Sorry I have been away so long. My mind and spirit really just haven’t been up to writing lately. So it is time to get back into it.
I started writing this months ago, and it has been sitting languishing while I try and get my mind in working order.
I am increasingly of the belief we are on the verge of World War 3. Just not the nuclear armageddon everybody thought it would be. This is a class war. It’s a world war because it isn’t between nations, but is one that will cover all nations.
The war has been brewing for years. Increasing hostilities. Each side gathering its forces, settling their positions. The war seems to have been started in reaction to all the gains by marginalised people. Finally getting some semblance of respect and being treated as human. And the realisation by the privileged that they are about to lose their privilege, they struck back.
We hear of repeated attempts to reverse human rights legislation in many countries:
- Re-defining rape as only rape if it involves force (in order to deny abortion services to rape victims).
- Increasing requirements for trans-vaginal ultrasounds before any abortion can be provided.
- Restrictions on (and outright refusal of) contraception.
- Re-criminalisation of homosexuality
So, we have those of us fighting for recognition, for equality, parity, recognition or even visibility. Fighting for a fair slice of the pie. On the other side we have the rich, powerful and ignorant. The abusers and rape-apologists. The neo-conservatives who believe so much in what they think is “right”.
The “Arab Spring” should be a lesson to all. It might have taken a few decades, but people – the real people – get tired of being abused, of being pushed and told they cannot be who they are. They get tired of tyranny and oppression. And with the world of social media, you cannot stop people gathering their forces.
Facebook (TW for this link) has a part to play in this war, for both sides. Some of the most vile, hateful and harmful pages are being created under their loving gaze. They proudly support people who (wittingly or otherwise) spread a culture of rape, violence and hate. They support people who think it is perfectly normal to joke about torture, rape and murder. They refuse to listen to anyone who speaks out against them. They treat pictures of breast-feeding babies as something so harmful, so heinous and destructive to the moral fabric of society that they must be forcibly removed. But at the same time, groups use Facebook to fight against them.
One side does what it can to speak out, to drag the oppression and hate into the light for all to see. In doing so, the other skulks in the shadows and further targets people with hate and threats, never realising that their attempts will just be brought to public gaze. Events like Slutwalk and Take Back the Night.
We have, in the US, various states trying to pass laws that prohibit or restrict contraception, removing funding and availability of abortion services, re-defining rape so that it only occurs if it is “forcible”. But this too is being countered, with the amazing news of the failure of Mississippi’s “personhood amendment – proposition 26 being voted down 58 to 42.
We have nations around the world, like our very own, who regard matters like marriage-equality not important enough to be on the agenda leading up to a national election. We have nations fighting back against those places that have already passed laws providing for marriage equality. We have nations who seem quite happy to introduce further restrictions on matters of sexuality and sexual identity.
Nations are passing laws that prohibit people demonstrating their religious beliefs. (Trying hard not to look at you, France)
And then we have the freedom fighters, the warriors, the people who are willing to put themselves in the line of fire for a greater ideal. The not-so-recent Occupy protests (it was recent when I started writing this). The amazingly good people in these forums. The various groups calling for people, groups and corporations having accountability. Some of the attacks on Occupiers puts me in mind of the scene from Sir Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi. It was the Dharasana Salt Works scene (more TW for this scene).
It is immensely powerful.
We have these amazing feminist bloggers whose response to the vile abuse and threats thrown at them is to simply make them public.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The 1960s have returned for their golden jubilee. We are coming into another era of protest, of enlightenment, of rage against oppression. I love it. I love the idea that I might just be part of something that will make a real difference to the world. I’m incredibly proud to be part of it. Maybe only in a small way, but hey – if my teaspoon can add to the ocean of love and respect, then that is enough for me.