23.9.11

What would you do?

I've always had a bit of an activist streak in me. I remember as a kid one year at Thanksgiving dinner, while  going around sharing what we were thankful for, I shared I was thankful not to be a turkey. Everyone laughed, but really, I felt from a young age that it didn't seem right for our species to eat another living thing. (Which lead to me being a vegetarian for most of my life.)

But my empathy doesn't end with animals. I feel for anything/anyone that is being victimized. As a teen, I started making these feelings I had known. Once I became a vegetarian officially, I found it easier to start expressing myself. I started slowly, pointing out the problems I encountered. (My family, the usual targets just love it.) I call out any racist, homophobic, and (sometimes) sexist comments. (I find this happens especially with my dad, we argue over politics constantly!) In pointing out the problem, I hope to create a change, and enlighten others. To help my family "see the light". As they are my family though, it is safe to do so. They still have to love me. (They really do. And I love them.) It is a much harder thing to do with strangers. 

But I digress. What I am getting at is that since taking more Sociology and Women's Studies courses in college, I have become even more vocal about the wrongs of this world. These classes inspire me to do whatever I can to help create change in the world, so I take whatever opportunity I am dealt. 
Weather it be calling out family members, friends, or blogging about experiences I have. Like I am doing today.

The other night, my mom and I were discussing the new Glee premiere. (We are both avid fans of the show.) In discussing the show, my mom asked if I had seen her facebook lately. I hadn't, so she explained to me that one of her 'friends' had commented negatively on my mom's enthusiasm for the premiere. It really upset my mom that this 'friend' was so judgmental and dismissive of my mom because she is a fan of the show. I checked it out, and was appalled and this woman's narrow minded comments. So I told my mom how I felt, and let her know I just couldn't stand by and watch without saying anything. My mom has had 22 years of experience with me, so she gave her blessing, and assured me her and this woman weren't even really that good of friends, so I wouldn't be offending my mom in any way. 

The following ensued. (I've blurred out names and photos other than mine in respect to privacy.)

After my last comment, I quickly added a challenge for the woman to explain what 'social agenda' of the shows it was she was referring to. (I just forgot to take a screen cap after I added that.) As you can see, she tried shifting the blame to me, rather than own up to her own discrimination. 

Sadly, we'll never get to see what becomes of this. My mom deleted the conversation today after listening to the Glee soundtrack and getting even more upset at this woman's remarks, as she was recalling the glee movie and how they shared so many different stories of teens (of all varieties) finding acceptance through the show. (I just love my mom!) But I hope that by challenging this woman's discrimination, I helped her to maybe open up her mind a bit, to tolerate ideas that may differ from her own. 


Like the point this video sets out to make, I am a firm believer that if you see prejudice happening, you should do something about it. It's hard. Im not denying it's a challenge, especially at first. But I can promise you it's so worth it. Because attitudes really can change. I've seen it. 

Don't be afraid to act. Be afraid of standing by. 

5 comments:

  1. That's awesome! Kudos to you for having the guts to speak your mind. Living in the south, I see this stance a lot, and I think it's really important to remember that even when you're outnumbered, you can't just stand idly-by.

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  2. Your responses were spot on, and I wish I could think of similar retorts, they were intelligent and well phrased. I appear like a harpy when I try similar comebacks.

    You are absolutely right we do need to combat prejudice. Because you inspire me, I will try harder.

    The political climate in the USA is regressing to fear mongering and Jim Crow laws. Or perhaps I have been delusional in thinking we had overcome some of those obstacles.

    Thank you for the reminder to keep fighting.

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  3. Thanks for speaking up. I'd love to know what the "social agenda" really is, as someone who has been accused of pushing it as well. As best I can figure out, it is to accept and embrace everyone just the way they are.

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  4. I stopped watching glee too, not because of said "social agendas" but because there were a couple of episodes that I couldn't feel comfortable watching from a morality stand point. I agree that it is everyone's personal choice to be whatever they choose, prejudice is certainly not my goal.

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  5. I love Glee as well even though I might not agree with some of the character's choices. It's the singing that I love the most anyway. I think tolerance is key to living a peaceful life
    That's so great you spoke your mind. Thanks for sharing! Also, that video made me cry :) It is not our place to judge. I feel uplifted.

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Thanks for stopping by! Comments are always welcome and very much appreciated. :)

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