I am complacent when it comes to the tragedies that fill up my newsfeed – Charlottesville and North Korea, just to name a few. When I hear bad news, I pause for a moment and think to myself, “I’m scared” or “That’s horrible”, then I then go back to my business – working, parenting, being the best husband I can be. I’m so desensitized to these headlines, and I don’t voice my displeasure with what’s going on in our world. Why not?
At my monthly men’s group last night I expressed self-judgment and asked, “Why are the women around me speaking up, and I’m not”?
Some of the other men agreed that their wives are much more vocal. Why? Why aren’t we speaking?
I am the one who was born with privilege due to my anatomy, the color of my skin, and my sexual orientation. Why do I not speak up? I asked this question to Cathy and she answered without batting an eyelash, “It’s because it feels like you have nothing to lose. Nobody is organizing protests against you. Nobody is trying to take away any of your rights. You’re not feeling the pressure, but I am.”
She’s right. It’s a weird paradox – it feels like I have nothing to lose, so I am less motivated to stand up and speak out. But the fact that it feels like I have nothing to lose is why I need to be brave and hang my ass out on the line. To follow in the footsteps of these women in my life who have the willingness and strength to be vocal.
So maybe this post is my first step in speaking out.
I don’t think it’s right that only men are making decisions regarding women’s healthcare.
I don’t think it’s right that our environment is being traded for big business.
I don’t think it’s right to ban somebody from entering our country due to their religious beliefs.
I don’t think it’s right to ban someone who is transgender from the military or from using the bathroom of their gender identity.
I don’t think our President is doing a good job, and I believe he needs to be removed.
I believe that in the end, good will prevail. But I think it will happen so much faster if I, and other white-straight-men who feel similarly, start speaking up.