April 16, 2013 by Vicki
We agree that we deserve equality but we know that, as individuals, the only person we can truly affect is ourselves. Yes, as individuals we can sign petitions, join rallies, and organize demonstrations. I, however, still have to live MY life and there may be places and times where my equality is not recognized. I may have the right to feel safe walking at night, however, that does not mean that I DO feel safe walking at night. I, as an individual, must recognize the possible dangers and protect myself accordingly. Is it fair? No. It is, however, Real.
The challenge is to balance the individual’s situation with a group’s efforts. I strongly believe that it is possible to change the world. We will make a better society for our daughter and grand-daughters. I also recognize that an individual’s situation may require capitulation until a better solution can be devised. For example, a woman in an abusive relationship may take verbal abuse to prevent it escalating to physical abuse until such time as she can escape the relationship. Escaping the relationship is not an easy choice. The abused may believe that she deserves the abuse she has received. The abused may fear that she cannot protect or provide for her children without her partner. The abused may not have a support network of friends and family. In fact, her family and friends may urge her to stay with her partner. All of these factors need to be recognized and acknowledged. Otherwise, we discriminate and abuse the abused as much as the abuser.
Work is another area where reality confronts idealism. Ideally, no woman should feel less than in a work environment and if the work environment is sexist; she should protest and/or leave. The reality, however, is that work is scarce and a woman may not be willing to risk her employment for a general atmospheric chauvinism. Other factors, such as age or family responsibilities, can increase the likelihood of a woman being unwilling to protest unfair treatment.
We need to recognize the difference between reality and idealism. Idealism tends to deal with “black and white” thinking while reality exists in shades of grey. The danger of “black and white” thinking is that it divides people into categories of good and evil, or hero and villain. Life is rarely so simple. As soon as we divide people into categories; we no longer treat those people as our equals. We identify them as Other and therefore, are guilty of discrimination. I want to specify that the act of identifying differences is not a problem. The problem arises when you associate a moral or ethical identification with that difference. We need to learn to celebrate our differences; not sanction them. We need to support each other not undermine each other.
- Understanding Domestic Violence and Abuse (sbstardust3.wordpress.com)
- Domestic Violence and Abuse (hopeandhealing2013.wordpress.com)
- 10 Early Warning Signs of an Abuser (sbstardust3.wordpress.com)
- Relationship Advice: Abusive Marriages (church4u2.wordpress.com)
- Leaving an Abusive Relationship – What might surprise you! (kpkcounselingservices.com)