Full disclaimer. This post is written after a Long Island Tea, a Caesar and a tequila shot. I don’t even drink but they are free when do comedy, so I may have indulged. Also, this post is not meant to be funny, nor is it meant to be bitchy, though some may perceive it as such.
I have written about Feminism quite a bit. It is even one of the subjects in my book. I was away at “feminist camp’ for seven weeks and I have been a feminist since birth. I have zero qualms about labelling myself as a feminist and won’t even get into the self-sabotage type issues that all movements, including feminism do to trip over themselves trying to be the “right” ideology.
This post isn’t about feminism per se, but everything I say and do comes from a feminist lens, so you know, everything is about feminism. I just need to say this: Can we all just stop arguing? Can we stop the one upmanship (or upwomanship) online? Can we have compassion and can we stop labelling each other in terms of “left” or “right” (which I do all the time so I will stop as well)
I say this because so much happens every week. Russell Peters makes a joke, everyone gets mad, small conversations about rape begin but mostly people are mad at him for making the joke itself. Pepsi screws up so badly, like SO badly. People are outraged. Did anyone stop drinking Pepsi over this? Likely not, or if they did they just moved over to Coke, also quite “evil” in its own way. Pepsi screws up and everyone is skewering some 19-year-old white kid for not knowing better. Sure, she should have known better, but can we focus on the ISSUE, not the person. I could give a shit less about Kendall or whatever her name is. I really could care less. She is not the only one who was involved in this colossal screw up. People talked about it, and the only people truly getting why this is so upsetting are the people who were fighting this fight to begin with. No one has changed their mind about the soft drink and whether people like or dislike this Kendall person has very little bearing on our lives.
A dude gets dragged off a plane. Hang on, a dude gets DRAGGED off a plane, because the company wanted to have its own crew on the plane even though they over booked. Everyone is rightfully outraged, but the outrage should not just be on how this man was treated, but also the entire practice, but ALSO how we keep buying tickets and allowing this to happen. If all consumers stood up and said, “stop this shit of overbooking”, maybe then they will listen.
That’s why I am writing this, because we can make our mind up as consumers and very often we get mad at something while we are still supporting the company. I am guilty too. I KNOW how bad Nestle is. I KNOW this, yet I buy smarties. I do, I eat them and I go “OMG I LOVE YOU SMARTIES” and don’t feel bad about it. I should, given my ethics of wanting clean water for my grandchildren’s children but nah, I want smarties.
We all want what we want and even those of us who care, really don’t care. We do, but then we do what we want anyway. We know shit is bad. We know Walmart is bad for the environment and for labour and for sweatshops, yet we like cheap toilet paper. We KNOW pop is slowly killing us, yet we do it anyway.
Today I had troubling news. The police issued an alert for a missing child; it went by unnoticed, but I noticed. This was a former foster child that lived with us for 1.5 years when she was a toddler. She is now 12 and she is missing. We watched the system fail her and her family at every interval. We watch social workers get over burdened, we watch drugs overtake family members and we just watched. We had no standing, we can love and live our lives, but we watch and we get mad but we watch because it’s not our job to intervene. How many people sit by and watch every day? How many watch homelessness or abuse and say nothing? On that same note how many people say something about the STUPIDEST things! How many people take to the internet to complain about a burger they ate out or that a cashier didn’t smile at them, or they had to wait? I know I have? We love to complain but then when large injustices are being done in front of us, what do we all do? We do what we can but we live our own lives. This is all we can do, or is it? Should we all not be called to a larger action? I am not judging I am actually asking because I spent 20 years of my life giving to community, a foster parent, crisis counsellor, fundraiser etc. just like everyone else does, we gave and 20 years later I see very LITTLE difference in the issues. I see cycles of problems go from family to family, to generation to generation. I see pain and suffering growing, not getting better. Yet we get pissed off at Pepsi and Peters and an airline, and yes, rightfully so, but bitching on the internet can only be a start. We need to be called to action! Society is not going to fix itself, we need to be proactive.
The challenge comes back to our ideologies and movements. We make progress and then are stopped. We fight in feminism on how inclusive we are. We label white feminists as liberal and we label intersectional feminists as harsh, well okay that’s just me, but we fight. We argue and debate the term feminism and it’s meaning. Can someone be Mulsim and feminist? Can you be religious and feminist? What about trans? To me the answer is yes to all, but some people nitpick and think only certain people have the right to call themselves that. Stop it! Stop arguing about semantics. They are important, but let’s argue while we are doing something. This doesn’t just apply to feminists, it’s people of all ideologies. We worry about our shoes and our underwear and I worry about my grey hair, meanwhile children are going missing, corporations are killing us slowly and we rage on twitter. We share a video and say “shame” but we do nothing. “We” includes me, trust me, part of this is a personal call to do more.
So whatever, my tequila is wearing off and I am tired but how about for every bitch we do on the internet we then have to do a good deed in real life? For every post about someone not being a good enough mom, perhaps you can reach out to a mom struggling and offer to help. For every bitch about food that wasn’t good enough at a restaurant you go and feed the poor and for every child that goes missing, we say a prayer and we get our asses out there and lobby our government to DO something about the poverty that plagues Indigenous communities.
My feminist friends around the world (from feminist camp) all are doing something. I feel I am not. I need to do something, though I do not know what. I am trying to get by and do what I need to for my family, but a child that lived with me for 1.5 years is missing and I, like so many people, watched social services and society as a whole allow it to happen, all the while bitching about Pepsi and the like.
I am going to “do something.” I don’t know what and I don’t know how but our lives have to mean more than bitching on the internet, which is ironic given this post but whatever, you know..tequila.