December 17, 2021
Hi Friends. I know that today’s ever-changing world can cause some stress, and sometimes confusion about what is “right.” I’ve seen this expressed many times – things like “why can’t I say that anymore?” or “I thought that was okay!” These phrases aren’t always the obvious (racist, homophobic, sexist) ones. Sometimes, they are lesser-known microaggressions that actually have a bigger impact that you might think. Today we will be growing our brains and flexing our knowledge about those situations where you may not be so sure you’re doing the right thing.
“PC” is the term for Political Correctness. We’ve seen a rise in PC Culture over the past five years, and with new-wave feminism growing at an exponential rate, there are bound to be some situations where you may be confused. Right off the bat, I’m here to tell you that whatever you are confused about, drop it. I’m going to show you some coping mechanisms to help remember that not everything that is Politically Correct is unnecessary. In fact, most of it is very necessary to continue destroying stigmas and stereotypes. I’m going to be using an exercise that I learned from a Bias professional. This exercise is sometimes known as the “Crossing the line” exercise, and can be done in a group (standing in a circle) or individually on paper. The first time that I tried this, I was floored at the emotions that I felt. So I’d like to share it with you all today!
To start, you’ll need a piece of good old fashioned paper and a pen/pencil. The first step is to write 5 things that you feel “identify” you as a person. If you are playing along, please write these before moving to the next step. It is important! For example, you could write:
Now, the exercise states that you need to cross off the first, third, and fifth characteristics. Drawing the line through these randomized selections might not seem so bad, but now the third step is going to make you feel things. Imagine that you are NOT allowed to associate the crossed off characteristics with your identity anymore. The example would be no longer being allowed to identify as a mother, wife, or a caretaker.
How would you describe yourself to others, and not be able to share your full identity with anyone? How would it feel to be passionate about something in your life, and not be able to share that passion? Does it make you uncomfortable to no longer associate yourself with these communities? What about your life’s work? Feel those feelings, and remember that you are lucky enough to only feel them temporarily. Other people, like those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, are not always so lucky.
This is why inclusion is important. This is why we need PC culture, to be sure that everybody around us feels safe and comfortable. Sometimes things change, and if somebody of a marginalized community asks that you not use a certain word or phrase, the best thing to do is politely oblige. The world is ever-changing, and my best advice is to LISTEN.
Listen to those who are telling you that they feel unsafe.
Listen to those who have gone through mental struggles that you couldn’t even fathom.
Listen to kindness.
This world is already too harsh, stressful, and dangerous. Why contribute to the wrong side of history?
Thanks for reading, friends!! A year ago today this blog launched, and I couldn’t be more proud of the little community that I’ve created. Don’t forget we have a patreon (www.patreon.com/weeklywellness)
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For more on Social Justice, see the links below.