I’m not a stoic person.
When I stub my toe, you will hear my feelings about it.
When I’m having a bad hair day, you best believe I’m going to pout about it. Because really, hair, for once, in the great “to frizz or not to frizz” debate, pick not to frizz! YOU DON’T ALWAYS HAVE TO FRIZZ!
I’m mad that as a person with crohns disease, I have ill effects if I eat cheese all day, which is eternal plan A for how I want to spend my day. But my crohns is fine enough that I can get away with eating cheese for most of the day, so victory is mine!
I have to neurotically sing “Let it Go” on repeat at my desk when coworkers cross me, because yelling at coworkers is bad, and I like paychecks. But why do they keep having to cross me? Come on, guys.
I’m mad I work with hoards of children fresh out of college who complain about how old they are when a 21-year-old starts at the company. Really? Old? He’s a year younger than you. I, on the other hand, can’t wear heels anymore because it hurts my knees. And my feet. And my back. And my ego. And really, I’m not that old.
The betrayal I feel when one of my t-shirts shrink and no longer fit my long torso could fill a book. A really terrible book. Don’t read that book. It’s about t-shirt betrayal.
This morning I accidentally dropped a spatula on the floor and yelled, “just be cool, Universe!” because that was the very appropriate reaction.
I’m not a stoic person.
But let’s be clear. Am I oppressed? Not more than any other woman whose government is trying to gut her healthcare, but no, I’m really not oppressed. I’m a white woman with a job and a safety net. I’m doing fine.
Are the men who marched in Charlottesville oppressed? Absolutely not. They know nothing of oppression. History has been a showcase of the rights white men gave themselves to the detriment of others. Rights to land. Rights to money. Rights to bodies.
But they marched and chanted “Blood and Soil.” Is that the soil that we stole from Native Americans? Did we forget about that? I bet they didn’t.
This was racism. This was terrorism carried out by men who have never known terror.
I’m not a stoic person, but I’m aware there are lives and stories and hardships outside of my own. Real hardship. Real oppression. Remember that because those men didn’t.
It’s hard to know what to do here. This insidious prejudice has persisted for generations, and no one person can fix it. I’m starting here, with a list of Anti-Racism organizations located in Charlottesville that could use donations. And I’ll try to spend less time resting on my privilege because I certainly have been.
It’ll give me a focus outside writing t-shirt-shrinking-betrayal books. That section of Barnes & Noble is getting crowded anyway.