While discussing pop culture with my group of crafty women tonight, it became clear that issues that affect us directly color our reactions in a lot of different areas. (We meet weekly to do fiber related craft projects.)
For example, I got a notice regarding Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt on my smart phone. Pitt admitted publicly that he had a drinking problem and was sober now in order to win Jolie back. Their divorce filing has been dormant since November 2016. One friend mentioned her personal life had been pretty crazy at the beginning of her career. I remarked that she’d turned that around, making some great movies and even directing all while working for the United Nations. The friend went on to denounce her based on her stand and public advice regarding the genetic marker that could determine risk for breast cancer. She is herself knowledgeable about breast cancer, including the cost, availability and efficacy of the genetic test. She is knowledgeable because she is living with cancer first detected there.
My triggers are hearing women say they are “pro-life” when they don’t believe in teaching kids about birth control or funding Planned Parenthood. I don’t believe “pro-choice” women are “pro-abortion.” What they are doing is working to prevent unwanted pregnancies and keeping women and children healthy. They want abortion to be rare, safe and legal. And they want to keep your morality out of their choices. Would you like me ordering you to be sterilized after two kids? I think the world is overpopulated and you shouldn’t be allowed more than replacement level reproduction. In fact, if you really cared about people and the planet, you wouldn’t have any kids. That’s my morality. Is it okay to legislate or legalize that? This is a key issue for me as a feminist whose had an abortion (and my reasons are none of your business).
My boyfriend has an (incomprehensible) reaction to unions and a living wage (v.s. a minimum wage), like $15 for SeaTac workers (in Washington State) including food concessions. He makes about $21 an hour and he had to attend trade school and then pay for and maintain licensing (truck driver with CDL and specialties). Hearing my suggestion that a higher base wage might force employers to raise the wages for highly trained employees in order to recruit and retain them, he is disbelieving. When I suggest that unions are the only way to improve working conditions and mention examples from the past, he remains unimpressed. I believe this is because he had to change careers (at the age of 60) after a long slide of lower less appealing jobs in print production. And he blames at least part of that on unions who made it unprofitable against digital and online print production (including places like Kinko).
So while I care about a lot of issues and I am sure my friend and boyfriend do too, I’ve come to the conclusion that the degree we care about something and how much it affects other parts of our lives is a lot more about personal experience than intellect or ideology.