Because Facebook’s newsfeed is so ephemeral, I’m going to start this post with the status update I wrote yesterday while processing the result of the US Election:
Eating all the things is what I am doing today, even though emotional eating is why I don’t fit into my awesome pantsuit in the first place. Today, I wallow. Tomorrow, I work harder at deserving a new, #nastywoman pantsuit, for my nieces and my friends’ daughters. I am sorry that I have sometimes been quiet in an effort to keep things pleasant. Sometimes there wasn’t a point. Sometimes it was easier to change the subject away from politics. Sometimes things I have defended created rifts. But I am still sorry for my silence and resolve to fight harder against racism, homophobia, xenophobia and misogyny. For everyone. We are all in this together.
While I ate impressive amounts of comfort food yesterday (nutella on toast, a Moroccan chicken and couscous salad, brownies and a ready-made chicken tikka masala) I also spent a lot of time online reading about other peoples’ reactions, trying to make sense of everything that has happened to make 2016 so resoundingly craptacular.
And one thing I’ve decided I can’t do anymore is NOTHING. OK, I do research and place my vote in all Canadian federal, provincial and municipal elections, and Jeff and I were even able to vote (remain) in the EU referendum here in the UK earlier this year. But my daily life, with its work, cook, eat, watch TV, hang out with friends simplicity is no longer going to cut it. I felt this after Brexit and did nothing, and now that feeling is even stronger.
My approach is going to have a few avenues:
First, as mentioned in my Facebook post, the gloves will be coming off for anyone unlucky enough to do or say anything intolerant in my presence. I’m going to have to come up with some easy-to-remember responses because although I am a brilliant writer (har har) I am less brilliant in person and not very good at verbal sparring. I’m also crap at remembering facts and statistics so I don’t often discuss politics, especially with someone voting for the other side. I know in my heart why I vote and feel the way I do, I just have a hard time expressing it, especially if emotions are running high. And, sometimes you just can’t fix stupid. I figure the stable of stock responses I’ll develop will be kind of like my cheery “nope, just kinda fat!” response to people asking me if I’m pregnant. (try it, it’s almost worth the insult to see the look of horror cross a busybody’s face)
Second, I have to take some sort of action. I haven’t quite figured out what it will be, but with the amount of resources on the internet, I think the real difficulty will be choosing where my volunteer time and money will go. Here are a few of the websites I will be poring over as I decide, and I strongly invite anyone in Leeds who is having a similar sense of wanting to channel their feelings to join me.
Leeds for Change groups – the phrase “think globally, act locally” comes to mind.
Third, whenever I waver in a world that that seems to be so filled with anger and division, I’m going to re-read these pieces:
Calling all Nasty Women: The time to fight is at hand, again – The Globe and Mail
With that, I’m off to buy a Nasty Woman t-shirt online and wear it proudly.
The pantsuit (trouser suit) might take a little longer to find, and I’ll have to remember to call it a trouser suit in Leeds in order to avoid raised eyebrows and giggles. I wish I still had my original awesome pantsuit – it was a summery beige cotton that I wore with a chocolate brown t-shirt and wedge sandals and I always felt powerful and fabulous while wearing it.
PS Canadians, we have Justin Trudeau in office right now, but let’s not get complacent – the same anger and divisiveness exists in Canada too.
Update: PUSSYHAT PROJECT
I just finished mine the other day, and wore it to the #1DayWithoutUs event. I went alone, but my hat ended up being an amazing icebreaker with fellow peaceful demonstrators.