I’ve been stuck in a rut.
I know it’s been probably two or three months since I’ve posted. Part of that is due to the fact that I started a new job, and it’s extremely busy. I’ve been neglecting other writing, too. It’s the nature of the beast. When one thing ramps up, something else needs to take a break. Things in their seasons. I am a firm believer of letting seasons have their turn.
But there’s another thing, and that’s this: I’m not sure where to go with this blog. I’m not sure what I want to do with my writing and my activism.
I recently reconnected with a friend on social media – she was a dear friend from my Livejournal days. We are as different as different can be. We do not share the same ideologies, or religion, or thoughts, or opinions on life and the world. And because my circles are usually full of people who think and feel pretty much the same as me, and have that fiery social justice passion burning in their breasts, much like I do, having friends like this almost feels wrong. Am I somehow betraying my ideals by being okay with someone’s more fundamentalist, patriarchal views? Should I be flying the social justice flag 24/7?
I’m still doing activism. I still do a lot of activism, actually, probably to the annoyance of my less socially-fired-up friends on social media. But I get to thinking . . . I see a lot of friends of mine who renounce all forms of bigotry, right down to saying that they don’t care if you’re their mother or sister – if you’re not willing to stop being a bigot, then you have no place in their lives. And I once thought I’d like to do the same thing. But the thing is . . . I can’t.
Maybe that makes me a bad activist. Maybe that means, as someone told me, that I have no right to write about social justice or feminism. How can you be a hypocrite? That was what that person asked me, and I wonder – can you be an activist that still has room in your life for friends that don’t agree fully with you?
I know we’re supposed to think of ourselves as activists, full stop. Feminists, full stop. And that is probably the biggest part of who I am. But I’m also someone who doesn’t mind visiting and having a cup of tea, whether in real life or virtually, with an old friend who just happens to not agree with equal marriage. The thing is, we don’t talk about that. We both know it’s there. We both know how each other feels about it. And yet, in that moment, we’re just friends, enjoying our shared interests, catching up with each other’s lives. I can’t turn off the fact that I care for people who do not share my ideologies – even though I think my ideologies are the right ones and don’t understand why others don’t want equality, too.
I also know this may cause me to lose friends.
But this is why I haven’t been writing. I am conflicted – not in my activism, simply in my method of BEING an activist. I don’t feel like it should be all or nothing – but maybe it should be. Maybe I’m the one who’s wrong.
I’m in that strange valley of having two separate sets of friends. And I’ll say this – the friends who do not share my ideologies are not the ones asking me to break it off with the ones they don’t agree with.
I’m not sure that breaking it off and insisting on only surrounding yourself with like-minded people is fruitful, anyway. As allies, our job is to educate.
How can you only preach to the choir?