Here I am in a nutshell: A Native American, house slave, women-lover, and “disabled” female who lives in a world still dictating for her own rights. The beauty I see in my own diversity conflicts with what society views me by placing me in a box called conformity. In social media everywhere, there is someone fighting for ableism, sexism, racism, and sexual freedom. It seems as if the topics all fit a part of my own personal identity, and I am on blast for the world to see. I do not have the privilege to be a part of heteronormativity nor have rights to my own discretion.
There is a vulnerable relationship with the culture of oppression and social media. The perception of action activism seems to wither away to gain followers and likes. Are you really consuming what is to be said about the cultures of oppression or you giving yourself the gratification of knowing the latest trend of news?
Where did this idea in order to be revolutionary one not only have to be vulnerable but show publicly for validation? The thought of even considering what the next wave of feminism action may even look like by just simply sitting down clicking likes and sharing links is a scary thought for me. Considering, the abrasive history of rioting and fighting my communities have went through.
Take note: I have some serious pride in my history.
149 years ago I would have been a master’s slave and been viewed as property, 101 years ago I would not have had a voice into my community by voting, 49 years ago I would not have been recognized by law to be competent enough to collide with the white folk, and just 41 years ago I would have been mentally ill for my sexuality. I applaud my past ancestors for partaking in riots and fighting for their freedom with blood, tears, and dedication. I applaud the women that stood to up to patriarchy to gain resiliency for the movement of women leadership. Now, however, I’m fighting for my identity in entirety to become acceptance, and not some publicly charity case day by day.
I’ve learned through massive research that visibility is the key to change and without this we cannot create friction to bring out the resolution for a solution. But who are these people struggling for me? To have seen activism at hand, I do not shy away from the thought of being a part of a revolution. I want you to be able to feel the beauty and uncomfortableness of being me, to recognize the importance of continuing this battle while being on and off your wi-fi connection.
There was a time when easily 200 people came together for petitioning and now it is hard to scrabble up 10 people for a equality meeting that is detrimental to your current situation. I guess you can say I am at a conflict with myself because I am one for change and know that visualization will help bring about this reformed life; however, Are we really fighting or fighting with an idle body?
There was a time a revolution was happening right outside your window and you didn’t have a choice of ignoring the blatant movement. Now, my movement you’re driving passed, scrolling through, and silencing for a later time. It took years to make a change and I have to understand that my fight is different from my ancestry. But, maybe it is in my blood to speak out against the injustices America have placed under my identities, but I cannot take being silenced anymore. I refuse to intake another moment of stigmatized homophobia, sexism, ableism, and body shamed.
Don’t sum me in less than 200 characters and don’t personalize me through your hashtags.
I am capable to be part of a community that does not have ridicule who I am. I want to feel what I feel without your permission. If I am pissed off: I can feel that. If I want to share my lesbianism: I can do that. If I want to cuss you out in sign language: I have my own privilege to do just that without anyone’s permission. Don’t ridicule my diversity, rather embraced the civility of my natural being. Take a day off of the internet and turn off your electronic, and really embrace the world that is around you. Maybe you’ll really learn something and join me.
Tiara Chambers is a Junior double-major in Social Work and Women’s Studies. She is in her first year in WILL.