As the floor was crumbling beneath me, my words were still vague and distant. Another writer suggested I write with anger. Today, I understand what he meant.
For every comment that tells me to ‘be open’ and ‘move on’, well, get ready. Let me clarify, this is not about the election. This is about abuse and hate.
Weeks before the election I could feel the emotions surface. Every woman I talked with was sensing the same anger, along with flashbacks of being objectified. So when someone tells me to ‘be open’ I want to know what they mean by being open. Do they mean be open to degrading remarks about women? Or blindly support hateful, violent statements? Maybe they mean being open to fights breaking out in schools due to threatening statements modeled after political leaders? I use the word leader purposefully, since representatives actually listen to voters. Open? Even something as simple as a hiker being subjected to the false accusation that forest fires were started by anti-Trump protesters. For the people who want me to be willing to give someone a chance, tell me, how ‘open’ are they/you/them/me/we to rational, respectful debate?
I will not be open to sexist, racists, hateful statements. When those comments are expressed by a person committed to dismantling women’s rights, natural resources and constitutional rights, I will not ‘be open’. I will continue to exercise my rights and responsibilities to protect laws and policies that have made America great. Even more important, I will continue to advocate for what makes humanity great. Greatness doesn’t just happen because of a slogan. Greatness comes from significant transformation. The turmoil that has infected America today is from a resistance to change, an attempt to go back, before civil rights, before women’s rights, before protection of national land. I have attempted to engage in dialogues, inquiring about women’s rights and the violent speech of the incoming leader. The responses, “I am not going to discuss this.” Lack of debate = lack of change.
In this world of Social Media I can find any information or fact to support my view. I can believe that the world is flat with a superficial ‘search’. https://flatearthscienceandbible.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/top-ten-undeniable-flat-earth-proofs/
Or, find amazingly creative reasons men are superior to women http://www.menarebetterthanwomen.com/top-ten/
I can find proof to support any imaginative theory I have. I can avoid any challenge to my beliefs, so I can be constantly affirmed and supported. I have been there and done that. In the past I couldn’t write or feel angry. That required dismantling the myths taught to me. It required great transformation to challenge the myths that restricted my humanity.
So, no, I will not be open to ignorance, to hate, to violent speech. I am open to dialogue, to respectful communication.