I grew up with the feminist movement, but I never really got it. I never had many women friends, and I found the typical girlish behaviors annoying. I was a real tom-boy as a child, and since I didn't have a sister, I always felt apart from the sisterhood.
Two events of today made me ponder the impacts of being white and female. I was in DC this afternoon and came across a rally about Black Power and the Evil White Devil. It was impossible to avoid hearing the insightful rhetoric being used to rile-up the crowd as I had to wade through the protestors who were blocking the sidewalk outside a metro station. What they were saying didn't bother me, because I am a stanch supporter of free speech. Having to pass by this staged event twice made me think about race and gender influencing how we treat each other.
Heading back home from DC on the metro with this heightened awareness, I was focused on the other women around me -- a mix of Asian, African-American and Latino females. They were reading, tending children, listening to music and one was locking lips with a cute young man. As I studied them, none was aware of me. I felt we should be not only aware of each other, but feeling the power of our femininity as we sat so close to each other. I really wanted to tell the woman in front of me that her taste in purses was outstanding. I would have liked to share my recent reading exploits with the woman next to me who was reading a best seller. I could have shared stories about raising kids with the mother totting a stroller and a toddler.
There is so much we have in common. We're not all that different and as I sat there feeling oddly connected with those strangers, I really wanted them to look up and smile, acknowledging we are sisters under the flesh.
We just are not attuned to other people (unless they are sending electronic messages to our phones and tablets.) Those angry, energetic young black men preaching on the street today were doing what they felt was needed to get people to break out of their comfort zones. I agree with the need for the masses to wake up. I only wish the message was more compassionate, and that we all could co-exist in peace. Come-on girls, let's start the dialog and start breaking down barriers that keep us apart.
Maryland Green Apple Days of Service
5 days ago