not capable of being imagined or grasped mentally; unbelievable.
the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
difference in size, degree, circumstances, etc.; lack of equality.
a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
suppose to be the case, without proof.
the state of being diverse; variety.
Today’s topic, as you can see, is a social justice one. It’s been something that’s floated around in my mind, waiting for a moment when I could write everything down properly. I included some definitions today, simply because too many people don’t actually know the real definition of words these days. Pity.
I, as we have discussed, am part of the millennial generation, the group of people born between 1980 and 2000, and I speak with those of us who do not wish to see the world fall to ruin.
Each and every day I am surrounded by gobs of people, and I know almost nothing about any of them. But sometimes I come in contact with people that I do know something about, or I catch a snippet of a conversation and what I hear is something like the following:
“I just think that there are a lot of [insert “race” here] people who are a waste of space…”
“I don’t think women should be so concerned about…”
“I’m not racist, but…”
“I know it’s anti-feminist, but…”
I have heard enough. I have heard ever so much more than enough.
I am the daughter of farmers, a third generation American (on the one side), and although my skin is pale, I have a voice and I’m ready to use it. In fact, let me list out as many minorities that I belong to as I can.
Woman. Pagan. Pro-Choice. Third-gen American. Liberal. Anthropologist. Mentally ill. Multi-lingual. Bisexual. First generation college student. Poor (I think that counts).
You know what? We’ll stop there. It’s enough. And no, I’m not a woman of color. I know that. I will never know what it is like to feel discrimination on the basis of the amount of melanin in my body. I am aware of that.
But NONE of those things make me lesser-or better- than anyone else. Let me repeat that for the people in the back.
I belong to the generation that takes offence to everything. And maybe it’s for good reason. It’s not okay to make racist or sexist jokes. It’s not okay to group people together under assumptions and broad generalizations. (Case in point, the millennial qualifiers I have highlighted.)
We are all people. We are all human beings searching for the meaning of life, the reason for living, respect and empathy. And I am so tired of hearing people, listening to people I know make comments and “jokes” that they shouldn’t. And I’ve started calling them out.
It isn’t an internet issue per se, and I’ve been working in person to make the conversations around me better too. Even so, a large portion of communication these days is online. And that is where it is almost worse in some ways. It’s easy to assume that because something isn’t in person, that it doesn’t matter. But it does. It really does.
No one is born racist. No one is born sexist. No one is born with the thought that they are better (or lesser) than someone else. We are all just born. We all just die.
I love diversity. I love it so much, in fact, that that’s what drew me to anthropology. And I love that we’re not all exactly cookie-cutter versions of the same person. That’s dull. It is only through our differences that we can thrive. But it isn’t the differences that make us better as individuals, or as small collectives. Our differences are like the glue that holds our species together, building us up. Something to be proud of, not ashamed of.
You may notice that I haven’t specifically mentioned all of the terms that I laid out for us in the beginning. I’m just putting them in because it’s a “food for thought” thing. I know they’re important, it’s just important that people start using them the right way for the right reasons.
(As always, these pictures came from Google, I’m not trying to steal them, I thought they were great. I did add words to the Lorax and the picture of the hand. That part was me!)