How different am I than you, really?

I was brought up catholic. Christian. In a small rural white town.
As a youngster, I was told to be a good girl. That I could not stand up for myself – because then I was being too bossy.
Young boys were told to speak up, be strong, and to stop crying.

At the age of ten, I was to confess my sins to a man.
I could not be an alter person – because I would be too distracting – but boys could.

I could not dream of holding a position of church leader/priest, because of my sex – but boys could.

I could not dream of being a bishop – or heaven forbid – pope – but boys could.
I was conditioned in a society – that boys – white men, were the more ‘powerful’ ones.

As I got older, I was told a woman’s place is to conceive children, and to care for said family and spouse. However, I was also told I could not speak for the care of my own body, because that was up to – men. I could be harassed by men, taken advantage of by men (or, as they call it now ‘assaulted’), be lied to by men, but I would not be able to defend myself – or be believed, by men – because they were the ones in power. I could not work at ‘some’ jobs – even if I ‘could’, because it was ‘their’ job. I would never earn as much as a man, because I was not able to produce like a man?
So basically I have been told – I am not equal to a man. Solely because of a womb?

I was fortunate enough to have my eyes opened when I met people who were just as human as I.
I am going to flip this and say – I was different than them….to prove a point:
I was the one who lived in a different country – than they did. I was the one whose home environment was different – than theirs. I was the one whose skin was different – than theirs. I was the one who spoke a different language – than theirs. I was the one who had different beliefs – than they did.  Even though I was different – than they were, they treated me with integrity, as a fellow human being.
But as a white person, and even more so, as a white male – there has never been a time of “I was different than them”. Ever. It has been – ‘They are different than I‘, and that has been the societal rule. For centuries.
We have no right to say we are better than ‘they’.
Whoever you think ‘they’ are. Because quite frankly? We all are humans on this planet.

Right now? I am so very tired. Tired of the rhetoric. Tired of the arguing for control sake.
We all have the right to eat, breath, get an education, work how we want, live where we want to live, and be heard.
How dare ANYONE say that ‘we’ have the power to control someone else’s choices strictly because of what? Being different? Refusing to embrace differences IS exclusion.

So I am asking you. As a person who has the power to vote…
What are you standing up for?
What is your deciding factor for the heart of this country?
Faith? Male vs Female vs LGBTQIA? Rich vs Poor? Small business vs Corporations? Farmers vs cityfolk? Urban vs suburban?
At some point, a change needs to occur…under someone’s watch.

It is time that it is under OUR watch.
To talk. To cross that bridge. To figure things out. To make a difference for the ‘us all’ in a positive light.
I am not going to plead with  you to vote one way or the other.
I am going to ask you – to pause.
Just for a bit. And listen to what you are really voting for.

So we can begin to heal. Because too many are grieving right now.

Living fully – carving a life,

Michelle

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