Too many friends and people I know suffer from more fears and anxieties than there are letters in the alphabet. Too many people [to quote Princess Nokia], have PTSD “coded into their DNA” from apartheid, slavery, etc. The has translated into the hurt that is being and has been endured, especially by the people in the margins, i.e. people of color, particularly women of color, non-heterosexuals and the disabled. Imagine how our countries would treat people whose identities intersect across different marginalized ones. The pain they endure must be so unique and excruciating.
I ask myself why we are put on this world to go through so much hardship, just for a few moments of joy which are said to make the difficulties worth it. I saw a tweet saying something along the lines of:
“Why do you think the week only has two days of the weekend?”
Reading that, I had to legit put my phone down and ride through a wave of existential dread, before picking my phone back up to laugh at SpongeBob memes. The tweet essentially captured the core nature of human existence, in that we suffer more than we enjoy; and for the most of us, this is frighteningly true.
There’s a claim that says 40% of South African women will be raped in their lifetime. A year or so ago, my girlfriend told me about an equally menacing revelation: that 1 in 3 South African women have a higher chance of getting raped than receiving an education.
This same world has national leaders standing on podiums preaching peace, equality, and justice before the law. Yet those same laws fail more and more of us every day. Where is the justice for the son who loses his father in a legally sanctioned drone strike, or the widow weeping over not only the death of her husband but the destruction of her home?
Where is the justice for people who work more hours than their annual worth? At jobs where their bosses are breaching human rights to be able to beat that break even for the year?
“One medium-rare steak please, garçon, and a mousse chocolat,” the fat cat quips.
“Bring me a chunk of flesh with a bit of blood, ripped off the gut of a cow, along with some questionably sourced, over-priced chocolate dessert. Whose producers pay their employees far too low a wage to even afford a dessert like this, let alone the whole meal.”
And don’t forget the wine.
But when it’s time for a man to firm the sight of a woman’s period, suddenly, it’s too disgusting. What pieces of shit we all are. What a fucking joke. What truly awful things we are.
I believe that this spirit of feces comes from a lack of education. A lack of education which raises us into a certain way of life, and demands that we never question why it may be wrong in holding certain beliefs. We are raised to think certain things about certain types of people, with destructive effects to our own humanity. We will preach love, but hate another because we don’t understand the other’s language…because we don’t understand why they need to flee their country to seek safe harbor in our own, and so we resent them because we are ignorant.
At the core, we are all the same. And we have all resigned ourselves to accepting life as it is. We are all content to tolerate and laugh off the hardships of others, only if they are safely distanced from our own realities. But I am telling you this dear reader, when you tolerate one injustice, you tolerate them all. When you commit a wrong to one man, you are injuring the entire human race. The same goes for when you disrespect a trans-woman, whether she is blonde, black, fat or disabled.
You are hurting your mother, your sister, your spouse and yourself. When you turn down a black man for a job he was perfectly suited for because he has dreads, you are reinforcing Eurocentric preconceptions of your own race which gave you an inferiority complex to a person with white skin and straight hair. You are saying, listen sister, “you’re pretty for a black girl”, and until we realize that we are all connected in ways through layers that transcend space, time, neighbourhoods, and socio-economic status and religion, we will continue to hurt, kill, and break the hearts of one another until all that is left of the world are the shells of humanity, over-saturated with ‘content’, plumped up on lies, misinformed into self-depreciation and fed to the remnants of a dying planet, killing us off with unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, droughts and suicide bombers.
We are fucked unless we learn to love.