History, HERstory, our story

30 Jul

(Originally posted to the Community section of MyMedia)
(added some stuff here, probably barely coherent musings,
that is not appropriate for that forum)

I have many feels about many things right now–among them, the nomination of a white woman for the presidency of the US by a major political party. Hate her, love her, be indifferent to her, the mere fact that she was nominated is breathtaking.

But since talking too much about the candidate herself would immediately veer into verboten territory (though, there is a forum for that), let’s celebrate feminism and race, by checking this twitter trending hashtag:  BlackWomenDidThat.

And lets ponder how few of them we, as a society, are familiar with. How many names of minority women have been erased from history. Their sin? Being female first, being non-white second. (See Lenora Fulani)

Equality has many facets–lets make them all shine.

Because a Black man is the current president of the US, many people point and say, “look, no racism here.” Who cares that, in fact, his mere presence in the White House seems to have opened the gates to even more overt racism?

By pointing to Barack Obama, many try to dismiss and deny things like the evidently racist voting ID laws that have proliferated in states with conservative-dominated legislative houses. Yes, it’s true that finally one of such laws (North Carolina, via the Fourth Circuit court of appeals) has been overturned, precisely because the whole process, point, and result, were so obviously racially motivated.

But even those reporting on it seem to seek to trivialize the underlying racism that fuels the preponderance of such laws across the country–over thirty states out of fifty. This is not a weird cosmic coincidence, this is a systemic problem.

We see the same type of behaviour, only fueled by even more overt sexism in the treatment of Hillary Clinton (indeed, the treatment of all female type people in, and by, the media–body shaming, ageism, slut shaming, you name it, women are fair game).

But, like the term itself, intersectionality plays a part.

For months now we have been told how significant it is that Hillary Clinton even made it this far (look at the title of this thread: “Clinton: will she survive the election?”). Now that she is the first female candidate, from one of the two major parties, running for President, we hear over and over and over, how it’s been almost a hundred years since women were given the right to vote.

And apparently no one in big media will even devote one sentence to note that, that? The Nineteen Amendment? It only applied to white women–people of color were never counted there.

So while I’m moved to tears to think that, if the country gets its head out of its ass, I’ll see a female president of the USA, just as I have seen the infinite grace of a Black family in the White House for eight. fucking. years (hell, yeah). While I sit here crying while listening to fucking political speeches, I am fully cognizant of just how fucked up we still are.

I have two adult children, and I want better for them. I want them to look back, when they are my age, and not see the same society I have seen all my life, in every country I’ve lived in,¹ where misogyny, racism, xenophobia, fear, and religious extremism (I’m looking at you, fundamentalists of EVERY religion, no matter what your symbol or language or the color of your skin), dominate the news every single fucking day.

And the only way to truly combat all of these blights of society? Science based education. Actual history taught in schools, no matter how upsetting to parents’ sensibilities. Internalizing of social rights and responsibilities. Promoting mindfulness.

Will it happen in my lifetime? I don’t know, and nothing in my experience has led me to believe it’s even possible. And yet…

And yet. On July 28th 2016, a 68 year old white woman showed the world that, even in this sexist society, after close to forty years in the public eye, being subjected to all manner of smear campaigns, reason and logic and capacity and hard work can pay off.

And I hope, with my whole being, that we will see the world start to move past small-mindedness to become truly humane.

~ * ~

¹ Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, the United States.

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4 Responses to “History, HERstory, our story”

  1. bamaclm 30/07/2016 at 3:05 PM #

    I have a feeling it’s simply the nature of the beast, Az. Throughout recorded history one group of humans were consistently beating up and degrading another group of humans. The Empire-builders were really good at this and they didn’t care what color you were, or what race or what sex. They considered everyone equally beneath them; they could be the poorest, most ignorant member of the Greek, Roman, British empire, but they were, by God(s), better than the rest of the world by the very nature of their DNA.

    So, while I’m on this earth, I expect small, incremental changes only. I thought differently until the Tea Party emerged. After that the hate and bigotry were so blatent that I despaired.

    I pray – I truly pray – that the Democratic candidate can win her race and then hold her own against a belligerent, locked-in-time Congress. Gawd, I’m running out of adjectives. ((hugs))

    • azteclady 30/07/2016 at 3:09 PM #

      Oh gawd, yes, Congress–I hope that the DNC focuses on the many races at the lower levels this cycle. I am always amazed at how the (many, for my sins) republicans I work with complain about ‘Obama’s ineffectiveness’ but refuse to look at the useless, Republican-dominated Congress.

      Zika founding, anyone?

  2. Lori 31/07/2016 at 5:46 PM #

    It’s a joke in my household that both my brother and I have one all-time favorite TV show and both are science fiction. His is Firefly which is basically cowboys in space: violent, shoot first, women are capable in some capacities but one of the major female characters was a hooker.

    My favorite was Star Trek: Next Generation where society didn’t discriminate on gender, sexual orientation, race or well, anything. One inclusive, one exclusive. One Republican, one democrat.

    • azteclady 31/07/2016 at 5:57 PM #

      Ah…I’m not sure how to respond here, because I’m a fan of Firefly, and I look at Inara in an entirely different light than you do.

      I’ll agree with you on ST:NG though; I like it much better than the original show, despite my undying love for Leonard Nimoy/Mr Spock.

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