As frustrated as I get with all of the conflict in the world, it occurred to me recently that this is actually a good thing. As I watch another video about why something is racist or why we need body positivity or highlighting the issues of human trafficking (I could literally go on with issues but I’ll stop here), I realize that this stuff is no longer being swept under the rug. It’s being hung out to dry in the bright light of exposure.
“To cure injustices, you must expose them before the light of human conscience and the bar of public opinion.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
That is what’s happening now. The band-aid is being ripped off of our wound(s) so that we can heal properly. The world is full of suffering, hate, racism, sexism, homophobia, prejudice, injustice, et al. The only cure for any of it is to deal with it instead of pretending it’ll just go away on its own.
In the past, we routed out the blatant forms of the aforementioned. That’s why the Civil Rights movement was so brutal. Some people thought they had the right to bodily harm other people based solely on skin color. Now, we’re digging in deeper to the more pervasive but hidden forms of prejudice and power. We talk about privilege and the power structure and how it colludes to keep people in their desired place (poor people poor, women submissive, gays hidden) by more covert and subtle means.
Language can be a powerful tool to warp people’s minds. Just by setting the standard as male and the non-standard as female, you set up a certain point of view. Just the words male and female are sexist. Male is the root word of both and by adding “fe” to male, you almost make a word that visually looks like you’re saying male/not male. Same with man and woman.
It’s not a small matter either. We are shaped by the world we inhabit. If you tell a child s/he is stupid or inferior or worthless enough, he or she will begin to believe it. When your entire society is telling you that you are less than, you have to be almost insane to stand up against that.
Thankfully, people are finally starting to lose their minds.
And no matter how frustrated I get by all of the fighting, I am comforted by the Gandhi quote: