Getting in Touch with Your Inner Bitch: Never choose silence when an issue really matters, or when silence will lead you down the path toward Toxic Niceness.
Wild Words from Wild Women: “A strong woman is a woman determined to go something others are determined not be done.” – Marge Piercy, culture critic
Wild Words from Wild Women: “I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcomes.” – Golda Meir, Israeli prime minister
As suggested above, I try to do my “right” thing and let go of the outcome:
Between my divorce and my current relationship, I dated a German national who’d lived in the US as a permanent resident since he was a child. His life here in the US hadn’t been easy. His German mother married an American soldier who turned out to be an alcoholic and abusive. The had a little girl together. He was a truly decent guy who was fun-loving on the surface but deeply depressed underneath. We had a couple of short periods when were actually dating and then he slept on my couch for several months because I didn’t want him ending up homeless. He eventually packed up (only his own things) and left one day while I was at work.
I don’t count this as a failed relationship (because I realized he couldn’t sustain one) and I don’t consider it wasted time. I helped someone when I had the chance. I wasn’t discouraged by friends who told me that I couldn’t “fix” him because I wasn’t trying to. I admit I hoped we develop a relationship in the beginning, but I simply wanted to give him tools and options. So I researched his issues and helped him navigate the various agencies. I hope I made a difference in his life, but I haven’t tried to find out. The action, not the outcome, was important.
Whether its private or public inequity or injustice, I try to speak up. (If you don’t, then I don’t think you have much room to complain.) If nobody does, then nothing changes.
For example, our nearest major city raised the minimum wage. That means unskilled workers, say in food service, are making $15 an hour. My boyfriend took offense and wanted it stopped because as a highly qualified CDL holder, he only makes $20. I argued that their making $15 gave them a living wage and him the chance of his own salary rising. If employers wanted to retain skilled or credentialed workers, they have to raise their wages to keep and attract them. It might take a little while, but it would be good for everybody in the long run. He refused to see it because he lives with a scarcity mindset. I don’t. I don’t believe that just because someone else’s circumstances improve mine will decline. I don’t believe in “trickle down.” I know that I’m part of the 99 percent and that’s unlikely to change without changes in society.