Monday, January 27, 2014
Cultivating Change, Cultivating Anger
Recently I've been angry. Not hormonal, not social life or family related, not logical, just enraged. The first incident was after I finished reading Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine (an excellent and sarcastic read on all of those neuroscience studies that are like LOOK! We didn't make up all those gender stereotypes, here's some questionable data that just happens to prove all the stereotypes we believe in!). The book really revved my feminist engine (in a good way), and I went into this long, teary rant about how it's despicable that if I were to dress my son in a skirt, people would suspect some pernicious agenda, but putting him in pants would be perfectly normal and ungendered, whatever my child's sex. I was just bawling honestly, because our society is broken, transwomen are questioned on their genitalia, women are chastised for breastfeeding publicly while surrounded by images of breasts advertising products, people become objects to be acted upon, and men are suffering under the burden of masculinity. I cringe daily at how I see and hear educated people behave.
I am reminded of a quote, "It is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." People call me oversensitive or say I have a one track mind, but dammit if that's not what they've said to every activist. George Washington should've chilled out about the whole subjugation by England thing, Sojourner Truth should've been like "well, I guess I'm not a woman... what's for dinner? (oh right, I'm making it)", Theodor Herzl should've thought "this country in Palestine thing seems hella tumultuous," and Beethoven should've taken a sedative. How can I calm down? How can I stop? The number of enslaved people in the world is at an all time high , and I just sit back down and watch the Goddady.com commercial? I'm sorry but that is not why I exist. Even though I volunteer, am in clubs, etc, I never feel like I'm doing enough. A typical life in the suburbs is not failure, but it's also not for me. If I am not part of the cycle of inspiration and knowledge every day of my life, I kinda feel lazy. Now, this is also a recipe for crazy sauce, but it also cooks up a mean batch of change.
Others' attempts to quell your anger may inadvertently silence you. While this must be balanced with reasonable concession and respectability, every firework needs a catalyst. And every person affects their cause.
And here are some lovely videos from my newest inspiration, Melissa Harris- Perry
Fight on my friends,