A need for a new paradigm
I write this as I reflect on the polarizing issues of birth control and I have come to the realization that our tendency to separate our issues by gender, race, ethnicity and political affiliations is ultimately holding us back as a human race. We are all trying to survive on this earth, and we have made it this far as a species by our ingenuity, science and faith. However, somewhere along the way we have “evolved” to the point where issues that should be human issues, are relegated to certain groups of people defined by a singular characteristic of their identity. Polarizing issues of the world should be of concern to you, a death in Syria or a bombing in France should shake your soul the way that a pack of wolves remorse when one of its members die. We are animals and this is not atypical of other animals; elephants bury their dead and mourn, too.
To iterate our inadequacy to become more empathetic to our fellow humans, I look at the issues of women’s health. It is my firm belief that issues that pertain to women should be of equal importance to men, if we are to become a more coherent and equal species. In my experience on this earth, I have been mostly around women. I come from a family of strong black women ranging from my grandmother who worked in the countryside of Jamaica to my auntie teaching in Abu Dhabi. Issues that ever arise with anyone became a family issue; it was never a “mother” or “woman” issue. I never really saw the sense in or necessity to separate our issues when they could be handled best if we set aside whatever social constructions of gender, race, class, etc. that we have. Most of the distinctions and differences we make among ourselves are all ideological. Not all men are misogynists; it is only a group of men who think like that. Not everyone is a racist or xenophobe; it is only a group (in this case maybe still a majority) of people who hold on to the belief that somehow were are actually all different races.
The point is that all dogs go to heaven:we are all one race, but in our heads we have so many ways to obscure that basic fact of life. Furthermore, the obscuring of that fact leads to the problems we have today. We deny science, the thing that has ensured our survival on this planet, because we are so entrenched and ensconced in our own ideology of division. We often argue over who is more oppressed, citing race and gender as dualisms of suppression in most parts of the world. For example, black women are or were more oppressed than black men because black men had “patriarchy” is misleading. Who is to say that the lynching of a black man or the systematic imprisonment of black men is more or less oppressive than the rape of black women? The fact is that the systematic oppression of black and brown men affects women as much as it affects men. There is a dearth of two-parent households coming from rising divorce rates, and there are rising incarceration rates of black and brown men. We need not to quantify our oppression, and transcend our visceral differences and see each other as brothers and sisters of one family.
To quote the great philosopher Tupac Shakur, “we need to see each other as brothers (and sisters) instead of two distant strangers.” So I implore you to take issue with things that you might think have nothing to do with you or affect you. To remain historical, the deplorable poverty of black’s post-Reconstruction era in America did not become an “American” problem until the Great Depression, and now we see some semblance of collective awakening with Occupy movements and the global recession. Revolution is on the horizon, and we if are smart enough to face-chat in real time and harness the power of the sun, can we find peace and equality before we destroy ourselves over divergent ideas and ideology?