I’m a cliché. Today I met yet another me. Seriously, how many white women in their 30’s work in the movement to end gendered violence and have musician husbands? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “I think we are the same person,” over the past few years. So are there really that many of me or is it just a San Diego/Portland phenomenon? Because if there are a lot of me out there, that’s a problem.
Why is it a problem? I’m a twin so I should be used to it, right? WRONG. Don’t even get me started with how much I hated, hated, being seen as half of a whole, never an individual. I’ve gotten over that recently but I could talk about that for hours (write about that for pages). P.S. – I love you, Beth!
But that’s not the point. While I believe that I am a totally awesome person (see Kristin Stewart, no one will abuse me now), I also recognize that I have some pretty darn mainstream and privileged identities. Cue the sound of all of the me’s getting upset. Should I go there? Yes I should…
Okay, so the people I’ve met are amazing and should be in this movement. I’m not saying anyone should quit or be forced out of a job. All I’m saying is that if this movement is still full of white, straight, married, middle class women like me, there’s a problem. We can’t avoid it. We shouldn’t. Anyone remember the 70’s? Yeah…this is 40 years later.
I know there are many more aspects of identity than what I’ve named. But honestly, I’m talking about the me’s in the movement. We can complain about our debt and living paycheck to paycheck. We can talk about the fact that sexual identity is fluid throughout our lifespans, but what’s the point? Those are great, valid issues to discuss, but if used to play the “I’m oppressed, too” game, that’s not okay.
Here’s the obligatory false dichotomy statement that shows up in at least 1 out of every 3 of my posts: it’s not an either/or situation. I’m not saying it’s EITHER people like me OR people with other identities. It’s BOTH. It’s people like me AND people not like me. It’s ALL OF US. Just like the complaints that there are more animal shelters than women’s shelters, it’s not one or the other. It’s not animal shelters OR women’s shelters. Duh, it’s MORE women’s shelters. So in this case, it’s not fewer me’s, it’s more not-me’s.
So me’s, let’s openly acknowledge our me-ness. Let’s acknowledge our privilege and support more women of color, LBT women, and others in the movement to end gendered violence. I know you’re with me ‘cause you’re, well, me. Right?