January 29, 2017
A vow to write instead of scrolling and trolling
In an effort to curb my media consumption while simultaneously being more productive, I decided to stop reading and start writing.
Today’s my day off, and I’ve already been on a bike ride. I have some plans to do some yoga with the YouTube stretchy girl later today, and also I’ve finally subscribed to the NYT. I’ve been meaning to do it for ages, but after the last week’s events and a certain commander-in-chief’s sweeping endorsements, I decided today would be the day.
I’ve seen a few articles reminding protesters and resisters to take care of themselves, and while it makes sense, it’s going to be challenging. How am I supposed to take care of myself when I know that so many good people’s lives are newly in danger? With the sweep of a maniac’s signature, a maniac whom barely 25% of Americans voted for, refugee children are hopeless, a nation is without health care, and the entire world HATES us.
Here are a few worrying realities that have me obsessing on social media and reading every single news outlet (even the conservative ones) at all hours. Actually, every single action the administration has taken during this first week of the presidency has me freaking out, a few more than others. Silver linings do occasionally occur thank god.
1. The censoring of scientific facts is really getting to me. Not alternative facts, real ones. Human activity is rapidly destroying the only planet in this solar system with life, and the more info we all know, the better we can deal with it. I’m really obsessing over the government’s decision to “black out” life-altering information that all air-breathers should be privy to. Wiping out the evidence of climate change is not possible, and to destroy the previous administration’s work for the sake of a millionaire’s vested real estate interests is pretty messed up. I presume many of the alt-right party don’t like the fact that climate change and capitalism can’t really co-habit. So, rather than looking for solutions, they’ll just sweep climate change under the rug until all our coastal cities are underwater, every child has asthma and every old person dies of heat stroke. When the rogue national parks started tweeting and posting Smokey The Bear RESIST pictures, I felt my heart leap. I know some bad-ass nature lovers, particularly those who’ve studied at Warren Wilson College or worked at The Wilderness Society. I know all them campers, fishers, farmers and hunters ain’t afraid to get their hands dirty and fight for what’s right. So remember folks…
2. The administration reinstated the Global Gag Rule, and we’re all witnessing the growing support of even more anti-choice legislature. All these wealthy white women (ahem, KellyAnn Conway) who voted for the current administration are talking about “post-feminsim” and how they feel they’re already equal, yet they don’t even know the definition of feminism, nor do they realize how many women have fought in recent history for rights they are currently taking for granted. Week one, and our access to sexual health is being eroded faster than you can say misogyny. FYI feminism, by definition, is the belief in equality, and this feminist right here wont ever consider the world to be “post feminist” until every person is equal. I’m not just fighting for American and Australian women. I want to see all people lifted up. I want to see girls in Africa staying in school rather than being sold into sex slavery, and I want to see gay marriage legalised in Australia, and all the inequalities in every other country fixed along the way.
And also, on the topic of abortion, I know it’s a hard pill to swallow, but like guns in the USA, you can’t ban abortions in Uncle Sam land. You can only ban safe abortions. Rich women will fly to other countries for safe legal abortions, poor women will use coat hangers, and possibly kill themselves along with their fetuses. And while we go backward, the anti-choicers pat themselves on the back for their unwanted fetus rescue, shame the sluts who couldn’t keep their legs closed and dream about their seat at the table in the kingdom in heaven, where they will dine on Chic-Fil-A. Thank goddess for The Women’s March on Washington which reminded me that there are literally millions of people who are fighting injustice and working to lift people up. I wish I could have been there.
3. So thinking about number 2 got me pretty depressed, so lets go with two other pieces of news that have me helplessly clicking refresh on my Twitter feed. I have not really followed these stories as closely, but they are equally depressing. One is an order to build a massive wall along the border of Mexico and America, a very visual, destructive way to tell the world we’re assholes while threatening to destroy at least 100 endangered species along the way. And we all know US taxpayers are going to pay for it, and also that it will do little to prevent illegal immigration. Like the wall, the Dakota Access Pipeline construction has also been given the go-ahead, even after months of people protesting and even military veterans joining the cause. This pipeline construction would be near Native American reservations, have terrible impacts on the environment and it is just as divisive as a wall. One little anecdote that brightened my day was seeing that Malia Obama has recently been spotted protesting the pipeline.
4. And now moving on to probably the most disturbing and devastating news which has just rattled me to my core, and that is the Muslim ban. I thought I was already angry, I thought I was upset, and then I read about an Iranian woman who attended Clemson University in South Carolina, (the state where I was born and raised). She lived in SC for seven years, with a legal green card. She just went home to visit her family, once a year, much like I do, only to be detained indefinitely in Dubai, simply because she is from Iran. I was fuming reading all the headlines, I was outraged watching all the protests at the airport, but when I read Nazanin Zinouri’s story, I straight up burst into tears. This is not normal, and this is not America. Yes I love to pick on my country for occasionally being a bit backward; I love to hate on racist rednecks who go mudding, shoot guns and make babies, but this kinda cruel treatment from the US government, (based ONLY and irrationally on the fact that this law-abiding, dog-owning, hard-working resident was from Iran) is breaking my heart. I watched the news, feeling helpless in Australia yet again. Then I saw the breaking news ACLU for the win, and while it wasn’t a big win, the glimmer of hope reminded me that there are checks and balances in my country, and not everyone in power is a money-hungry narcissistic fascist.
And then I decided to write. From here on out, when I read the news about the unethical changes carried out by our new administration, I’m not going to repeatedly refresh, I’m not going to troll, I’m going to write my thoughts down here, and give money to places that work to maintain the United State’s reputation as the welcoming place I know it can and should be. The joy I felt from ACLU announcement was even better than the rogue national parks, so I decided to go ahead and donate a little to them to, and I became a member!
So, that’s week one with the Alt Right USA. I’m thinking about resistance and the best way I can make my voice heard, even while living far away. Probably posting “Make America Not Racist For The First Time” photos on Instagram is not the best use of my time and talents, therapeutic as it may be. So yes. I’m done freaking out and scrolling and trolling. I’m using my money, my words and hopefully my legs! I’ll be attending a March on Science in Australia in the next few months, assuming it’s a go ahead. And now to read my new NYT subscription, and let all that “fake news” rile me up and get me ready for an unavoidable uphill battle I am ready to take. I see so many friends on Facebook just as fired up as I am, and I’m so excited to know I’m not alone in my outrage. More words coming soon.
“I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.”
― Margaret Atwood,