Today I posted a bunch on Facebook. Using Facebook at all feels pretty gross these days, due to all of the ways our information is taken, sold, and otherwise violated. Trust is sparse there anymore. Nonetheless, it is a means of connecting with a number of people I enjoy learning from, and one day it will die if we let it. It’s like being in the friends with benefits stage after a break up, I think.
So, a piece of my writing about parenting in the wake of #metoo drew the ire of a previous classmate, who felt compelled to defend the rights of the accused in all capital letters.
My radically feminist, far left, exquisitely informed friends were incredibly kind to her. They posted links to the viable work of David Lisak, a nationally recognized forensic consultant. “Dr. Lisak is a clinical psychologist who has devoted his professional life to studying the causes and consequences of interpersonal violence.” They asked thoughtful questions. They called her to take responsibility for her remarks and rhetoric and to show up.
I posted a link to this book, written by one of my post-election solidarity sisters, Amber Keyser: http://amberjkeyser.com/my-books/no-more-excuses/
Yesterday, I saw someone dragging Lisa Murkowski’s name through the mud. While I’m not employed nor inclined to personally safeguard her reputation, it was the tearing down of another woman for not being able to stop this runaway train that compelled me to say, Woah.
Another community member I respect very much made a post that, at the very least, shamed people for “arguing about politics on facebook” on the day of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. With all humility and respect for her opinion, I blatantly disagreed. I did my best to explain why. I can’t go back and reevaluate what I said or re-share it here, because it’s been erased. Controversy is uncomfortable in a small town.
All of this has got me thinking.
It’s this — the breaking down of women, the dismissal of women, and the woman versus woman power struggles that’ve got to die off. It’s an old, old game and for some reason, we just can’t stop playing it.
If we could stop shoving our own personal dogma down one another’s throats, we might have a chance to sneak up on a legitimate chance. It’s not our job to tone police others. It’s our job to understand our limits and boundaries. I am still working on understanding my own; for instance, why am I so compelled to police the tone police amongst us?
The only answer I can find is that it feels like the equivalent of someone telling others to shut up, and when women of privilege start to hush people that feels pretty insidious.
We CAN be furious and triggered and disgusted and bored with it all. Your point on the graph is your own point and we all have the right to feel differently. But we can be civil and we can cheer one another on, rather than endeavor to shut one another up.
Grace, not stoic piety. Graciousness, not self righteousness. Precision, not perfection. Accountability, not avoidance. Love, not hate. Responsibility, not rhetoric.
Responsibility to one another, because long after this administration is a distant, laughable memory, we will still remember how we treated each other.