The Inauguration has not been kind to me. I have allowed my anxiety over the current commander in chief to... I don't know. I have been in a slump.
Mostly I think since November. I have done a terrible job of taking care of myself... all sugar and no exercise.
I have not been getting enough sleep, or drinking enough water. Or doing routine things that need to be done.
November and December were dedicated to Beading and Beading and Beading. I beaded countless safety pins at the behest of F/friends who were wishing for an outward symbol of their angst and a way to show their support of people who were feeling at risk.
But I felt conflicted about beading these items because my Facebook feed was clogged with people railing against the empty gesture of anyone wearing a pin as if safety pins could cure all ills.
None of my safety-pin wearing friends believe that a pin will cure all ills.
But there was this widespread horrible hue and cry over who had the right to feel scared. Who had the right to be concerned, fearful, devastated by the outcome of the election. I saw people being attacked by others for their fears because their privilege was too great. Because you have it so good, you don't have a right to feel bad.
This presumes that I will only be concerned about myself.
One of the privileges that comes with privilege is that you are in a position to worry about things beyond where you will get your next meal or whether or not you will be shot by the police when stopped for a routine traffic violation.
I am not just worried for me.
If I could keep my worries just about me, maybe my anxiety would not be so large. But I am worried about me. And about you. And that other guy over there.
I am worried about all of my students who moved here from other countries as refugees and asylees. Who came by boat and by plane and across deserts to get here. I am worried about people who are already here and have made a life here for their families and what anti-immigrant and anti-refugee policies will mean for them.
I am worried about setbacks in LGBTQ progress toward equal protection under the law. About an administration that seems to feel a need to know a lot more about what is going on in our bedrooms and bathrooms than they have a right to. I am worried that social norms are going to slide back into ever-increasing bigotry and division. I don't want people to feel the need to pretend to be someone they are not just to avoid being victims of hatred and discrimination.
I am privileged. I am a white married woman (with a male spouse) living in a white picket fence and a trio of children living in a safe neighborhood. My husband and I are both employed. My children attend public schools staffed by an excellent teaching staff.
My biggest complaint? I have too much stuff. Talk about privilege.
So does this mean that I have no right to feel abject terror over the prospect of an administration whose positions run contrary to my own?
My fear does not make yours less. This is not a contest that I am having with you.
When I knit a few dozen "pussy hats," it does not mean that I am super excited about wearing something on my head evocative of female genitalia. For me it is a tongue-in-cheek jab at the pussy-grabbing comments made by our sitting president.
Knitting them in the days before the inauguration gave me something to do with my anxiety. The fact that friends, coworkers, members of my faith community, members of my family all wanted me to make them a hat made me feel a member of a tribe (including humans of multiple ages and genders).
I am tired of people attributing meaning that can't exist on a grand scale. "This is why people marched..." or "This is who was there..." or "This is who was missing..." from the Women's March.
People marched because they wanted to for one reason or another. And there were many reasons. And it is complicated. And that is what it means to be human.
Ugh. This is very preachy and ranty.
I gotta stop. More later. I need to catch up on my posts.
Quaker, teacher, parent,