Human being. And child of God.
That should piss off everyone. What did I leave out? Let’s see. Poet. Raised kids on Pell Grants and Medicaid for several years. Experienced food insecurity at times. Have five cats. Worked in the oil-field. Occasionally shop at Sam’s Club. Took multivariable calculus as an elective. Pro-life but even more pro-choice. Extremely well read. Have studied multiple mythologies and extensive history. Hate violence and by extension guns. Willing to stand up for people of other faiths to have the same rights I enjoy. Raised by one atheist, one Bahai, two Southern Baptists and a sprinkling of “other.” Blogger. Future university student. Wears bifocals. Survived domestic abuse. Uses a clothesline. Drives an old car with 338,000 miles on it. Owns one tiny house with a leaky roof and a yard full of weeds smack between a “good” neighborhood and a “bad” trailer park. Have marched in anti-war demonstrations and protested things like the FTAA. Also, organized open-mics and edited student publications. Oh, and I won’t be silenced and shut-up.
I think that about covers it. Is there anyone who’s still with me? Yeah, I thought not.
The last few days my Facebook feed has been blowing up with people pissed off by me and my posts. Someone actually used “over-liberal” as an insult.
I have, by now, accumulated a lot of experience dealing with bullies and bigots. Go figure.
He was twice angered by my reframing “over-liberal” as a compliment. Yeah.
Is it any wonder I am perpetually on the threshold with a litany like I have?
Sure, I could be bitter and resentful and damaged. But I reject that box above all else. It’s an attempt to define me by where I have been and how my values are interpreted by prevailing power.
No, I embrace it all and let my heart keep growing.
Needless to say I can empathize with and find common ground with nearly anyone. And I don’t view differences as being obstacles to friendship. Obviously not, or I wouldn’t have a single friend.
I have, at times, wanted more than anything to have a normal, neatly packaged life. One that isn’t so obviously offensive, in one way or another, to nearly everyone on the planet. But I am increasingly comfortable with and confident in the skin God gave me and the life he’s set me to live.
There have been times I carefully never posted or shared anything anyone might object to. Times I never spoke up and never engaged in debate. Times I allowed myself to be defined by that hideous little box of who I “should” be.
I’ll die if go back to that. I can’t tolerate that place sober. No, let them stone me, I’ll speak up.
I’ve been thinking about the usual fate of women who are strong and vocal and compassionate and live in liminal spaces. Words like “witch burning” and “stoning” and “rape threats” come to mind. Then there’s the nasty names: bitch, feminazi, cunt, slut, etc. There’s social ostracism and bullying. Once in a while there’s entrapment on a pedestal like sainthood.
I know exactly what I risk in speaking up. And I’m gonna do it anyways. And keep doing it.
I know I, personally, have very little (if anything) to gain by being something of an agitator. I’m gonna do it anyways.
I love my fellow human beings of all stripes and walks of life. I’m not perfect, I do have my own thin little slice of privilege (mainly three thousand books and excellent reading skills and an adequate computer).
There have been a few supportive comments directed my way. Even a few people who help hold up the basic idea that all people are equally valuable and should be given equal chances while I can’t moderate the comments. (I do still have a real life and people to love and things to take care of!) One person even said I should go into public service. With my history I’m as unelectable is it gets. I’m also unblackmailable, being totally open and honest about all my dirty laundry and skeletons. And purchasable, given that materialism is the least motivating factor in my life. But even in local politics like the school board or ditch board I am clearly not desirable. I’m just not going to hide and pretend.
I’m not dangerous, my pen (or keyboard) is my only weapon and prayer my only shield. Somehow I am always a bit thrown when people come at me angry and mean. Insults and profanity and all. I told one friend I’m trying to remember that in some cases if these people ran into Jesus today they’d tell him “fuck you” so I should take it as a compliment and proof I’m on the right track.
So, if I lose followers over posting this, it’s their loss and not mine.
And, if you want to look me up on Facebook to be an ally and friend, feel free! I’d love to have you join me in this.