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Sometimes we need red pandas

So, I woke this morning to discover that a former co-worker had posted a series of articles on different women's rights issues ranging from the US to Afghanistan to Iran on Facebook. Good, right?

Yes, in a sense, but no in terms of how he made demands. You see, he's a white cisgendered heterosexual man and this is where the inherent entitlement of that came to the fore: he demanded that the women who were friends with him repost or unfriend him. Uh...

Here's the thing, a good ally elevates and supports the voices of the marginalized and oppressed. A good ally does not tell the oppressed how to fight their oppression. That is arrogant, presumptious, and actually goes to the heart of the problem. The issue of women's oppression isn't because women are passively accepting of it. The issue is men who are making demands of women rather than their fellow men.

I post a lot of rights issues on Facebook too, I admit, but I saw a response to him today that made me pause a bit. Most of the people I am friends with on that site agree with me when it comes to issues of human rights, or we would not be friends. I have no basis for friendship with any that don't believe I should have rights, as it were, I am funny that way. Anyways, the point is, I am often preaching to the choir regardless of the needs and activities of the choir.

It occurred to me then, in reading her response, that I get far and away the greatest interaction to posts of my selfies, cute animals, funny cartoons, and the like. The world is a pretty shitty place and there are people out there working hard to make it worse, so I think people are looking for a happy valve and not more trauma. I am too, I guess, which is why I also post those.

So, it was a good reminder. Sometimes we just need the pics of cute kitties and fluffy bunnies. And red pandas, definitely red pandas.


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Not all [fill in the blank]

If you find yourself responding with "not all [fill in the blank]" in a context of discussing hate, violence, and violations of human rights then you're not on the right side of a discussion.