Saturday, February 16, 2013

What If It Never Stops?

What if the progressive fight never ends? What if peace never comes, and equality of opportunity is never achieved? What if our struggle is in vain? What if, after all the civil rights battles we wage for all these different reasons, there comes a new, more important battle? What if humans are never equal, or have equal access? What if there is never peace? 
This is how I feel. Also, this isn't photoshopped.
A friend reminded me why we should fight. Carol Steinel, from Teh Portly Dyke (and several other blogs) commented:

"Some perspective (from just within my lifetime): When I was growing up, people not only beat their children regularly, they were encouraged to do so and applauded for it. I was forced to wear a dress to school (even when it was below zero) because I had a vagina. When I came out to myself (in 1968), the fact that I was gay meant that I could be hospitalized as a person who was "mentally ill" and could be jailed if I acted on my desires. The thought that anyone, anywhere would ever legalize same-sex marriage was BEYOND COMPREHENSION. Segregation still existed, and lynchings were not only happening, but applauded.

That's ONE PERSON'S (not even that long, really) lifetime. We are evolving. We will continue to evolve. We will have equality, and peace, and when we see what we've made of it, we will yearn for greater equality, and greater peace.

This is already happening. It has been happening. Don't let the news-media and the drama of people who like to fight convince you otherwise."
Forty years ago, mixed race couples were abhorred. The thought of a black President of the United States was inconceivable. Forty years ago, Christian was the default and being anything else was career ending, and being homosexual was actively persecuted. Now, we just made history by electing the first Hindu rep, the first Buddhist rep, and the first openly homosexual rep. Two days ago, Illinois became the 10th state to approve same sex marriage. All this and hundreds more examples like this happened in half a lifetime. 

But looking forward, there is still much to do. From Deaf Pride to Fat activism to Feminism to Religious Equality, there is much left. We still struggle with racism in this country after 55+ years of progress, let alone sexism, which is in its fourth wave of combat. 

I think that humans must be socially conditioned to segregate people and place them in neat, tidy labels. Take for instance the study that was reported saying white 9-month-old babies had a hard time telling African-American babies' emotions apart (they were actually called "racist babies." Google it). When you consider that these white babies probably were not exposed to black babies during the 4 month difference, it points more to conditioning than genetics.

What about the fact that in the Middle Ages, men and women (peasants) were fairly equal, because when you have to literally battle every day against starvation, every body is important in tending the fields and the chick isn't taking shit from the dude about sandwiches and kitchens. And lets not talk about how bodies weren't pathologized (but where still split; fat being viewed as more desirable. Only when someone suddenly lost a lot of weight did doctors start worrying).

What about the open (male-centric) homosexuality in Rome? What about the religious tolerance that was shown in Rome, the same place we get our democracy from?

"The religion of the Christians and Jews was monotheistic in contrast to the polytheism of the Romans.[16] The Romans tended towards syncretism, seeing the same gods under different names in different places of the Empire. This being so, they were generally tolerant and accommodating towards new deities and the religious experiences of other peoples who formed part of their wider Empire.[17] This general tolerance was not extended to religions that were hostile to the state nor any that claimed exclusive rights to religious beliefs and practice.[17]"
So then why has this changed? Where is the roots so we can kill it there? Why have we changed so much?

No, seriously. Can anyone answer this?

1 comment:

  1. What is Aristotelian teleology (which is the basis of the notion of progress) is incorrect metaphysics? What if "golden age" mythology is incorrect history? What if, given the shortness of individual human life, and the desire of each new generation to learn the lessons of history afresh (dang those teenagers!) make improvement of the social condition nearly impossible?

    The struggle for improved conditions for both oneself and one's children isn't that enough on your plate for any human life? I can hope that my small actions to improve things, will also have the result of improving conditions for my neighbors and humanity as well ... but let's not get our egos too inflated, as if we are the dungeon master in a D&D game.

    Whatever history lies before us, our work remains to be done, it won't be easy and it won't be dull.