Thursday, March 8, 2012
are pretty blogs, pinterest, and practicing gratitude the new opiates of the (female) masses?
are women getting lost in beautiful things and becoming blind to what is ugly in our nation and world?
are we more interested in (insert mommy blogger name here)'s baby and how cute she looks in that anthro dress and cardi than women who cannot escape poverty and whose rights are diminishing before our very eyes?
do we allow ourselves to be lulled into graceful silence with our mixed media art projects, excessive self-care, art and yoga retreats and the thousands of useless things we can craft with toilet paper rolls?
are we afraid to get a little loud, disagree and have an intelligent discourse on the real issues?
does our power frighten us?
do we choose kindness at the expense of action?
there is no doubt that most of us are very lucky and we do a really awesome job at expressing our gratitude. i love the blog world and i love seeing happy mamas and babies and art and cute clothes from anthropologie (not so keen on the toilet paper roll crafts). for example, see my blogroll, it's filled with beauty that i deeply value.
but i also know the other side. i see it every day. it is very real. and it is getting bigger by the day. i use this space to balance, not to hide. (confession: i've actually used it to hide in the past.)
the overwhelming reaction to the kony 2012 video on my facebook, twitter and in the blogosphere has astonished me. you see, this human rights issue has been heating up for years. years. we've been talking about it in my international child abuse class for what seems like forever. in the past i've been met with the same bleh reaction when i talked about uganda as i have in the last few weeks about women's rights being signed away in virginia.
i'm happy to see the issue is finally getting some attention. i care just as deeply about ugandan women and children as i do american women and children.
as a relatively privileged and educated cohort, can we not be outraged and do something proactively? do we have to be kicked into action by a glossy viral video about horrific atrocities or can we educate ourselves, form an opinion, engage in civil discourse and take some action prior to the preventable disaster? choose an issue that is important to you and do something. blog, contribute, protest, inform others, whatever; and support others in their causes when they align with your beliefs.
i know the pull into this safe beautiful artsy-yoga-y-mama world very well. and i mean no disrespect for those who prosper and frolic within it. but i also know the power and comfort of denial and how environments can be subtly created to lull us into avoidance and shelter us from "other". for example, my own professional field has been overwhelmed by a misapplication of "strengths-based" social work. it's made it nearly impossible to identify and get something done about real child abuse that is happening at increasingly alarming rates.
it's something to think about and i'm interested in your thoughts. because that sweet little crown made out of the toilet paper roll and gold paint does not carry with it any authentic influence and power in our world.