You guys. It has been a week.
The tail end of last week was so awful that I really and truly needed to run away from humans for a while. I needed to go hug a tree and get dirty and commune with nature. It just so happened that we were already planning to go camping in the mountains, miles away from the closest wifi connection. The timing couldn't have been better.
Of course, the camping trip is worth an entire post of its own, and I'll get to that tomorrow. For now, some of the things on the list for the week (and no, I don't have time to get to them all)...
Rhetoric and Accusations
A big part of why I needed to run away from humans last week involves this stuff. Doing what I do, writing all this stuff publicly, it's not exactly an easy thing to do. Sometimes it's the topic itself that makes pushing the publish button difficult, sometimes it's knowing that I'm going to catch some heat over it, sometimes it's the virtual guarantee that someone will personally attack me over whatever it is I said.
I still do it because I refuse to have my life, my opinions, my perspective silenced by those who don't share my views.
I don't do it, incidentally, with any real hope of ever changing someone else's mind. That is an exercise in futility if ever there was one. I advocate for what I advocate for because many of the topics I write about are the things that most people shy away from. That doesn't mean they aren't important, quite the opposite in fact. Reality is that there are just certain things that people don't want to write about or read about, but we need to do it for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that our current society seems hell bent on stripping rights from women in particular.
If we shrink away, if we are silenced, they win.
So I'll keep doing it.
I'll keep dealing with the comments and the messages and the emails. I'll refrain from throwing the accusations and rhetoric back at people. I'll allow other people to tell me just how wrong I am, and then some. I'll shake off the insults and name calling.
I'll grow an even thicker skin.
And occasionally I'll disappear into the woods for a while because the only way I can stand to be around other humans is to avoid them entirely when necessary.
The Reality of Domestic Violence
I wrote about the case in Texas for Lefty Pop today, about how the guy who killed his ex sister in law, her husband and four kids threw up every red flag that exists.
None of it mattered.
Our system fails DV victims every single day. We allow those accused to plead down to lesser charges, assuming there are charges even pressed. Many of them never even get that far. We tell victims to just get restraining orders, knowing that they mean nothing. The abusers often still able to purchase and own as many weapons as they want.
It's not a shock when something like this happens. It's certainly not unpredictable.
Due to word count limits over there, I can't always touch on all the issues I'd like and a huge piece of the DV problem is our societal acceptance of violence, particularly violence against women.
We live in a world where empathy dies a little more every day, where kids are given airsoft guns that look just like the real thing for fun, where video games contain rapes and murders, where television shows and movies show us all of that too. We live in a selfish, selfish world where the ends far too often justify the means. We live in a world where the GPA of a rapist somehow becomes relevant. We allow elected men to discuss the legitimacy of rape, and the Supreme Court just took away a woman's right to keep her health care options and choices between her and her doctor.
When will it be enough to outrage us enough to actually do something about it???
Vote. Vote. Vote.
Something that has always bothered me deeply about our education system is how history in general is taught to children.
We (and by we, I mean the educational institutions in this country generally) have always had revisionist tendencies. We've always told just one side of the story or the story that appears the most favorable or the story that justified the end result.
In the process, we've glossed over the truth for much of our past. We don't really teach kids accurately about slavery or the oppression of the native populations or the internment camps or the sterilization of (insert whichever group, there were a few) people against their will. We talk about how slavery was abolished, but don't tell kids that that amendment wasn't even ratified by all the states until very very very recently.
It's shameful, and this historical revision is dangerous because it allows generation after generation of children to be raised believing they've been taught accurately. This inevitably skews their views as they grow up about race issues, poverty, the power of the government and a whole laundry list of other things...none of which are good.
When we take our kids to see Mt. Rushmore, we need to take them to see Crazy Horse too.
When we talk about Pearl Harbor, we need to teach them about the internment camps too.
Anyhow, this is a huge issue for me, and I bend over backwards to teach my kids accurately.
It's not dangerous to point out the hypocrisy, the overreach, the racism, the sordid past of the government. It's dangerous not to.
What is happening now, though, takes this revisionist movement to a whole new level. Charter schools in Arizona are using textbooks promoting a religious interpretation of history, in parts going so far to claim that slavery was "beneficial to African Americans". Oh, and the white people envied the slaves.
What in the actual fuck???
There can't seriously be people who believe this shit, can there???
I shouldn't have to lay out all the reasons why this is wrong, why this is disgraceful, why spinning the past this way is dangerous and irresponsible...should I?
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