Friday, August 19, 2016

Guest Post From Skye Grayson-- Activism... And Prudence

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When Chuck Schumer launched his baseless, slanderous attack on Alan Grayson's character in order to help his puppet, Patrick Murphy, win the Florida primary for Rubio's Senate seat, I turned right to a friend of mine for a head check, Skye Grayson, Alan and his ex-wife's 21 year old daughter. She gave me a statement I used in a blog post about the incident. It resonated well with a lot of women activists who had been upset to see Schumer's charges spread like wildfire because of a corporate media unfriendly to Grayson and because of some faithless liberal groups with their own agendas.

Skye is a 21 year old undergraduate student at Columbia University. She's a really bright and sensitive young woman and a week or two earlier I had gone out to dinner with her at L.A.'s coolest vegan restaurant. Every guy in the place seemed to be looking in our direction-- but they weren't looking at me. The next day, a wealthy vegan texted me that he would contribute $1,000 to "that pack [sic] of yours" if I would introduce him to Skye. I didn't respond but he wasn't the only person asking me for her phone number! She's spending the summer modeling in Europe and Asia. I asked her if she would write a guest post "about" what's happened to her family because of Schumer's ugly campaign of slander against her father. She took her own approach.


To Be An Activist Is To Wait A Little
-by Skye Grayson


We live in an exciting time-- in a world in which, with the touch of a button, a swipe of the finger, and a stroke of a key, we can change it. And we don’t have to wait days, months or years to see it; we can use our voices, and people will hear them now. So this is the age in which activism has boundless potential. For quite a time, we’ve struggled with racism, classism and sexism etc.; but now, we can defend our global brothers and sisters with the vigor, strength and instantaneity that we formerly could only with our own blood. But with the exhilarating speed that technology provides us with to achieve this, there is a strange inertia that threatens everything: ourselves.

Yes, we activists-- we compassionate, emotional, justice-seeking creatures who emerge from the void during times of crisis. We agents of change, we roaring engines of evolution, we ragtag gang of revolution. We hear of an injustice, and can now counterattack like lightning. The power of Zeus is a wonderful thing, no doubt; but if approached without prudence, we may be mistaken as Hades.

Let me explain-- take sexism, for example. Sexism is the exaggerated relationship between male and female that manifests anywhere, from the fate of a career to an uncomfortable glance at the supermarket. It threatens a nation’s chances of prosperity and equality for all. Logically then, an activist must seek close the breach between “man” and “woman.” But this valiant, egalitarian effort often mutates into a fight for just women.

Why? Because despite the recent fight against sexism, we still think of women as innocent, helpless, and in need of saving. And we jump at the chance to save them. What does this do? It discriminates. It re-paints women as ‘damsels in distress’-- just more vividly. In the sheer heroism of activism, we speedily devolve into ‘knights in shining armor,’ rescuing the ‘princess in the high castle.’ What could be more sexist?

True, there might be biological differences (some of which, again, thanks to modern technology, can also quickly change), but those do not earn women a “free pass.” I am certainly not taking away from the seriousness of the world’s various unavoidable and deplorable sex crimes; but I am simply saying that a “free pass” forgives on the account of being a woman, which, in the long run, is just as detrimental as blaming on the account of being a woman. Thus sexism, an ideology that isolates and alienates gender, is often foolishly combatted with more isolation and alienation.

You may ask, ‘okay, so what’s the solution?’ The answer is simple, but not easy: wait. (‘Wait?’) Yes, wait, be prudent; listen, learn and think before you act. (‘Are you serious? But we’re act-ivists!’) Yes, you are; and it’s easy to act, to blame, to charge and shout against the “other.” And it’s painfully easy to call, text or post and say “I hate x, y and z….” It is, however, not as easy to wait, to question, and to conceive that the “other” has its own side of the story. It’s not as easy to put down the phone, tablet or computer and really ponder. But this is the price we must pay for the immense societal reward that is to follow.

Bottom line: If you really want to take down the patriarchy, hold both genders up to the same level of scrutiny; and do not make the same authoritarian mistake the patriarchy has. We activists must not seek to forcefully elevate women, but to patiently cultivate humanity.

So what are some things to consider moving forward?
Men are more than capable of benevolence.
Women are more than capable of malevolence.
Politicians seek to use our compassion against our intelligence.
Yes, since sexism’s long-awaited entrance into the political arena, politicians have assumed the role of ad-men: they’ve pinpointed our weakness-- our passion for gender rights-- and have used it to enter our minds, wallets and ballots. They’ve harnessed the weakness of imprudence in order to vilify their enemies and idealize themselves: “Oh, you care about this? Well, this guy across the aisle-- he absolutely hates what you care about. Let’s get him! (And never mind my particular shortcomings…)” This simple trick is continually packaged in more complex and subtle forms, and fools us every time. So please, activists, let us not be fooled yet again—and not during such a crucial and potentially wonderful human era. Before you raise your amazing, monumental and crucial voices-- just wait a moment. It may pay off.

Goal Thermometer

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