Saturday, October 27, 2012

Use Your Brain

I saw some stats that said women were leaning toward Romney. I just cannot wrap my head around that. I've heard some women say that they are worried about the economy and want to focus on the economy, and that's why they are leaning toward Romney. Okay, but how exactly can you address the economy or help create positive change when you don't have a voice? In Romney's world (and his supporters), women do not make choices for themselves. How can you have the power and influence to create the change you want in the world when you are treated and seen as less than a whole person? This is a civil rights issue. A friend of mine who is gay posted something on FaceBook that really deepened my understanding. He posted:

"When you read the anti-gay comments and/or rhetoric of what “gay rights” are and what they will do, replace the word gay(s) with my name.
LEO shouldn’t be allowed to marry.
LEO getting married is a threat to families.
LEO cannot be a good parent.
LEO doesn’t love, it’s only lust.
LEO is ‘fixable’ with electroshock therapy and psychological torture.
LEO is what’s wrong ...with this country.
If LEO can marry, we should just let people marry animals.
Being LEO is a choice.

I hope that this contextualizes the argument for you.

The ‘gay movement’ is about people that love one another and want to spend their lives together. It’s about legal recognition and protection of my commitment to another person. It’s about recognizing me as a human being, worth just as much as my non-GLBT marriage-eligible counterparts.

How is that threatening to you? More importantly, how am I?"

When I read this with a man's name in it, a man I have not even yet met, but a person I feel a connection with, a like-mindedness, a person I call "friend". It puts things into perspective for me. I also have dear, close friends here in the Atlanta area whom I consider family. These family are also gay. When I put their names in this quote above, I feel angry, angry that there are so many people in our country who see my family, and me as well since I am a woman, as less than - as less than a whole human with less than rights. 

If women want to make change for a better economy, we must be creative in our thinking, in our problem-solving, in our actions. We must elect people who are creative in their thinking, in their problem-solving, in their actions. But you cannot be creative and use your critical thinking skills when you are rigid and closed, when you are not willing to let die what is old and counter-productive. I teach art in the public school system. I see this all the time. It is not just with kids in school. It is a way of operating in the world. 

You want a better economy? To accomplish that we need innovation, collaboration, creative problem solving, cooperative decision-making, the knowledge of how to make multiple revisions, and clear communication. We are living in an age of ever-changing media, technology, and information. An innovative and creative leader is tolerant and open through multicultural and historical perspectives and through their involvement in the creative process itself. There are WAY to many problems and issues in our country and our government today NOT to have someone who is a creative and innovative problem-solver. Each of us is now challenged to be and to have these characteristics above. Rigidity and holding tightly to old and outdated ideas constricts and cuts off critical thinking. Critical thinking come from a place of openness. 

To women especially I end with this quote. It is this kid of "dead woman" that Romney's culture, beliefs, and actions seek to create.
"Be good, no creative life. Sit still, no creative life. Speak, think, act demurely, little creative juice. Any group, society, institution, or organization that encourages women to revile the eccentric; to be suspicious of the new and unusual; to avoid the fervent, the vital, the innovative; to impersonalize the personal, is asking for a culture of dead women." CPE 
And I would add, dead people.