Monthly Archives: December 2012

I have complicated feelings about that: when feminism fails, part one

The other day I spent wrote a long, somewhat rambling, post about why it is important for me to call myself a feminist, and why I encourage others with feminist principles and ideals to use the word themselves. The backlash against feminism (and feminists) is real and it is damaging, and it is important that we talk about it, and that we do not fear the straw feminists. I stand by that post.

What that post wasn’t about was dissecting the problems that occur within feminist communities. I briefly hinted at the idea that hey, shit ain’t perfect and neither are people, but I didn’t delve. Actually, I don’t like the “of course no movement is perfect” stance because it avoids talking about the actual ways in which movements can be flawed, how important they are, and what we can do to change them. So, let’s talk about a few of the problems that I see cropping up in feminism. To be clear, these are not problems that all feminist movements or all feminists have, but they are themes. They can exist in more mainstream feminist circles, as well as more radical feminist circles, and they are damaging to us all when they happen.

I’m going to tackle different failures in separate posts, as they are getting kind of long.

1. “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.”

From my perspective, feminism is about recognizing and opposing patriarchy. It is a little bit like “oh hey look, I see a patriarchy! I’m against it! Now what am I going to do?” This isn’t how a lot of people see feminism though, a lot of people see feminism as first and foremost a struggle for women.

And you know what? Patriarchy oppresses a whole lot of women, all of them, in fact! And there are a lot of women! And many, many, maybe most, people see the world in terms of a gender binary: there are two types of people, men and women. So I could see how easy it would be to think that opposing the patriarchy and wanting equal rights for women are one and the same thing, I can totally see that. Most of the early leaders of feminism framed their struggle in that sense, and that is literally where the word takes its meaning from.

However, patriarchy doesn’t just hurt women. I believe that if you are against oppression you are against oppression period, not just for people who look like you, live like you, or have bodies like yours (more on that later). There’s a pretty clear loser when we make feminism exclusively about women. Have you guessed it yet? It is so obvious. That’s right, it is our trans* and intersex friends and allies.

First of all, the wrath of patriarchy falls the hardest on folks who don’t fit into the heteronormitive, male-female, binary framework upon which it is built. Trans* people, almost be definition, are hated by patriarchy. They receive the brunt of the abuse, and often the dominant patriarchal narrative would seek to either ignore their existence, or make them actually not exist. The rate at which trans people are murdered should terrify you. If we are against patriarchy, we need to be these people’s champions. When we sweep them under the rug saying “oh well it’s such a small percentage, when we’re done with equal rights for women we will totally work on that” we fail.

Secondly, we need to talk about reproductive health. And when I say reproductive health, I mean everyone’s reproductive health, not just people who identify as women. I am sick and tired of reading about the struggle for women to maintain reproductive rights. Maybe those on the other side of it think this is about women, but we need to be smarter and more inclusive than that. The reality is that some people who do not identify as – and simply are not – women have uteruses and vaginas. When we make having female reproductive equipment synonymous with being a woman we ignore and belittle the experiences of many people. People, who as we’ve already discussed, get stepped on by patriarchy even more than cis-gendered women do. Yes, access to birth control and pregnancy termination services are important things, but they are not important things for women alone.

Those things could just be mistakes made by well-meaning feminists who just aren’t thinking. Often they can be corrected simply by bringing the issue up. I’ve seen people make these mistakes, and hell I’ve made similar mistakes, and what I see is that in generally when they are pointed out, people are ready to wise up. When I say something about “women’s rights” and then catch the eye of a trans* friend who is just as affected by these issues as I am, I feel bad about that and I try to correct it. We can keep doing that, all of us. Let’s do that.

There is, however, something more sinister that we do need to talk about. I got the following comment on Facebook, from a close friend who I have a lot of respect for:

“But the extreme “feminists” that absolutely hate trans* people and don’t want us to have equality definitely exist.”

Yep. This person is totally right. There are some feminists who aren’t making an honest mistake when they talk about feminism in terms of women, there are feminists who really want feminism to be exclusively about helping women. I’m not going to unpack the reasons behind their prejudices completely, because frankly, it doesn’t all make sense to me. This is going to come up again and again, but in my life, the experience of being oppressed always makes me more empathetic to other oppressed people. What it never does is make me feel competitive with other oppressed people, as if equality were a limited resources and I needed to try to get more of it than them. But there are people who seem to feel this way, and I keep not getting it. There are also some feminist, cis-gendered women, who seem to feel especially and particularly threatened by trans* women. These women seem to see trans* women as wolves in sheep’s clothing. It’s as if they live in a world where the major force in patriarchy is the penis and that by identifying as women and (possibly) having penises trans women are sneaking weapons into safe spaces. It probably goes without saying that they feel even more threatened by queer trans* women.

(Because, you know, that’s totally fair, I can totally see how you should try to kick people who suffer oppression from all different angles in our patriarchal society out of your club that is against patriarchy. I’m not sure, can everyone read the sarcasm on that?)

First of all, that just isn’t how it is. Patriarchy isn’t propagated by penises alone, in fact I would go so far as to say they aren’t even a major player in the propagation of patriarchy (although many a penis-having patriarch would like to think otherwise). Secondly, this idea, the idea that ones genitals are the most important thing and make a person good or bad, safe or unsafe. Oh hell. Do I even have to say it? You guys. THIS IS A SEXIST IDEA. It is contradictory to all of our ideology to say that we are in a special cis-ladies only club and no one with the wrong junk is allowed in. Unless of course your ideology is self-serving and doesn’t care about the suffering of others, doesn’t seek to end inequality but only to elevate yourself on the ladder of inequality. And if that is your ideology, than I (and all of my totally awesome non-binary friends) don’t want to play with you.

For this reason, many people who support not only women’s rights but trans* people’s rights refer to themselves as trans* feminists. I don’t do that most of the time for two reasons, I think that supporting the rights of trans* people should  be inherent in the definition of feminism, and also I think that it kind of is. Hating someone based on their genitals is sexism. Feminism is against sexism. I don’t want to cave to the crappy definition of sexism that a bunch of jerks have.

(I didn’t include a break down on the different between sex and gender in this post because I thought it was probably unnecessary. If I’m wrong about that, let me know in the comments, and I’ll try to write about it or point you in the right direction for further reading in the future.)

Next time: Anti-racism and Feminism! Wahoo!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

I don’t want to find violence intellectually interesting.

I used to avoid the news at almost all costs. This isn’t all that surprising considering that when I was a teenager “Columbine happened” and then “911 happened” (I find the language we use to discuss our tragedies utterly bizarre). I was a young person. I couldn’t even vote, and I felt entirely powerless. I also was a nerd, and I had this theory that humans are empathetic, but that our empathy works best in smaller communities. So, before all this technology started to connect the whole world, if you found out about something bad happening, it probably happened to someone you knew, or at least someone who knew someone you knew. I realized that if I was going to be sad for every single person who died, or even every single person who died in a tragic way, then I would have to be sad forever all the time. I didn’t want that, I was a teenager, I was sad enough already. Since I viewed the news as inherently negative (again, so surprise there) I cut it out of my life. It hurt less.

***

These days I am an adult, not a sad teenager, a truth which I am grateful for. I have a slightly more nuanced understanding of news and current events, and will concede that it is probably sometimes a good idea to be informed. I don’t try so hard to avoid the news. And now, thanks to facebook, google reader, and a million other tiny bits of technology which connect us all (and connect us to more and more information) the news is a whole lot harder to avoid. I don’t have to seek it out. It comes to me. And I still struggle with that. I struggle with knowing where to draw the line. When is it important to be informed? And when is it important to turn the damn machines off so one can focus on the things that are actually in one’s life?

I don’t have any answers. Mostly I try to take it on a case by case basis, and to be perfectly honest, most of the time I feel like I’m failing. Either I’m too detached, too reserved, and not ready to spring into action when action is needed because of it, or I’m on media overload and I desperately need to close the lap top, play with my cats, write a letter to someone I miss, do anything else in the world.

***

On Friday something horrible happened. You already know what it was. What is is. Almost every blog I read published something on it. My facebook was exploded with condolences and prayers, sadness and anger. Mostly, I have been avoiding it. And I feel weird and guilty about that. And I also feel weird and guilty about the Pakistani children who die everyday. While America grieves for the (mostly white) innocent children who were gunned down needlessly, the needless slaughter of the (mostly brown) children goes largely undiscussed and unchallenged. Why is that? Is it because it is sanctioned by our government? Is it because we are way more racist than we would ever want to believe we are? Is it because we are more afraid of this kind of killing, because it feels more personal (it feels like it could have been our children or the children of our friends)? Is it because it is geographically closer? I’m guessing the answers vary from person to person.

I’d been avoiding reading about it. I know what happened, how could I not? Then today I thought I might browse some of the blog posts. I don’t want to join the throngs of people proclaiming “everyone is reacting to this wrong except for me!” but goddamn, I have some mixed feelings about the things that I have been reading. Here are a few of them:

1. Anarchists who are pushing for more gun regulation and/or full out banning of guns. I don’t get it. I mean I get why someone might think guns should be harder to get, and I get why someone might be in anarchist, but I don’t understand how the two can coexist inside of one human.

2. I really really wish that we could talk about mental illness in a respectful way.

3. People seem to have this amazing ability to look at a tragedy, see that it is tragic, and then announce that this tragedy totally proves that their position on the issues is the only correct one. I don’t know if this particular tragedy proves anything or doesn’t prove anything, I really don’t. What I do want to say (as respectfully as possible) is that that attitude seems a little disrespectful to the dead.

4. Seriously though. Can we please talk about the government sanctioned killing of innocent children, and how that is not ok? Can we please grieve for them, if innocent children are truly so important to us?

5. We live in a world that promotes, sanctions, and rewards so many kinds of violence.

6. And then I came across this line “Well, today I got an email from a reader drawing a parallel I found fascinating.” And it occurred to me, that with all my desire to distance myself from tragedy, I don’t ever want to find violence “fascinating” or intellectually interesting at all. I want to let it just be sad.

Tagged , ,

I have complicated feelings about that: sometimes, you have to use the F word

Recently I was having a conversation with an acquaintance and colleague (the kind of acquaintance and colleague that I sure hope will soon become and honest to goodness friend) about television. It was the middle of the day and I was suddenly sleepy and this person was asking a lot of “have you watched x?” type questions. I got to talk about how stubborn I can be. It was really fun! And then I brought up Sady Doyle.

Actually, I didn’t say “oh yeah that’s true because Sady Doyle blah blah blah blah blah,” what I said was “But I only finally started watching 30Rock after this feminist writer that I really like wrote about it quite a lot. Eventually, I wanted to know what she was talking about.”

My chatting companion visibly froze. He (this was a male acquaintance, though I get similar responses from women when an f-bomb drops) looked nervous and said “now, when you say feminist, do you mean pro-equality, or pro-women?”

Bam. He was just asking a simple and honest question, which actually led to a very productive and positive conversation. However, wrapped up in that question were all of the reasons I didn’t call myself a feminist when I was fifteen, all of the reasons my mother doesn’t call herself a feminist now because “I’m for equality for everyone, not just women.” The raised eyebrows I was met with when I actually did start calling myself a feminist, the way I still get a little nervous dropping an f-bomn in public sometimes, and the reasons it is so effing important to keep doing it, they were all there in that simple little sentence.

When I was fifteen, I was pretty sure I knew what a feminist was, even if I didn’t know what feminism was. A feminist was an angry lady. She was power hungry. She probably wore horrible shoulder pads and lipstick that clashed with her complexion and made you really wish she hadn’t decided to dabble in makeup. She both hated being a woman and wanted to make everyone else a woman. She might actually spell the word “women” as “womyn” because she both didn’t understand the etymology of the word and she hated men so much that a totally inappropriate “y” was preferable to ever having to write the three letters M-E-N unless it was part of the statement “men suck.” She was decidedly un-fun.

When, in my junior year history class, our teacher showed us a video which discussed whether feminism had gone too far (this was presented to us as him teaching us to look at both sides of a nuanced argument, although looking back on it the whole thing was incredibly biased and prefaced with a talk that basically went “some people (feminists!) want to say there is no difference between men and women, but that is just obviously not true!”) I kind of sided with him. Maybe these ladies were taking it too far.

All that is to say, I understand how one could develop a distrust of feminists and feminism in our culture, because I grew up in this culture and I used to feel that way. Fortunately for me, I started reading books. And while my mother never called herself a feminist, she did teach me both to think for myself and that I could do anything I wanted to do, even if it was a “boy thing”. Experiences such as teachers (both male and female) who obviously favored male students helped me to realize that gender equality was still an issue, it was not something that we had achieved in the 70s (as I had assumed). It followed that we needed a movement to push it along. And hey! Presto! There already was one, it was called feminism!

All of this got me thinking of my favorite ‘Hark, a vagrant’ comic of all time. If you click no other link in this post, seriously, click that one. Here it is again. This is really the inspiration for this whole thing.

So if feminism isn’t about hating men, what is feminism about? One thing I’m proud of is that, in the conversation mentioned at the beginning, when I was asked if I meant “pro-equality or pro-women”, I didn’t blow up. I didn’t say “GOD WHY ARE PEOPLE ALWAYS ASSUMING THE WORST OF FEMINISTS YOU ARE ALL SUCH JERKS!” Instead I got myself a glass of water, and attempted to calmly and reasonably define that scary f-word. It isn’t always easy to do that. I’m not going to link to any of the definitions of feminism here, I’m just going to dive right in.

In my mind (and I need to mention that I can’t speak for everyone who identifies as a feminist here) feminism is a) the recognition that we live in a patriarchal society and b) opposition to that patriarchy. That’s pretty simple and straightforward, so in case this isn’t long and rambling enough, let’s just take a minute and unpack that.

Patriarchy is a system where power is concentrated in the hands of men, in a variety of both obvious and less than obvious ways. It almost always comes with a side dish of racism and heteronormitivity, so that in a patriarchal society power is concentrated in the hands of men who are perceived to be masculine and “straight” (according to the specific rules of their culture) and are part of the dominant racial or ethnic group. Patriarchy has been around for a long time, and while it has been chipped away at (by people such as feminists!) we still live in a patriarchal society. If you read this and you’re all like “nah, no way man!” you need to take a good look at people in power. Whether it’s Congress or CEOs of major companies, what you are going to see is this: predominantly white, predominantly male. The male-female population ratio (oh and we’re going to talk about how that dichotomy is fake and messed up soon, don’t worry kiddos! but please roll with me for a second, this is the measurement we have) is roughly 50-50. Now let’s look at the U.S. Congress…

While the partisan composition of the Congress is fairly close to that of the electorate, there are larger disparities between the Congress and the general citizenry in term of sex and race. In the House, there are currently 362 men and 76 women. In the Senate, there are 17 women and 83 men. (source)

The second part of feminism is opposing that patriarchy. Patriarchy hurts everyone. I was going to preface that with “I believe that…” or “It is my opinion that…” But no. Patriarchy hurts everyone. Full stop. Patriarchy forces men and women into roles that are not always healthy for them, and fully denies the existence and relevancy of anyone who does not fit into one of those roles. The ideas of patriarchy seep into every aspect of life in a patriarchal society. Patriarchy teaches boys to be aggressive and ambitious and girls to be nice and accommodating, and then blames women when they don’t achieve leadership positions.

It’s as if we give a lady a whisk, and a man proper building tools, and then measure success by house building! When someone points out that it is unfortunate that the lady wasn’t able to build a house, someone else is there to say “we can’t be held responsible if women don’t want to build houses!” or worse “maybe this just proves that women naturally don’t build houses! It’s in their nature to make meringue!” Meanwhile, the lady is holding a goddamn whisk! You can’t even hammer a nail with a whisk! As a feminist, I oppose both the inequality of the whisk-giving arrangement, and the subsequent victim blaming when the whisk wielder isn’t able to build a livable structure with it. Do you want to know why there aren’t more women in leadership positions? It’s because first we teach girls to be “nice” in a world that values competitiveness, and then we chastise them for not competing, and then we take their niceness as evidence that they weren’t cut out for competition in the first place. There is no winning.

Sorry, I get kind of worked up sometimes. Whew.

So back to my conversation. It was great. I explained my position as a feminist, and he listened. I felt like we came to a mutual understanding. There is still sexism. There is still a glass ceiling and a wage gap. These are for real problems. I oppose that. My friend (let’s just call him my friend, I can tell we are gonna be buds) is totally cool with all that. Then he says:

“Oh that’s cool. I just wanted to make sure you weren’t one of those extreme feminists!”

I’m going to post that Hark, a vagrant link again here, because it is totally relevant.

***

I got to thinking about this days after that conversation. Here is the thing. People hate Sady Doyle. They hate her because she is a feminist. I’m not going to post any of the nasty things that are written about her on the internet here, because I don’t want to give those creeps the traffic. But she is basically what people are talking about when they talk about “extreme” feminists. She’s a killjoy because she talks about sexism in the media, she talks about how pervasive and dangerous patriarchy can be, she talks about rape and how patriarchy supports rape culture. “Oh come on!” they say.

And I’m kind of like that too! When I mention how as I think referring to men as “men” and women as “females” is disrespectful and derogatory, people say “oh come on!” People tell me to lighten up. People tell me I’m being “oversensitive.” I’m probably among the most “extreme” feminists you know, and yet all I’m doing is calling it like I see it. I recognize the patriarchy, I oppose the patriarchy, and I have the audacity to talk about.

I have a lot of feminist friends and I have read a lot of feminist writing, both in blogs and in print. The thing is, that man-hating woman with the shoulder pads, I haven’t found her yet. Sure, people wore a lot of bad shoulder pads in the 80s, and yes some people feel the need to put a “y” in the word “women”, but I think that comic I’ve posted approximately 85 times might be right. Those evil man-hating harpies just do not exist. Or if they do, they certainly aren’t a major part of the feminist movement. I have some complaints about mainstream feminism, but not the ones that anti-feminists have. In blog posts and on other platforms I repeatedly see people willfully misunderstanding feminist aims though, and trying to make us into those man-hating harpies. It goes down like this:

feminist: women should get more respect in the workforce!
anti-feminist: you’re saying all women should have careers and no women should want to stay home with their children! you’re saying men shouldn’t be respected! you want to castrate all men forever!

feminist: women still make less money than men for doing the same job! I think it’s bad!
anti-feminist: omg I can’t BELIEVE you just said that women should make more than men! that’s crazy talk! you don’t want equality, you want superiority!

But you know what the great thing is? I can have conversation with totally awesome people, and I can tell them that I am a feminist, and then I can show them that I am not crazy, I don’t wear shoulder pads, and I don’t hate men. There. Now they know at least one real-life, honest-to-goodness, feminist, who doesn’t fit the stereotype we’ve all been sold. That’s sort of wonderful. And that’s it, right there. That’s why it’s so important to use the f word. I use the f word:

-because I want to help define it

-because it helps feminism to be more visible

-because it still makes me nervous to use it

-because so many people who believe in equality don’t, for fear of being perceived negatively.

Do you believe in equality for people of all genders? Great! Next time someone asks, tell them you’re a feminist. Yeah, even if you’re a dude.Image

Tagged , , , ,

I have complicated feelings about: grocery stores and elitism!

This is not a post about food deserts. Mostly, it’s not a post about food deserts because I’m sick of hearing about them, I’m sick of talking about them, and my eyes are exhausted from rolling about this particular issue. If you’ve never heard about food deserts before (you lucky little thing) here is an extremely brief and incomplete primer to bring you up to speed:

1. The area that I live in has been called a “food desert” by the national media, it has been said that there are “no grocery stores” and it has been implied that many of our other problems are due to this fact.

2. That assumption, that there are no grocery stores, was made by looking at data which only counted large chain supermarkets as grocery stores. The data was correct, there is no Kroger here, but the interpretation of the data was incorrect.

3. I live in the heart of the “food desert” and there is a small, family-owned, grocery store about 2 blocks from me. There is another similar grocery store within walking distance (though I rarely go because it’s almost the same store, and it is considerably farther away, and I’d pass the first store on my way to the second) as well as a health food store, a bakery, and several liquor/convenience stores that sell more non-snack food than you would imagine, and even sometimes have fresh produce. In the spring, summer, and early fall, there is a once-a-week pop-up farmer’s market practically on my walk to work. If I want to hop on my bike, I can go to several other grocery stores, or the largest farmer’s market in the country. I’m not at all going hungry, is my point.

Most of the people I interact with on a day-to-day basis already know all of the above, and it hasn’t come up (thank the gods) in awhile. So that’s not really what I want to talk about, what I want to talk about is the grocery store right in my neighborhood.

I’ll be honest, it isn’t great. Some of their items are overpriced, and their produce selection is abysmal. It is also small compared to the giant, well-lit supermarkets that I grew up going to. The floors aren’t mopped as often as you might probably prefer. Their avocados are always unripe and terrible. However, I still go their fairly regularly. I stop to pick up things like dry pasta, and they actually carry the coffee that I like. If I can’t make it to a farmer’s market (this happens more in the winter months, since the one that is closer to me shuts down and biking becomes more of a pain) I’ll buy some produce items there, especially if I feel I’m in a pinch, or they have something on sale. Ok, and let’s be honest, I also shop there for icecream.

Right before Thanksgiving (tried to write a post about Thanksgiving, took too long, and now it’s no longer timely) they had a really good deal on sweet potatoes. I’d been perfecting a certain sweet potato recipe, and wanted to make it for a potluck I was going to. I stopped on my way home from work.

It was so busy!

The cashiers looked like they were about to fall over, and the store was full of what you might expect any grocery store to be full of in the lead up to a big holiday: moms, aunts, and grandmas, loading up on all the essentials (or last minute additions, or things forgotten) for their families’ feasts. Me and my small basket of sweet potatoes and garlic, I stood behind women who spent hundreds of dollars without flinching. Some of them had small children with them, some didn’t.

***

Let me tell you something else about “my grocery store” that may or may not be obvious to you by now: its customers generally skew towards the lower end of the income spectrum. The cashiers aren’t surprised when you pull out a Bridge Card, it’s normal here. And if you complain about your food assistance (my caseworker won’t return my phone calls, they keep changing the date I get my benefits on without telling me, they’re cutting me off because I work 10 more hours a month, like that’s enough to buy food with!) most of the cashiers will say something like “You know what girl? The same thing happened to me!” I have lived this. I was working a low-income job and my hours got cut. I ended up making about 20 dollars a month after my rent and electric were paid, and it was like that for a number of months. I’m not on food assistance, or any other kind of government assistance, anymore, and I’ve paid taxes since I started working when I was seventeen. My point here is that there are a lot of low-income folk around here, and I’ve been there, and we’re all just trying to get by.

“My grocery store” is also very close to a university, and I do see some students shopping here (though the ones with cars seem to prefer driving to the bigger, shinier stores in the suburbs). They don’t seem to be the majority, but during the first week of classes the number of groups of two or three pushing a cart full of groceries with a mop sticking out the top was comically extreme.

***

I made my sweet potatoes, I went to the potluck, everyone really liked them! Well, everyone except the baby who was there, who only wanted to eat brownies (and who can blame her?) One of the people seated at the table wasn’t frown anywhere near this neighborhood, and she rather innocently asked “where do y’all get your groceries around here?”

Someone answered right away with the name of one of the grocery stores that is a bike ride, or short drive, away. Not only that, they said it as if everyone who lives in this neighborhood regularly drives or bikes to that neighborhood to buy their food. Someone else said that there are actually quite a few options, which was a more accurate answer, I thought. Then I sheepishly mentioned that there is a small grocery store, just up the street.

“You mean THAT place? You could go there, but why would you? It’s too expensive, it’s really just for the college students.”

I didn’t really push the issue, I think I maybe mentioned how one could buy pasta there if one needed pasta. Honestly, what happened in that moment was that I was embarrassed by my own shopping at this grocery store that my peers found to be so beneath them. It’s only for dumb college kids who don’t know any better, after all. I’ve lived here for four years. What the hell is wrong with me?

But since then, I’ve been thinking about it. I don’t think that person meant any harm, they weren’t trying to be elitist. But it got me thinking about how young, mostly white, people from the suburbs move into a neighborhood, and almost immediately start categorizing which parts of the neighborhood are worth their while. The disparity between the comment “it’s really just for the college students” and the crowds of middle aged women buying sacks of potatoes and multiple cans of cranberry sauce is phenomenal. What does it say about us, and what we think about our neighbors? What does it say about how we really feel about poverty, the people who live it? There are a lot of young people in my neighborhood, and many of them either attend the nearby university or have at one time. I know these people a lot better than I know many of my other neighbors, possibly because we have a lot more in common, and that’s probably ok.

But living in the same building as me there are families, extended families with children. Families who shop at the grocery store just down the way. Families who do not scour the farmer’s market for organic greens. Maybe they don’t have a car or maybe there are all sorts of other reasons. It doesn’t really matter. It does matter, but not for my purposes, not here. What matters is that these people exist, they are my neighbors, and we may not ever be close, but I don’t want to dismiss them as people.

And what could be more dismissive than dismissing what people eat?

Tagged , , , ,