New Year, New, Less Angry Me (Hopefully!)
Happy New Year everyone!
I decided to take a holiday break from writing, but now I'm back and so excited for a new year with new content! Woot woot!
So if you read the title, you're probably thinking I've got some hidden anger issues that I'm trying to tackle this year—which makes sense, the title kinda implies that. But no. When I refer to a newer, less angry Skye, I'm talking about discourse.
I talked about being "woke," in my last post, I'll Be Woke for the Holidays. In the article, I touched on what it means and feels like to be woke. This piece will expand on that, but more specifically on being woke and angry.
There comes a time in any young social justice warrior's life when they finally become woke. They finally wipe the crud out of their eyes, the stereotypes, the appropriation, the racism, the sexism, the classism, the homophobia, and the transphobia that are baked into our society. (And don't get me wrong, it's not like you suddenly become woke. Like one day you just know everything. I've said it before, I am always unlearning problematic behavior.) Regardless, there comes that time of "wokeness" where you're just like Jack Skellington realizing he's lived his whole life without Christmas. What's this? Misogyny? What's this?
And when you start to open your eyes to injustice, it's really hard to not get mad every 5 seconds at every little issue that pops up. It's impossible to let each moment of injustice just go unnoticed. Personally, (my parents can attest to this) I went through several periods where any little issue just sent me into a rant. For a while there, I was going off at every headline.
Being woke can leave you wanting to just rip your hair out. You want to point to someone, anyone, and say "This is wrong! Don't you see that?" And half the time they don't.
In Sister Outsider, my girl Audre Lorde wrote,
Which is basically like the saying: It is not the job of the oppressed to educate/comfort the oppressor.
Since realizing it isn't healthy to be constantly trying to educate people about social issues, arguing them down with facts, and disputing debunked myths, I've tried to take a backseat in many arguments. Just the other night I got to hear a man explain why he thinks black people are making a bigger deal out of police brutality than it really is. It didn't matter that I basically have a powerpoint presentation with citations and an annotated bibliography on why he's wrong. And yes, after an hour of pouring through data and explaining why police brutality is real not only for black people but also people with mental disorders, members of the LGBTQIA community, and minorities as a whole, maybe he even would've agreed with me. But am I really supposed to do that with every person I meet?
Okay I'm not going to lie. I did end up educating that dude.
But I did so calmly. Without screaming. Without calling him ignorant. As much as I'd have liked to.
Sometimes people just say things to get a rise out of others. They get their kicks from trolling people and have no interest in disputing facts or pondering cultural identity issues (like me!).
The point is that sometimes you just have to let it slide. It isn't worth the toll on your blood pressure and mental health. You are not responsible for other people's opinions or prejudices, nor are you responsible for changing them. Ultimately we're all in charge of our own problematic ideas, and it's through critical thought that we should all seek to correct them. That being said, I'm not advocating for anyone to compromise their morals. If someone asks your opinion, give it freely and calmly, but also unapologetically. But if you're just sitting on the bus and you overhear a slur— try not to make your own headline.
"Person gone crazy on public transit, punched an old lady and ran away screaming."