Frankly I hadn’t even known there was an international day celebrating women—and the invisibility of the event surprised me. I mean, here I’d just gone and outted myself as a feminist and I didn’t even know about this? Talk about the media burying social issues!
Then, cruising the web, looking for some sort of interesting image to use, I stumbled upon the above photo of a man living—or trying to live—down in the Gulf near New Orleans.
Talk about invisible social issues, indeed.
At least we women have a natural platform from which to shout and wave cool signs and write blogs about the “softer” values of love, peace, community, sustainability, healthy minds and bodies and a healthy Earth. As the downtrodden and the marginalized we’re expected to lobby for these human rights so completely ignored by the Powers That Be.
Even if we’re not exactly heard, it’s socially appropriate. I mean, we’re women, for God’s sake.
Huh. Like the terrible toll of skewed values and Western society’s predatory focus upon power, profits and progress doesn’t affect men? Just look into this guy’s eyes. There’s the answer to that bullshit notion.
But what can he do?
Go to a Teamster’s meeting and demand r-e-s-p-e-c-t as an individual? Ask for love and understanding for his desperation and soul suffering? Right. Sure. And what will he hear in response? “Hey, buddy, go get a shave, find a job, be a man and stop whining.”
Yep. That’s a lot of help.
Thing is, it’s so doggone easy to get caught up in positions! It’s so easy to be on a side—on the side of justice over tyranny, on the side of right over wrong, on the side of women over men, Republicans over Democrats, Democracy over Socialism.
We get caught up in words and labels and issues like women’s rights and get into such an emotional frenzy over differences of opinion that we forget what really matters is our humanity.
If we could just figure out what that is, and honor it, all the answers to all our problems and suffering would become incredibly clear.
Are we workers? Defined by our labor and the almighty dollar? Are we competitors? Defined by how well we can beat the other guy down? Are we consumers? Defined by how much we can eat and own? Are we women? Are we men?
Or are we humans … defined by our feelings, our capacity to love, our capacity to suffer, our capacity to care, our capacity to transform and create? Both man and woman … equal in potential, equal in need, equal in our desire for gentility, fulfillment and peace.
Equally deserving of hope and a better world … a world that can only be birthed through a recognition of our commonality, not our differences.