Sexism works both ways

To vote for someone because of their gender is just as sexist as voting against someone because of their gender.

Women may think that they are being feminist by voting for Hillary Clinton because she is female, but by default they are choosing to vote against Donald Trump because he is male. To make a decision based on gender is sexist even if you think that your decision is positive. People who voted for men in the past didn’t think that they were voting against women, but by default they were. You have to choose one or another. But if your main criteria for selection is gender, then that is sexist.

The same thing happens when women decide to make their God female. When they worship the Goddess they are making God in their own image. They are making God into something that looks like them.

When we have hiring policies that force employers to hire people based on their gender or their race in order to make up a difference from the past we are again being sexist or racist. They don’t appear so because we are making up for a previous deficiency. We are righting a wrong.

But when you select someone in the positive you by default are leaving out someone in the negative. In choosing a black woman over a white man for a job purely because of gender or race rather than ability you are by default not choosing the other as an employee because of his gender and race. You may think that you are making a positive choice but by your seemingly positive choice you are by default leaving out someone else.

We need to vote for and hire people, not packages. We need to vote for and hire what is inside rather than what is outside.

A conversation at the YMCA

I was in the changing room at the Y when I heard the most amazing thing. This lady who I’ve known for a few years through my water aerobics class asked me what I thought about “The Trump thing”. She actually didn’t even give me time to give an answer. She started saying that “He has a point, that all the terrorist attacks were being done by Muslims and so it was a good idea to keep them out of this country.” She even said that she had some Muslim friends but she still thought that it was a good idea.

I paused and looked at her and shook my head a little. I said “I can’t believe that you’re actually saying this. I can’t agree with you at all.”

She said “What? All the terrorist acts have been done by Muslims.”

I said
“What about Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the Columbine murderers?
What about Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the Murrah federal building?
What about James Holmes, the Aurora theater shooter?
What about Sandy Hook massacre, by Adam Lanza?

These are all acts of terrorism
that have been perpetrated
by young white males.
They weren’t Muslim.”

Sadly, the list is much longer than these that I could recall off the top of my head, with all of them committed by young, white, males.

I then quoted this famous speech from Martin Niemöller, speaking about how the German people didn’t stand up against the Nazis during World War 2.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I said “I can’t stand behind this entire idea of keeping people out based on their ethnicity. That’s racist.”

I repeated the word “racist” several times through the last part of my discussion. I wanted her to hear it for what it is. I wanted her to think about her support of something that is as dangerous, as un-Christian, as inhuman as racism. I’m sure she didn’t even think of herself as being racist.

At the same time I was thinking of the Rwandan genocide, where nearly a million people were slaughtered by their own countrymen over three months, simply because they were seen as “other”, as “lesser”. They were called “cockroaches” by the leaders, who encouraged average citizens to take up machetes and kill their own neighbors. I’m sure they didn’t think they were doing anything wrong either.

When we marginalize a group, when we group them together and say that the actions of a few represent the whole and propose eliminating the entire group, then that has moved from racism into genocide. We have to stop this entire way of thinking before it is allowed to get to this point. These are like weeds that will take over the garden, choking out all beauty in the world.

At the end of my speech, she said she didn’t know all of that. She recognized the names but hadn’t put it together. She hadn’t realized that in America, more acts of terror have been committed by non-Muslims than Muslims.

I’m grateful for all the classes that I’ve taken that allowed me to maintain my cool and answer her in a calm way to educate her. Years ago I would have thought she was wrong, but not been able to speak up. Now, I was able to not only take a stand against a racist but also to educate her.

We must all be lights in this world. We must all combat racism and ignorance no matter where it erupts.

-ist

To choose to read something based on the gender or race of the person who wrote it is “ist”.

I knew a lady who is a lesbian who only read books written by women. I wasn’t brave enough to ask her if she ever read anything by George Sand.

There are people who say they are feminists, and they only will worship “the divine feminine” – the Goddess.

There are white people who will only read things by white people, and black people who will only read books by black people.

This is all “ist” – racist, sexist.

It is making God in your own image. It is staying in your own neighborhood. It is only looking at yourself and not knowing anything about your neighbor.

How can you love your neighbor if you know nothing about her or him?

But likewise, to choose your friends based solely on their race or gender is also “ist” -even if they are opposite you. To be white and pick a friend because he is black – not because of who he is, is “ist”.