Monday, November 11, 2013

Towards a more positive activism

If you're on the internet, and you don't edit everyone and everything you follow to be cute, happy, and fluffy, you have probably noticed that a lot of progressive activists are very angry. Their posts are shouty and sweary.

I'm not one of them, and to honest, I find it a bit off-putting. Even when I share their goals, I find their tone to be counterproductive.

I choose to be positive. I choose , 98% of the time, to use language I’d use in front of other people’s children.I try not to drown in anger because I know that when someone speaks angrily to me, I remember my own anger at their tone rather than the point they wanted to make. I wonder if working with small children all of my adult life contributes to this. I view bigots, misogynists, and haters as CHILDREN, and I know you get a lot farther with children by quietly and calmly repeating “We don’t act that way” than you do by screaming obscenities at them.

I prefer to look at the positives. If I want to express why representation matters, won't it be more effective to share what an important role model Lt Uhura has been . If I want to express why gay rights are important, I think it's more effective to share the life stories of gay people than to call people assholes because they aren't there yet. If I want to share why we need feminism, I don't think sites such as Jezebel and XOJane are the way to go. And I really don't think we'll effectively fight unrealistic beauty standards by going too far in the other direction and wearing pajamas and sweats in public.

I'm not blind to the issues.  I take part in social activism: probably way more than the more vocal activists realize. I know that people have a *right* to be angry. I believe that all people deserve equal rights and protection. I believe all people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. I do NOT think angry, F bomb laden, YOU ARE WORTHLESS IF YOU DON'T AGREE!!! rants will bring that about. Just the opposite.When one of the people in my lives goes into a rage-y rant, I don't listen to what they have to say. I walk away. I remove myself from the negativity. I don't like feeling the same way about my fellow activists...our fight is too important.


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