It is breezy today. It’s one of those southern mornings when all you can see is blue sky but somehow the light is soft; the sun is hiding behind an unseen cloud. The trees are attempting to remember which green is theirs; shedding pollen, sprouting buds, establishing a vibrant hue before the long days of summer fade and drain them. It is spring.
Everything is coming alive and breaking out of hibernation and I want to write. I have nothing to say. I want this site to be filled with thoughts, references, ideas. Instead it sits. I guess this is ok.
The internet makes it so easy to stumble across good writing and new ideas and pieces to the puzzles you are sorting through. In an ideal world I would have time (and would use that time) to join these conversations. I may have nothing profound to say. I probably don’t. But as it is, I fall asleep every night crafting essays that linger in my neurons and never allow me to move on to other thoughts and ideas because I don’t want to lose what I have crafted. I lose them anyways.
The best I can manage these days is listening. I have little time to write and even less to say, and that’s ok. There may come a time when I have things worth saying, but perhaps not.
Every day I have the privilege of listening to black people who no longer have to work within the rules of white supremacy to find a platform. White supremacy still controls so much of their lives but now they bravely elucidate the forms that it takes, the structures it imposes, the injustices it defines and the crimes it commits.
Every day I have the privilege of listening to trans people who share their experiences, who elucidate the dangers and agressions and injustices they face. They broaden my understanding of the human experience and help me speak in less harmful ways and open my eyes to the many privileges I obtain just by being cis.
Every day I have the privilege of listening to women all over the world who delineate the patriarchy, the sexist rules of society, and the bullshit they experience constantly. They challenge my assumptions and reduce my ability to claim ignorance.
These groups are not distinct - they overlap and intertwine. And these are not the only groups speaking - thank goodness. But they are groups that do not include me, and as such I am complicit in a culture that perpetuates the problems they face. I may not be all men in one person, but I am a man and thus responsible.
I’m listening, and learning, and doing what is needed as I can. Maybe one day I’ll be able to write about why the men who find discussions of privilege upsetting are irrational, emotional people. Maybe one day I’ll write about how the things I’ve learned from everyone who shares their experiences and criticizes the default assumptions of our culture have helped me be a btter parent. Maybe. In the meantime, I needed to write and all I have to say these days is thanks. If you are sharing your experiences; if you are fighting the structures that I represent; if you are mad as hell and you are not going to take it anymore; thanks. I hear you.