Since last Tuesday night, I’ve been thinking a lot about changes. The ones I don’t want to happen, and the ones I do. Some of the changes that I’m welcoming are in myself.
I believe very strongly in equality and freedom for people of every race, belief, and orientation. But other than talking to friends and donating money, I haven’t done much personally to back up those beliefs. Tuesday’s election shook me out of my laziness and complacency. As Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor,” and while I haven’t been neutral in my personal life, I haven’t been very public in my opposition, either.
In general, I haven’t been very open on this blog. I’ve been a vocal Hillary Clinton supporter, but I have kept most of my other beliefs to myself because 1) I figured no one cared, that you just came here for recipes and projects; 2) I didn’t want to lose readers who see the world differently than I do; and 3) sharing that kind of stuff requires vulnerability, which makes me uncomfortable in general. Basically, I played it safe. That ends now.
The events of the past week have radicalized me. While I’m heartbroken not to have Hillary Clinton as my president, this isn’t a sour grapes situation. Right now I’d gladly take Mitt Romney or a Bush, any Bush, instead of Trump. By his own words and actions, he is simply unacceptable as a person that has any sort of political power, let alone the highest office in the land. Reading about the crimes against people of color already being committed in Trump’s name, and the debacle of a white supremacist (and noted misogynist), and a climate-change denier appointed to positions in the White House in the six days post-election is frightening and heartbreaking and infuriating. So no appeasement or normalizing for me. I cannot trust that things will be okay.
Know this: If you support bigotry and oppression of any sort by legitimizing it with your vote, I’m happy to offend you. While I’m not going to start regularly writing political essays, I might mention my political activities, and I will be a lot more forthcoming about myself and my beliefs.
In that spirit of openness, here are a few things about me that you probably don’t know.
- I’m an ardent feminist. Out of respect for those who believe that “intersectional feminist” is a term reserved for black women, I don’t use that term to describe myself, but it accurately describes my understanding of feminism. As this article points out, “As feminists, it’s important that we pay attention to the fact that feminism is about more than ending sexism — it’s also about ending all the interconnected systems of oppression that affect different women in different ways.”
- I have a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences. I did my dissertation on cellular mechanisms involved in Alzheimer’s disease. So I’m a big science nerd, but I left that field.
- I stopped believing in any gods or religions when I was 12 or 13. I consider myself an atheist/secular humanist. If you think that somehow makes me amoral or uncaring about my fellow human being, you could not be more wrong. Excluding the god parts, I agree with most of the morals of major religions. Jesus was just a dude, but he had some amazing ideas.
- When I was a teenager, I stopped eating meat. For several years I still ate fish, but I stopped eating that over a decade ago. (I still use and wear secondhand leather, though.)
So what does this have to do with this blog? Well, I’m thinking about ways of opposing Donald Trump, and everything he stands for, in my own life. Being more conscious about shopping locally and with companies who share my values is one change I want to make. I’ll definitely be be using this list of companies that do business with and support the Trumps (and Trump-free alternatives) to make decisions about where to spend money. By doing more of my purchasing at local companies, I can keep the money in the community, and it’s likely not going to a Trump supporter, given the political demographics here.
I’ve already been to one peaceful protest (despite what you may have heard about the “riot” in Portland, it was peaceful while I was there), and I’ll definitely go to more. Other than protesting, I will be actively supporting my own community in a much more direct way. I’m figuring out what groups to volunteer for, and while I have a serious phone call phobia, I’m going to force myself to overcome it to make calls to people in power.
Some of this is to explain that I will probably not be posting content as regularly as I’ve tried to do in the past. Continuing to share projects and things I love is really important to me, but posting will be more sporadic as I make some adjustments with how I use my time. Some things are just more important right now.