Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Nation of Victims

I’ve got to get this off my chest.  Shut up and worry about something real.  All of us!  This morning, I read that JK Rowling has been accused of “cultural appropriation” following her recent made-up history of wizarding in the Americas, incorporating Native American lore and myth.  That was followed up by a comment about the reason General Leia didn’t hug Chewie when they returned following Han’s death was essentially prejudice against Wookies.  Yeah, you're getting a pretty good look into my inner geek - and highbrow source material but so be it. 

The term is butthurt and I am so disgusted by it that I'm blogging for the first time in more than two years because my feelings cannot be summarized neatly into a silly little Facebook post. 

I write only from my perspective as my own “protected class.” I am a female and I am a feminist.  Not the “how dare you give me less?” variety, the honest-to-God, “how stupid of you to underestimate me” variety.  I am a human and an American and a wife and a mother as well.  None of these are mutually exclusive. 

The original quote by Charlotte Whitton was, “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good.  Luckily, this is not difficult.”  Somewhere along the way, that last sentence got left off.  Instead of a rallying cry for the inherent power and ability of women, we’ve turned it into a spoiled toddlerism. 

We are, none of us “given” everything.  We all start out with “something” and it’s different for everyone.  Everyone.  Some certainly have more (another word I’ve come to hate) privilege than others.  That doesn’t mean they’re doing the most with it.   It doesn’t mean that they’re happy, fulfilled, making a real contribution to society.  And guess what?  We can’t control that. 

From a woman’s perspective, I was not “given” everything.  I earned it.  I work hard in my job, in my marriage, in my parenting, in my own mental health and happiness.  If you think it’s easy, you’re doing it wrong.   Love or hate her, Hillary Clinton earned it. Madeline Albright earned it, Eleanor Roosevelt earned it.  And even Kim Kardashian, she’s earned it too. 

So, you want to “Make America Great Again?”  Stop being a victim.  Stop getting butthurt because the MFA hostedan exhibition allowing people to try on kimonos while standing next to a Monet.  Cultural appropriation is about the stupidest term there is – particularly in a great country of immigrants such as ours.  When did assimilation become appropriation? And when did those two words become wrong?  And – by the way – actual Japanese people thought this was the stupidest thing they’d heard in quite a while.

I’ll end my rant with this, because I need to go grocery shopping before school pick up:

Please do not be offended by my or on behalf of me.  I’ve got my own back.  What I want, what I need, I earn.  And if the path is a little harder than someone else’s, it’s okay.  I can handle it.  If your path is a little harder than mine, that's cool too because I'm strong enough to help you be strong.

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