A few nights ago I awoke in the middle of the night. A common enough occurrence, but for once instead of the usual hobble to the bathroom or sigh at the clock, I had a revelation. I opened my eyes and marveled at my genius. Briefly I considered arising to document this grand thing, then chuckled to myself. I need not write down this dramatic truth I had just realized! It was so simple, so concise it would stay with me until the morning. With that last thought and a self satisfied smile, my eyes drifted shut and I returned to the land from whence the idea had sprung.
Of course, upon awakening, I had completely forgotten what my inspiration in the night had been. Whilst scrambling about in preparation for the work day, I scoured my mind attempting to dredge up what I had lost. The best I could do in the end was to obtain a general idea of what I had been so pleased with. I honestly believe that I do recall all of it… It’s just that the enormity of it was just exaggerated extensively by my partly conscious mind in the wee hours.
When I had woken up that night it was with the distinct impression that I had stumbled upon a way to make everyone understand what it means to be an oppressed minority. Yet upon review of it the morning after my coffee, I think perhaps it’s not as grand as I thought, but here it is nonetheless:
First take one privilege denying dude and sit him down. Then explain how it would like to be less privileged than him:
“Ok PDD, listen up. I want you to think about all the things that make people different from the perceived ‘norm’. Different from you in:
- sexual orientation (straight)
- sexual identification (cisgendered)
- race (white)
- gender (male)
- and hell, even religion (Catholic/Christian/etc).
Now imagine for everything different in a person, they had to carry around an extra 10 pounds of weight. So for myself, as a cisgendered lesbian atheist female, I am lugging around 30 extra pounds of weight everywhere. That really doesn’t sound pleasant does it? Change my race and its 40 pounds. Transgender? That’s 50!
So while you’re gallivanting about with no extra weight attached to you, everyone around you is struggling under the weight placed upon them because of the society we live in. While you’re climbing that ladder at work to promotion, the black male on the ladder next to you is struggling to continue his climb. While you’re strolling around after dark in an unfamiliar area, I’m staying at home pondering rape culture. While you’re sitting in church enjoying the service, a gay couple is attempting to find a church that will accept them. And is that fair? Is it really fair that somehow our culture dictates all that ‘weight’ upon people just because we differ? Think about that”
That final “Think about THAT” is most likely when that small smile graced my lips that night. PDD’s eyes would widen slightly at that point, his mouth would drop open, and realization would illuminate him. The world would change overnight.
And of course, that’s when in the light of day I realized this really was a pipe dream, a pleasant wish that my subconscious (and conscious) mind would like to believe could come true. I see the flaws with it, the subjectivity of the weight of one person’s struggles against the rest. The realization this half-cooked dream is really a wish for me. A wish that I could somehow bring my budding feminism to other people’s thoughts.
And then it dawned on me. There is a way I could. My girlfriend has for some time suggested I begin a blog. I scoffed and let the suggestion pass me by. What on earth could I possibly blog about that is worth anyone’s time to read? Thanks to that silly moment I now I realize I finally do have something.
And it all boils down to this: The purpose of this blog is to document my own experiences as they relate not only to feminism, but all inequalities as I perceive them. I have served in the Navy for over four years and have enlisted for another four. As my mind has embraced feminism, I have noted so many facets of this grand organization are rife with inequalities. My purpose with this blog is to illuminate them as I see them and document my progression as I learn more about myself, feminism, and human nature itself. Perhaps I won’t bring immediate comprehension and feminism to those who encounter my writings as I dreamt PDD did, but maybe I will bring a small kindling of the same fire that was ignited in me.