By shit I mean the sorry excuses for commentary I’ve seen on well-meaning people’s positive posts on social media today.
I’ll be frank. I did not attend one of the many Women’s (or Womxn’s, in the case of at least Seattle) Marches held today, in large part because I know myself and I know that events on that scale that are that loud and raucous are not great for my brain. My heart was there, though, and I’ve been eagerly following the progress of many of my friends and favorite celebrities’ days on mostly Instagram. While I’ve seen many people supporting people, which is lovely, I’ve also seen a lot of things that made me sad.
“Don’t be so quick to judge.”
“Get over it, Hillary lost.”
“The wage gap doesn’t exist. Science said so.”
Derogatory, gaslighting language.
Terrible things, to the point where my drift partner had to ask me to stop reading things out loud it was stressing her out. (Sorry, darling.)
The one that finally got me, though, was a comment from someone telling a beloved celebrity of mine (a WOC) to just “accept” being called some terrible names (but as she pointed out, ones she usually didn’t acknowledge because she was sadly used to them). Then… this happened. From my own Instagram account:
“…And then this doodlefuck pops up to tell her otherwise. I almost broke my rule with myself about getting into it with strangers on the internet because — no. That’s the whole point. I’ve been told that all my life, that some people are going to be ignorant or offensive but all I can control is how I react to it. Don’t give them the power to make you mad. Just ignore it, you can’t change it. Basically, resistance is futile. But here’s the thing. No it isn’t. No, I’ll never be able to change some people. (Funny enough, those are also usually the people I’m told “can’t help” being whatever disagreeable way they are, as if being an asshole is just something you’re born with sometimes, like a medical condition [the same people, of course, are the ones who say actual medical conditions I have like depression/anxiety are things I can “work on” and “get over,” but that’s another story.) But if all I can do is scream until someone hears it, then by hell I’m going to do it. One person you encounter may be awful no matter what you do, but another may be in some way or another open to listening. Some people can change, will change. You should never just shrug and feel you have to accept how shit things are just because you don’t know if the thing in question will change or not. Expect respect and treat it as a default. Maybe someday it actually will be. And even in the sad instance that nobody and nothing ever change (believe me, today I’ve been despairing of that, reading comments by randoms on posts made by the badass everyday revolutionaries I follow) that does not for a moment mean you have to sit and take it. You always have a right to feel.”
I may have the optimistic spirit of a Sailor Guardian, who believes that in the end people can be good if they let love win. I really do want more than anything to think that people can be good, that people can be good if they try, that there’s always hope and nothing is fatally futile. I really do think that what you, in the general sense, do matters.
But I’m also a pissed-off princess without a throne to sit. I’m Daenerys, screaming about freedom and trying to figure out the mechanics of it along the way, not always sure what to do but wanting to do it right, not always the most important voice but trying to give important voices support and respect and uplifting when I can and how I can. I’m Leia, fabulous and occasionally dramatic and indignant and making it up as I go along sometimes but ready to sacrifice for rebellion and resistance because what other options do I even have?
I’m the women riding the Fury Road; Furiosa nursing old wounds but determined, Angharad loud and full of feminist bite, Toast taking it all in and quietly fighting with all the weapons available, Capable fixing and learning in the moment, Cheedo gentle and scared and caring, Dag in turns thoughtful and vengeful.
I’m Peggy Carter, and I want to punch fascists in the face.
I’m a twenty-six-year-old woman, wife, daughter, friend, who comes to you honestly scared shitless not just for myself but for countless other people in the country and the world, knowing that the potential for disaster is not as far off as some people want to think and fearing that too many people are more interested in saying things aren’t that bad than trying to fix things that are bad, fearing that they prioritize their imagined superiority and the status quo over respect and human decency and equality.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this. I don’t expect a medal for it, but I’m here for supporting everyone and I’m here for celebrating people’s differences. I am not perfect, but I want to help and I want to be good and I want to improve and encourage others to do as well. I am anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-sexist, anti-ableist, pro-feminist (intersectionality or bust), pro-choice, pro-education, pro-neurodiversity. I will fight for what I know to be right and stand (if figuratively) in support of those seeking respect and equality. I don’t really know how you could have it any other way.
–your fangirl heroine.