Note: I’ve not made any explicit references but this post may contain triggers.
Somewhere in my head there is a grouping of thoughts.
I’m trying to write down some of these thoughts because I’m fed up with them being whipped up into a frenzy in my head, leaving me annoyed and angry by the actions and comments of others. Whether it’s a noted journalist who is pushing her, very binary, view of the world on others, a “casual remark” overheard at work that (unknowingly) supports the patriarchy, or yet another example of everyday sexism, I want to call out these thoughts, acknowledge them, admit that I’ve fallen prey to some of them in the past (I never said I was perfect, only that I’m trying to be better) and by writing them up hope that they solidify into something coherent.
I make no promises that what follows is coherent.
The thoughts are interconnected. Some directly, some are only roughly in the same area but they are all in there, bundled up like the Christmas Tree lights you could’ve SWORN you put away neatly last year but now resemble a quite spectacular birds nest.
I’ve tried to take the time to tease them out, to try and separate them enough to at least make sense of them in isolation but no, my brain refuses to cooperate. Every time I think I’ve managed to extricate one, carefully consider it and then coiled it up and set it to aside, by the time I’ve turned around to decide which thought to tackle next, when I turn back, the careful coils have gone and it’s leapt back in the box again, more tangled up and confused than before.
So, here’s the thing.
All around me, every day, I see things I don’t like.
Sexism. Homophobia. Racism. Misogyny. Hate. Prejudice.
Even just writing those words makes me sad and downhearted and it’s here where I struggle to collate my thoughts into something meaningful, I struggle to give them the voice they deserve, but I know that isn’t the point.
I’m white. I’m probably (upper) middle class but frankly, I’m not even sure what that means… how do we decide class these days? I mean, I shop at Tesco, occasionally at Sainburys and about twice a year I splurge at Waitrose, does that help? Anyway, my point here is that I am slap bang in the middle, I am average, I am a shining example of the ‘norm’.
Culture, media and opinion are all leaning in my favour whether I like it or not.
So, I have the benefits of “privilege” and surely the last thing that is needed is for yet another white man to explain how things should be, right? (it’s called mansplaining by the way, that thing we do guys, it has a word…)
But that’s not what I’m doing by writing this post.
What I’m doing, I hope, is saying I am here standing next to you. I’m saying that I’m guilty of saying the wrong things at times in the past. I’m saying that I don’t have any solutions, but I want my opposition to these things to be counted.
I’m starting to get more vocal about a lot of this stuff. Challenging people on their comments, not laughing at their jokes, and finding that I’m more and more comfortable with myself in that respect. I’ve never been the type to go on marches but it feels more like something I would do than it has in the past.
It might be part of being ‘out’ about being polyamorous, which in itself is allowing me to explore more of me and who I am.
Regardless of where it comes from, I’m doing my best to support where I can, to add my voice to the calls for change. To that end, I’ll now shut up and point you in the direction of some organisations and people who do have some answers and constructive suggestions:
- Stonewall (Scotland): http://www.stonewallscotland.org.uk/scotland/
- Zero Tolerance: http://www.zerotolerance.org.uk
- White Ribbon Scotland: http://www.whiteribbonscotland.org.uk
- Not Ever (Rape Crisis): http://www.notever.co.uk
- LGBT Community: http://lgbt.co.uk
- LGBT Network: https://www.lgbtnetwork.eu
- Equality Network: http://www.equality-network.org
- Racial Equality and Rights: http://crer.org.uk
There are many many more organisations out there, and many more issues to be tackled.
Where do you stand?