGTBQIA, voting rights, and the Equality Act.
Thank you to Elena and Jessica!