Social issues used to be all about taking one’s place as an equal and taking no shit and being strong. It was all about empowerment. The message was “I am not a victim! I am strong and capable and awesome! I won’t let anyone bring me down!” It was all about solidarity and unity and all the different demographics linking hands and standing together!
Now it’s about division, blame, and standing apart to point fingers and making sure one’s identity as a victim is heard loud and clear. It’s devolved sadly into worshiping victimhood and treating people like fragile baby birds who can’t handle themselves in the world. Who need trigger warnings and special labels and utmost deference. It’s like people need a sense of victimhood as an identity and they need to control what everyone says and does because, god forbid, they might get offended.
For fucks sake, no one respects a victim! Step the fuck up, be fearless, and assume your equality and power. I want to see a world where men, women, transgendered, black, white, mulatto, rich, poor, gay, bi, straight, etc. are sitting at tables together enjoying their diversity and helping each other out. We will never get there if we aren’t making a concerted effort to empower each other, empower our selves, and start looking for similarities rather than differences. And, if you run into an asshole, or even a ton of assholes, welcome to life. That happens. No one gets to avoid that.
We move forward through positivity, and turning anger into passion, not hate. We move forward by claiming equality and living it and not allowing ourselves to be a victim when some dickhead doesn’t get it. We reach out to each other and talk openly and without rancor.
Women didn’t get the right to vote through claiming victimhood. It wasn’t until they refused to be victims that they got that right. Misandry didn’t get them there, because you can’t become equal with what you hate, because then you become what you hate. Women rejecting and blaming men did not make the right to vote happen. Men and women standing together in solidarity made that right happen. Love won.
Black people didn’t see an end to segregation through blame and debate and whining, they got it through solidarity with all the other races and welcoming them as allies rather than rejecting them and being uptight. Black and white people marched together. The people who preached division and “us vs them” did not end segregation. The ones who reached out with love and humanity and inclusiveness increased their numbers until they became an unstoppable force. Love won.
Gay people didn’t get the right to marry through hating on straight people and blasting them on twitter and tumblr. They unified with straight, bi and other people. Everyone who cared about equality banded together to make it happen. Gay people didn’t do it alone. They didn’t do it through pointing fingers or rejecting straight allies. Solidarity with people who were not gay made it happen. Love won.
No one gets what they want alone. You can’t just stick to “your kind” and endlessly talk about how “they” are keeping you down. You talk with “them” and you befriend “them” and you stop talking shit about “them” and you educate “them” and you treat “them” as you’d like to be treated, and you show “them” that you’re really quite a lot like them, and then “us vs them” becomes “we”.
It’s not easy. At all. Anger and frustration can overwhelm us. But if we turn that to hate and division, then we all lose. We have to actively work at checking ourselves before we blame and point fingers and instead make ourselves take a higher road from a place of simultaneous passion and reason. Of inclusiveness, not judgement.
Fuck division and victimhood. It’s time again for unity, solidarity and mutual empowerment! Love wins.
© 2015 William Suphan
- Bonsai Boy
- Anger and Activism