What To Do and What Not To Do
Several years ago, I started a blog called FWG, or, Fucking White Guys. I had gone through a solid 35 years of being treated poorly, from missed opportunities in the arts, sports and various jobs because they hired a man for the job (not because he was better, but because I am a woman,) to being harrassed and hit on by employers who had no understanding of the power dynamic (so they all claimed) between us.
I was angry. I was hurt. I had no power at all to fight back. So I wrote an angry blog every week for a while, until one of my dearest white male friends told me that it hurt his feelings. So I stopped. I don't regret stopping, but every time I have to explain to a white male how damaging it is to live your life in some way powerless and oppressed, only to get the "you're exaggerating" or the "sexism doesn't exist" reply, it reminds me of the days where I was writing about the experience of oppression and the anger that results from that experience.
Since the election, I have read many articles and blog posts blaming different groups for Trump's victory. The one that has me the most frustrated is the blaming of white women for his success.
I believe that Trump's victory is on everyone's hands. Some of us did not vote for him, but the culture that has led us to this horrifying point has been one in which we have all participated to one extent or another. A reality TV star just won the US Presidential race. He has started appointing racist misogynistic people to his cabinet. This culture has tolerated this behavior to the point that it is acceptable. We, all of us, participate in this culture.
For those of us who have been outraged all along, our silence has come back to haunt us. So. There is that. But then there is the other thing. What am I supposed to say to the white men I love when they tell me that they are just going to hunker down and endure the next four years? When so many of us do not have that luxury? That Trump is our president, and he deserves my respect? I mean, so far, I have been saying, "fuck off," but that doesn't seem to be all that effective.
The more troubling part of this is that there is a huge segment of the popuation of this country who doesn't really care about the oppression of people anywhere, let alone in their own country. From where I am sitting, the US, which at one time stood for inclusiveness, diversity and liberty is now overtly (because, let's face it, this country has always been racist and sexist ever since the whites arrived on the east coast) moving toward an oppressive and totalitarian regime, while the majority of us suffer, and a portion of us don't seem to care because they are not affected.
The good news is, I am different. I am not going to be writing angry posts about white men because I know that the problem with white men is that they have never felt oppression, nor have they ever felt the need to deal in what ever way necessary in order to survive. So, I am doing something different.
Though some of my friends and relatives might think this is not enough, I believe it to be the start of a revolution. I am giving out free images of love to plaster all over the fences, windows and walls of the buildings of this country to drown out the hate. It is what I can do. The other thing is that I am no longer participating in a system which seeks to harm so many all over the world. I am not going to be paying taxes until things change, I will not be paying back my student loans because the government makes so much money off of them, and I am filing for bankruptcy because the banks are the backbone of this world's financial problems.
I will still do what I have always done; buy local exclusively, speak out against oppression, help people whenever I can and pay as little of my money to the oil companies as possible by commuting exclusively by bicycle.
I will be proactive in my health care so that I never have to rely on the broken health insurance system or the doctors that are paid to prescribe me drugs that I do not need.
I have also started contacting women's groups all over the country and donating my coloring book to them to print up and hand out to anyone who needs it or wants it.
And though I am outraged, I will do the best I can to not tell people who don't think it's their problem to fuck off. Because, as we have seen, that is most likely at least part of why we have found ourselves in the position we are in.
Honestly, I am hoping that this will be one of my last political posts, but I can't promise anything. I will be still on the self-love, body-positive theme, but I will also be spending time and energy speaking out against oppression and hate. It has come to the point where not doing so is too painful.
11/16/2016 03:30:50 pm
Amen to that, but I will add the caveat that note that even though most white men certainly benefit from white skin privilege, I have worked with so many, many white men without economic privilege that I tend to more or less exclude them from the equation because most of them are not the problem; they are busy trying to be a part of the solution.
11/22/2016 01:37:21 pm
Hey Chris! Thanks so much for your feedback. I would like you to dress as a woman and work for one month in any organization. Then talk to me about most white men. It is a completely different power dynamic, I promise you.
11/21/2016 10:15:29 pm
Rock on sister Sara! My plan is to print the digital images you've shared on labels and sticking them everywhere I go. Leaving a trail of love. Thanks for sharing your love and passion to heal.
11/22/2016 01:38:04 pm
Thanks so much sister Glo!!! You rock my little world!
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