Listen...as I've said numerous times, I'm not a generally cheery person. I don't walk around with a rain cloud over my head, but I do tend to be a smidge cynical and loads sarcastic. However there are a few pessimistic things that I have no time for. One of them emerged recently surrounding Wendy Davis' filibuster...I noticed a few people on Facebook and Twitter saying things like, "This doesn't even matter. Perry will just call a second session."
Cue head explosion.
Let me say first...while I was actively participating in the whole anti SB5 movement, I did mention a few times that Perry could very well call a second session (and of course he did). But I can't help but feel that my motivation in stating that is very different from the person tweeting it from their couch. My intention was to put out a reminder that the fight was long from over and that we'd have to keep at it no matter what setbacks might be in front of us. Can the same be said for someone who's not actively involved? To me it reads like a whole lot of, "Why do you even bother?"
I have such a problem with that mentality. There is little more than I can stand in life than a complacent attitude. If something matters to me, it's just not an option for me to sit at home, shrug, and go on watching Community on Netflix. I think if you want change, you must actively and intentionally seek and create it.
Besides...when people say "It doesn't even matter" my immediate knee jerk reaction is: how do you define "matter?" If your only measure of success is changing the laws, then yes, the reaction against the omnibus anti abortion law might not "matter" if it inevitably passes. But is that a fair measure of success? I measure success by the fact that there has been a ton of national attention drawn to this issue, it is exceedingly clear that the people do no support this legislation, and, personally, I did all I could to stand in opposition to this deeply problematic bill. I did my part. We tried.
I've also noticed that the people who say things like this are generally the kind who take some sick pleasure in raining on other's parades. If everyone loves a movie, they must be the ones who post how much they hated it. If everyone is embracing a fashion trend, they must be the ones to make sneering comments about it. And in the case of politics like this, they seem to not only take pleasure in shitting on the passion of the movement, but they also hold the erroneous belief that those of us who are engaged are only amped up because we don't know what they know. And that if they tell us, they are somehow educating us through their boarderline antagonistic Tweets and Facebook posts.
I know that this sad, cynical, complacent attitude is simply a reflection of something within them, so I try not to let it get to me. But what does worry me is that these toxic opinions will affect others, so that's why I'd just like to emphasize again that even if the omnibus anti abortion bill passes, what we have done here in Texas has mattered. We have made news and history. And for the reproductive rights movement overall, we will always face setbacks, but we simply can't be discouraged. There's too much at stake.
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Friday, July 5, 2013
Sorry, I Don't Have Time for Your Stank Attitude, I'm Too Busy ActuallyDoing Something
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You make a really good point. I have been in the "why even bother" camp at times and I see that it is basically just imposing my experience of what "matters" on everyone else. We didn't get the vote, or any right for that matter, because we sat back and said "oh well the people in power aren't going to listen anyway". Activism is hard and it's easy to feel discouraged, but we will never change anything if we get to the 'discouraged' stage and drop the ball because "why even bother".ReplyDelete
Tl;dr great post :)
I think that activist burnout is normal and we all go through it. But it's one thing to feel personally discouraged and a whole other to try to actively discourage *others* who aren't burned out. Besides, the people I'm referring to here specifically have never even been activists. They just like to bring others down and that's a whole problem in itself.