Wednesday morning, we all woke up in a strange new world. Some people celebrated. Some people shrugged and carried on. Some people said “oh well, maybe it won’t be that bad.” Some cried. Some wondered what would happen next. Some were angry.
After a few hours of all this happening on Facebook, there came a new voice – the hushers. The ones saying “my, some people need to take a break from Facebook and calm down.” There were straight white males telling others they were over reacting. By Day Two the “people need to move on” crowd showed up with a side of “this isn’t helping any”. Day Three ushered in The Great Safety Pin Controversy around the Internet and I found myself become depressed.
Everything I was doing was wrong. Everything I was saying was wrong.
Hush. Calm down. Be quiet. Be pleasant. Go sit in the corner. Shush.
I found myself wondering why I even bothered to try. Everything I was doing was being criticised. Everything I said was wrong. At the end of the day, I’m just a white woman in the suburbs. I am not marginalized. No one’s yelling slurs at me, or telling me to go home, or drawing swastikas on my car. And for as many times as I tried voice my opinion on politics, I’m pretty sure I didn’t change a damn mind on my Facebook feed or in my family.
Why bother? What am I playing at, trying to be all of this? Maybe it was time to hush, become silent, stand back, put on some Ugg boots, leggings, and a North Face vest and embrace the Basic White Woman status.
But here’s the thing…
I hate Uggs, I think they’re fugly.
I don’t look good in yoga pants.
North Face doesn’t make anything to fit over my bosom.
And I’ve never been basic. Scrappy, weird, introverted, stand-outish, loud, babbling, but never basic. And never quiet.
So everyone’s just going to have to put up with me. I can’t promise everything I do or say will be perfect, actually, I can promise I won’t be perfect. I’ll probably annoy some of you. I plan on writing still about the rights of those with disabilities, because they have a lot to lose with this new presidency. I will keep sharing information. I will keep teaching my children to be better people, kinder people. I will use my voice to combat ableism, racism, and hatred. I will probably stumble over words a few times or more. I won’t be perfect. I’m still trying to find my place in all of this, get back up on my feet after the rug’s been pulled out from under them.
But I’ll be doing something.
Because if you silence me, you also silence my daughter with disabilities. And I can’t have that. My other children are old enough to stand up and fight, and I will stand with them, support them in their endeavors. But my youngest with disabilities isn’t able to. So I stand up for her, for people like her, for kids like her. I use my voice where she can’t. And I won’t let that be silenced.
No, I will not be hushed.