twice-told tales 9/9 '14
While I wouldn't say I go out of my way to pick fights, I do tend to get involved in discussions and situations that provoke feminist, queer-positive, privilege-examining, mental health destigmatizing, and similar responses in me. I try to encourage similar responses in others where it seems useful for moving some part of the general social discourse and awareness further towards equity.
At times it creates a bit of a hard-to-scratch itch that I don't seem to be getting very far except with The Usual Suspects, a collection of people who would fall in the "mutual respect and trust" and "many similar values" rings of friendship. And it feels like I'm repeating the same stories to the same handful of people with minor variations and not much changes.
Then they tell two friends, just like Heather Locklear in the 80s with her wheat germ oil and honey shampoo. And I may or may not see any second order effects. My experiences, analysis, and encouragements do make a difference.
Chief among The Usual Suspects is S, partner in thoughtcrime. As a tall, white, apparently on the high end of the middle class, midlife-ish guy with a record of community engagement, he has Audience Power. It turns out to be much more noticeably useful when he tells my stories, not only for the additional reach but for his astounding ability to get people to listen to him, engage with him, and treat him as a human being on equal footing rather than some uppity piece of property with teats. People responding to S are much less dismissive and generally not at all outright abusive, which some are to me on the same subjects with the same messages.
Still, it seems weird that for all my agency, I don't have a fulcrum on which to place my lever. And it does at times stick in my craw that the intersection of culture and biology gives a disproportionate amount of power and capacity to create change to someone whose overall politics, philosophies, and goals are aligned with mine. He's a go-getter; she's an abrasive bitch.