Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Mar 15

Passion

When asked what I was passionate about, I found it hard to answer and what I did come up with didn’t seem significant enough. The truth is, however, I am passionate about people and things that affect them: freedom and opportunity, tragedies–both natural and man-made, the every day things and the once in a lifetime chances. I think it would be appropriate to be compassionate and I could not tell you that I try because, the truth is, I try not to be sometimes. It’s all to easy for me to get swept up in despair because I cannot possibly help everyone or even know where to start.

To help alleviate this despair, I decided that I would stick to what I’m good at. Every day, I would make my loved ones smile and laugh and feel good about themselves and, in my head, these ripples of goodness slowly spread outward and perhaps, just maybe, touch every corner of the world. Nevermind that it’s a sphere.

And maybe along the way I will discover some way that I can contribute in more “significant” ways because I know that saying “I make people laugh” doesn’t exactly sound like ground breaking life’s worth. But don’t let me undercut what I do because I am damned good at it and if I died today, the people I loved would be sad because there life was better for having me in it, for having me to make them laugh.

And that is awesome.

Yet, sometimes, the reality for those who I can’t make laugh hits me like a ton of bricks. And I get angry. Or sad. Or a hysterical combination of both. Because I care. Because I am passionate about people in general, despite my sarcastic and biting sense of humor that may indicate otherwise. That is how I felt when I stumbled across the following:

There is a country where the leading cause of death of pregnant women is murder by a partner. In this same country, more than a million women were raped in 2008 and women are much more likely to live in poverty than men. Local laws don’t protect their right to bodily freedom and integrity; some rape laws even state that once a woman initially consents to sex, she doesn’t have the right to change her mind.

You may have caught on by now — yes, I’m talking about the United States.

Jessica Valenti

average life span of a transgendered person is twenty-three years. The statistic is shocking, until it begins to make sense. Gender non-conformists face routine exclusion and violence. Transgendered people are disproportionately poor, homeless, and incarcerated. Many of the systems and facilities intended to help low-income people are sex-segregated and thereby alienate those who don’t comply with state-imposed categories. A trans woman may not be able to secure a bed in a homeless shelter, for example. Spade writes that just as the feminist movement tended to “focus on gender-universalized white women’s experience as ‘women’s experience,’” the lesbian- and gay-rights movement has focused primarily on a white, middle-class politic, centered on marriage and mainstream social mores.

Meaghan Winter for Guernica

The good news is, there is good news.

Google has stepped up and created a Person Finder page for those who may be missing in Japan. I personally clicked over and stumbled across an entry for someone looking for information about someone in Misawa. I left a little blurb to inform the poster than Misawa AB has reported no deaths or serious injuries. It’s really hard for me to read about what is going on over there right now. It just hits.. a little too close to home but I hope that I have helped.

And despite the political turn that has occurred, people like you and me are stepping up to help others. Like this Tumblr user who want to give rides to women in Virginia who require an abortion but must now travel out of state for the service. Or this user who says (and I paraphrase) “You know what? Abortion isn’t for me but I respect the life of the living as well as the yet-to-live.”

Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. Pro-choice is often far more pro-life than “pro-life” is. I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone who thinks abortion is just fantastic or the new perfect birth control, that’s not how it goes. If you really want a lower abortion rate, put your time and effort into education and health care (you know, programs like Planned Parenthood). No one has any right to tell a woman what to do with her body or anything that’s growing inside of it. No one has any right to put women in danger for a group of cells, especially a group of cells they will later ignore and expect to fend for itself.

SkyWritingg on Tumblr

Also, this guy is awesome:


Jul 26

Because sometimes talking about is all you can do

I am no super activist. I don’t picket. Or burn my bras. I’m not even good at boycotting stuff. But I talk and, perhaps more importantly, I listen. This is how I’ve come to learn a lot more about issues like feminism and women’s rights in the recent months. And the more I learn, the more I agree. And the more I learn and agree, the more I talk. And not everyone wants to hear about movements. A lot of people are okay with the status quo. A lot of people don’t want to put their necks on the chopping block. People don’t want to lead the fight.

That’s okay. You don’t have to. You can just talk about it. After all, I am only one person. I can only do so much but instead of that convincing me that I shouldn’t try at all, I’ll just open an avenue of communication and help spread the word as much as I can. Isn’t that what change is, anyway? Isn’t knowing half the battle? Even if I’m imparting knowledge to people who may not necessarily care. They may still take something away fro the conversation. And movements need people at every level.

If enough individuals open up those lines of communication and spread knowledge and awareness, change will come. Uniformity will happen. Bonds will form. It may not be easy. Or quick. And sometimes it may not be legal. Yet, I have never shied away from doing something because I was afraid it would be too hard (okay, except for calculus. Sorry Roch!) and I don’t intend to start now.

If all I can do is talk about the things that matter, then I plan to do it.


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