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Aug 16 2013

You Good People

I just want to take a moment to thank all of you on this side of the rift.

Not so long ago, I might’ve ended up on the other. Our culture had battered me with so many messages about how women were and should be treated and should react to that treatment that I thought all that shit was normal. Upset because some dude cat-called you on the street? Chill out, girl! Didn’t get that promotion? Well, most women just can’t hack it like dudes can. Why did that idiot stay with her abuser? Why did she get drunk knowing she could get hurt? Where does she get off saying women aren’t equal – we totally are, and if we aren’t, well, it’s probably our fault, ladies! Hey, I’m one of the guys. I’m not like those girls.

Being one of the guys really can insulate you from a lot of bullshit. It also allows you to perpetuate the worst of our culture rather than recognizing problems and fixing them.

You brought me out of that.

What feminism is: the radical notion that women are people. Sign me up! Image courtesy Julie Jordan Scott via Flickr.

What feminism is: the radical notion that women are people. Sign me up! Image courtesy Julie Jordan Scott via Flickr.

Watching you fight the good fights, listening to you explain how it actually is, investigating the evidence you presented, woke me up to some ugly realities. Some of it I didn’t want to face, but watching you battle these entrenched attitudes and all this wrongness, I couldn’t let you do it alone. I couldn’t just stand by and let you struggle to make the world a better place by yourselves.

So yeah, I write a little about it. But the biggest difference you’ve made is in the way I approach other people in my life. There are things I don’t let slide now. There are myths I’m equipped to correct, and do. You showed me how, and you gave me the knowledge I needed, and the courage, and now because of you good people, there are some folks walking around in the world who are just that little bit more aware. Like me, they didn’t know. They didn’t know that so many of the things they’d heard were lies, exaggerations and stereotypes. But you’ve given me the resources to give to them that correct those errors. And a lot of people who were perpetuating those myths turn out to be good people, too, who are happy to change their minds, and grateful to know better.

We don’t often see the difference we’re making, down here in the trenches. Not with the chaff thrown up by those who like the status quo just fine, and don’t want to see it change, either because they don’t want to believe they’ve fallen for harmful lies, or because the present conditions give them advantages, or because they would have to face the harsh fact that they are in fact predatory assholes. Those folks are loud, and fling a lot of shit, and make it difficult to see the people who are quietly changing their minds.

It's sad we still have to march to pound this simple truth into people's heads. It's awesome that so many of us are willing to keep hammering. Image courtesy msmornington via Flickr.

It’s sad we still have to march to pound this simple truth into people’s heads. It’s awesome that so many of us are willing to keep hammering. Image courtesy msmornington via Flickr.

You good people are changing the world. It takes time. It’s godsdamned bloody hard. Often seems like there’s no progress, and sometimes feels like it’s just getting worse. But don’t let despair lie to you. We’re getting there, even with the setbacks. The conversations we’re having now wouldn’t have been possible even a few months ago. People are speaking out who had no voice before.

I’m so glad you brought me around. I’m so grateful I was lucky enough to have been found by you. And I’m proud to be standing beside you.

Thank you.

11 comments

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  1. 1
    Fizzing thru da Fizzics

    This, so much this. I concur, dear lady, and I add my thanks to those who helped and old, white, privileged guy see reason. Kia Ora and Kia Kaha!

  2. 2
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Well-said, ma’am. Well said indeed. Very glad to be standing beside you. :)

  3. 3
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    I was a very different (and not in a good way) person before I discovered this place. I also want to thank everyone here for giving me that perspective that I needed to push myself to be a better person.

  4. 4
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    I concur wholeheartedly.

    I should thank you, too, because a) you made rocks cool (I’ll never look at rocks the same way again because of you), and b) your righteous posts have become a standard to try and reach. You’re one of my favorite bloggers, here, and for good reason. So thank you, Dana.

  5. 5
    Trebuchet

    Bravo, Dana!

  6. 6
    Funny Diva

    Thank you, Good People!
    Thank _you_, Dana–you are a Good People, too!
    Thank you, all “my” go-to Good People who blog and comment here at this Blog Network–you’ve made, and continue to make me a better person.

  7. 7
    Mister Grumbles

    Thank you for this, and thanks to everyone fighting the good fight. I have already learned so much from our community and I still learn something new (about the world and about myself) every day.

  8. 8
    MadHatter

    Agreed Dana! I think I wasn’t terribly far from being a “chill girl” in attitude before discovering you and the other FTB bloggers. I love reading your work, both on social issues and rocks so thank you!!

  9. 9
    Lithified Detritus

    I’ve been appalled by the recent revelations, but haven’t commented because I didn’t think that I had much to add to the conversation. I’m glad, though, that there are people like you to raise Hell about this kind of crappy behavior.

  10. 10
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Can’t wait until that rift is an ocean basin.

    It’s deep enough, and we sure are drifting apart, but I’m hoping for a satisfying amount of width.

  11. 11
    Marcus Ranum

    I’m one of those white guys who’s going grey with privilege, and I’ve got to say my attitude has changed tremendously – largely thanks to the slime pit: they are so clearly wrong it serves as a dark backdrop against which our sides’ arguments shine out like a stream of bat’s piss.*

    (*apologies – a shaft of gold against the darkness)

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