If you feel my writing has taken a ‘political’ tone…
I don’t believe that standing up for the rights of women, PoC, #LGBTQI #ActuallyAutistic, the economically oppressed, anyone else, or this planet is ‘political.’
That is just being a decent human being.
That is my new pinned Tweet.
When I left Literotica all those months ago, one of the criticisms hurled at me was…
Please don’t get on a platform to push your political firestorms. We all have our beliefs and don’t need to be indoctrinated by your beliefs while reading your story.Anonymous
Truth telling and story telling have always gone hand in hand. Even before the written word, the bards that are the proud heritage of my adopted home in Wales used their stories to cast current societal issues in new light. Sometimes at the peril of their lives.
Yes, I’m not denying that some writers have used their talents for propagating those atrocities or flattering those in power. But those works rarely survive the tests of time.
I shared with you last week my role model – Harriet Beecher Stowe. But the other writer whose life and words equally impacted me is Henry David Thoreau. While I am still wading through Walden Pond, his short essay Civil Disobedience has shaped and formed me for years.
Action from principle, the perception and the performance of right, changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary, and does not consist wholly with anything which was.Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience
But as I said, it is not merely the man’s words that speak to me but his life as well. Henry David Thoreau was the ‘lesser’ of the Transcendentalists. He stood in the shadows of the older and more social eloquent Ralph Waldo Emerson. Even in a society of outsiders, Thoreau was such an outsider that he retreated to the woods for two years. He never felt safe or accepted in society. Only alone with nature and his thoughts did he find what peace he could.
Likewise, in his lifetime, his work did not sell well enough to support him. He died relatively young, believing that he was a ‘failure.’ Yet, a decade later, his words and his shoulders were among those that supported Harriet Beecher Stowe. His words that he died believing would fade into obscurity have inspired Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
And he did not even have the internet!
I do. And like Thoreau, I don’t believe that ‘politics’ change a damned thing. In fact, politics divides us on party lines. How many times have we seen friends block on another over politics?
Yes, like Thoreau I believe strongly that something are worth fighting for. The words that follow that quote are:
It not only divides States and churches, it divides families; ay, it divides the individual, separating the diabolical in him from the divine.Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
I have felt that separation myself. Faced things from my past and even writings that I am not proud of. I have been tempted to ‘erase’ them. But growth is a journey. We are growing as societies and cultures as well as individuals. But we won’t ‘get there.’ We won’t evolve. Unless we as individuals are willing to start calling…
We, all of us, have tolerated hatred and prejudice in the name of freedom of speech. We have dismissed unacceptable behaviors with excuses like…
- Boys will be boys…
- Those were different times…
- They don’t know any better…
But you know what? Things won’t get any better until we begin to call it out. If they don’t know any better by now, then someone needs to fucking tell… That’s racist/sexist/ableist/trans or homo-phobic. Or any of the other -isms and -phobias. Because if we want ‘new times’ then we can no longer afford to be silent about those ‘different times.’
And it’s up to us to do that. Those who are the brunt of that prejudice and hate have been calling it out for years with little to no change. They are tired and sometimes frightened. They are justifiably angry, too.
It’s time we all stood up and carried that load. That is not political. Ending prejudice, regenerating this planet, and feeding the poor should never be either political platforms or religious dogmas. They are transcendent ideals that must first become deeply personal. Engrained in the minds and hearts of the individual so much so that they are willing to risk everything for them.
Speaking of political philosopher of the time with opposing views, Thoreau said:
(Paley)…appears never to have contemplated those cases to which the rule of expediency does not apply, in which a people, as well as an individual, must do justice, cost what it may.More Civil Disobedience by Thoreau
Like Thoreau, I don’t have much to put on the line. No billion dollar publishing, movie, and merch contracts. Just a few dozen loyal readers, a modest social media platform, and my white, middle-class privilege. And my life…if it comes to that.
So, no, I am not political. I am just one middle-aged, privileged white ‘Karen’ doing my best to make this a better and more fair world for everyone. And I won’t be quiet anymore.