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Fortifying Friday - My Stance on Violence

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Today, I feel like I just want to be a kid and let an adult take care of the mess. But I can't do this. I'm the adult. So I started the day with dishes. I hate dishes and laundry the most of all house chores. They're never ending like an MMORPG that isn't fun, but is only a grindfest.

Lately, I've been struggling a lot as my newsfeed fills with disturbing information pertaining to Trump's America. I know I'm not the only one.

I've been struggling to find words at all for this, let alone the right ones. I'm unsure if I've found them or not, but I'm trying.

Largely, I'm a believer in peace. I believe life is precious. Maybe because my mother was told to abort me. Maybe because during my childhood, I attended my first funeral at age six and nearly every year after that I lost another family member and sometimes more than one. I've experienced the deaths of friends who should've had many more years as well. I've witnessed bloody disputes in high school and at parties. I'm talking heads cracked open, blood dripping on the school floor, kind of violence.

I understand fighting back. I understand the need. Even more so after reading this. But everytime I've fought back in a violent way, injuring another person has filled me with emotional pain. This is not me telling anyone else not to use violence. I'm simply stating how it makes me feel to do so.

A friend suggested to me that no one actually supports mobs singling out a man, beating him, and stealing his car. That no one supports trashing a home and setting children's beds on fire. Or other such acts. I hope that's true because the alternative scares me.

All of the different protests are more complicated for me as I have friends on both sides of the debates, though I don't *think* I am actually friends with any Trump supporters.

On Black Lives Matter

Here's a place where I have difficulty. I worked at a police station early on in my career. Yes, I know many cops are huge fucking assholes. But there are good ones too that I would hate to see harmed. My friend's dad is a police officer. I don't want anything to happen to him either.

I have many friends on the other side as well. I don't want them harmed either.

I can't fully pick either side because it is asking me to potentially choose the death of someone I love.

On Women's Health

I'm a woman. I have both benefited from and been harmed by birth control. If not for birth control, I might have a 17-year-old right now with someone who I don't believe will ever make a good parent. I might never have gotten my degree. I might never have left an abuser had we had children either.

There is a vast number of women, including myself, who have also had a lot of trouble with birth control. It tends to magnify depression and mental health symptoms for some. I haven't found a pill or patch that hasn't been a problem for me. The shot was good in terms of not affecting my mental health, but I kept bleeding on it and not with any kind of regular schedule.

For some, birth control is necessary to treat things like endometriosis, which I hear is often exceedingly painful. While, I don't believe abortion should be a default method of birth control, I do believe it needs to be an option. Given my current age and that I was supposed to be aborted, I don't feel it an option I would pursue unless I was either raped or it was medically necessary.

The fact that they think women don't need vaginal checkups after the babies are done being born is so idiotic that I can't even.

The fact that men want to legislate this is ludicrous. Especially since they haven't a clue what women face in pregnancy or throughout our lives. The fact that their wives are still with them is even more ridiculous. I bet they'll be happy to pay for an abortion when they knock their mistresses up.

On Trump's America

A lot of people are experiencing hardships. This is what I believe got Mr. Pumpkin Head elected. Trying to tell someone who is having trouble eating and paying bills that their experience is wrong because statistically their part of the country is better off doesn't help them put food on the table or keep shelter over their heads. Facts are very important, but what people perceive as their reality is important too. Pain isn't diminished by numbers in a spreadsheet. Voting in someone who plans to fix it is what rational people do in a democracy. Yes, we even do this knowing they might be lying. Every election is a gamble to a degree.

The first time Stephen Harper was elected in Canada, I was one of the people who voted for him. It was the first time I had ever voted Conservative. I did so for two main reasons. While in university taking a business degree, I took several economics courses. Harper's platform seemed economically sound. The other reason? I was married to a man who worked for a department of defense contractor and really wanted him to keep his job, so we could keep our home and put food on the table. I wasn't deliberately trying to fuck over anyone else. I didn't vote for him the second time he was elected.

What I'm trying to say is that I don't believe the only people who voted for Trump were racist, sexist, homophobic assholes. There were definitely a number of those people, but there were also regular people who believed Trump would help him. Yes, they were duped. I know a lot of us, especially those not in the thick of it, wonder how the hell the Americans didn't see him for who he is.

If you've been through an abusive relationship, maybe you see exactly how it happened. Abusers typically seem like wonderful human beings. They're charming, friendly, and great to be around. They do good work and may even be active in the community and very generous to charities. At home, they are monsters.

I don't feel bad admitting that I thought Trump may have just been playing a sick game. That his platform seemed too farcical to get him elected. I even thought perhaps he was just saying whatever he needed to in order to get elected. I didn't really think he was Hitler 2.0.

I am scared that more people are going to die. I'm scared they will be people I love. While I know they will have died fighting for something they believe in and that it is an immensely worthy cause, it won't take away the pain that their death will bring. I don't want to think of a loved one's bloody, broken, and lifeless body lying in a street somewhere. I don't want to think of their children trying to make sense of it all. I'm worried that the cycle of hate and violence won't be broken because we haven't found another way that works. I'm worried about them becoming the monsters they are fighting against.

All I want is for people to see how differences are what make the world beautiful.

We have many stories that show this, both real and fictional, yet we always end up in the same place. It feels like the same battle with different actors. As if we're stuck until we find a way to get it right.

Then there's the dark side of me that says people like Trump don't deserve the valuable gift that is life. That they should face a firing squad for being an awful human. But killing all the assholes can't be the answer either, my heart implores me, because that may have a price that is steeper than weathering The Jack-o'-Lantern judging by all the other unsolved wars on the planet.

So what now? I honestly haven't a clue beyond continuing the current resistance efforts of sharing the information he doesn't want out there. And those efforts give me such hope.

  • Scientists continue to solve problems. This week, advancements were made in the fight against Leukemia to the point that a cure may have been found. They've also been able to produce a metallic form of hydrogen.

  • People climbed a crane and hung a sign of resistance.

  • Government workers and scientists across the nation are refusing to stop tweeting and putting accurate information out into the world.

  • More marches are being organized. Hell, the apolitical scientists are going to march too!

  • The rest of the globe is proceeding with their efforts in switching to renewable energy and acceptance of all humans no matter race, country of origin, religion, gender, or sexuality.


There are at least three things I can think of that we can do:

  1. Continue making him feel inadequate, incompetent, etc.

  2. Bring those that have admitted their mistake into the fold to help.

  3. Remember to take care of yourself, so you'll be ready to fight.

  4. If they go for the Internet, go to analog methods. There are many ways to communicate.


Long live the resistance!

Ciao,
R~

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