There are so many thoughts and feelings that are swirling around in my head in this decisive political atmosphere that is America under its current leadership. I have voiced opposition or solidarity on a few things through Facebook and I will continue to do so as the time goes on. I have added my name to numerous petitions and even sent a few letters to politicians. Yet I feel I haven’t done enough. And then I wonder do I not do more because so much of it – while it hits my rage meter – doesn’t actually affect me?
I am white. I have not suffered the injustices my fellow humans of color have. I got pulled over the other day for speeding and never once feared for my life, only my own stupidity of speeding when late, knowing how fate likes to show you up. I have never been passed over for a job because of how my name sounded. I have never been on the receiving end of racial discrimination or prejudice.
I am bisexual. But my soulmate happens to be a male so to outsiders I am in a conventional marriage. I was able to marry with ease and legally. I am able to walk down the street holding my partner’s hand with no fear that we will be accosted. If we chose to adopt children there would be no road blocks other than the usual red-tape associated with adoption and no legal barriers preventing me because of who I am in a relationship with. Because I never had a need to come out I never had to deal with the “it’s a phase” or “you’ll outgrow it” or “you’re an abomination” conversations from loved ones or complete strangers. I have never been on the receiving end of sexual orientation discrimination or prejudice.
I am and come from the middle class. There was never a doubt that there would be food on my table. There was never a fear that I would lose my home. I have lived on my own and lived from paycheck to paycheck so I do have a small idea of what it must be like trying to decide if rent or dinner is more important. For a few months. Not my entire life. Not during my formative years. There were, and are, things I want but can’t afford, but my basic necessities like food, clean water, a home – those were never in doubt. I have never been on the receiving end class discrimination or prejudice.
I am a Christian. I wear crosses or shirts proclaiming my faith with no fear of someone pulling the cross from my neck or beating me up. I was able to find my faith in my own time and my own way. Yet, I am able to go to a place of worship and not have cops there to protect me. I am able to say proudly what my faith is with no fear of vitriol of hate being flung in my direction. I have never been on the receiving end of religious discrimination or prejudice.
I have access to health care. Even when my monetary situation prevented me from having insurance I had access to Planned Parenthood. I was able to walk in and get the pill or the help I needed after my miscarriage. I didn’t fear for my life when walking into Planned Parenthood but I certainly took note that it was in an unmarked building, with bullet proof glass and a guarded entrance. I have never not been able to care for me or my family when we were sick. I could afford Urgent Care when Evie got her eye infection. I could afford to fix Evie’s club foot. I was never denied coverage.
I am a woman. I have been catcalled. I do walk with my keys threaded in my fingers at night when walking across parking lots, no matter how well-lit, or at gas stations, and even in my own neighborhood. I spend an inordinate amount of time framing my words in work emails to make sure I’m not being too demure or too demanding. I have been told to smile. I have been told to watch my weight – to keep my man. I have been called a bitch. I have been told not to wear pants at a work function. But I have never been attacked or raped. I’ve never been abused either verbally or physically by someone I love, dated or a complete stranger.
I see the world through a slightly rose-tinted glass of privilege. I know this about myself. I take the time to learn about those who live without that rose-tint. I learn from the experiences my friends have gone through or experience on a daily basis. I do cause arguments when I stand up for people. It hasn’t stopped me from opening my mouth.
But is merely opening my mouth enough? In this day and age anyone can sit behind a keyboard and open their mouth. Fake news, alternative facts, hate, bigotry, sexism, racism, homophobia can all be easily discriminated and thrown in your face. Yet, am I really combating that by writing my blog post? Am I changing anyone’s attitude by ranting about the injustices on Facebook? Is there something MORE I can be doing?
There must be something more I can do. Something more I can do to make my daughter grow up seeing her privilege but fighting for those who don’t have the same opportunities as she has had. Something more I can do to make sure the world that we create for her is safe and full of kindness and love.