Thinkpiece: A Vision of Mutuality

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By Pat Fuller

Wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a world where all people respected and valued each other? In such a world, there would be no domination of one set of people over another. We’d all be seen as having equal value and potential. Do you believe that such a world is possible? Are all created equal but some are just more equal than others? This simply cannot be.

A long time ago, some very patriotic and wise men got together and came up with this:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Do you recognize it? Yes, it’s from the Declaration of Independence. Look back, it says “all men are created equal”. Did they really mean that? All – men – ??

The Founding Fathers eventually framed a constitution that said slaves were 3/5th a person and women could not vote. So, it appears what they really meant to say was that ALL WHITE AND FREE MEN (who were landowners) are created equal. Since that time Blacks and women have had to fight to be treated equally by this Constitution. We’ve had to amend that Constitution several times and we’ve had to take issues to the Supreme Court to ensure that ALL are created and treated equally. And we aren’t done yet!

Perhaps you’ve heard this quote, “Women’s rights are human rights.” It’s from a speech given by Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1995. You can read the whole things here:
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/hillaryclintonbeijingspeech.htm

That’s over 20 years ago!  Are we closer to a world where all people respect and value each other? Or do we still have work to do? If you believe we may have come a long way baby, but, we still have work to do, you might just be a feminist.

There, I said it. A feminist. Do you want to be labeled a feminist? Some think it’s a dirty word describing a man-hating woman who wishes she’d been born a man. Nothing could be further from the truth.
According to Bell Hooks, who is one of our most eminent feminist leaders, feminism is, “a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.” Anyone can be a feminist then. I am a feminist and I raised my three sons to be feminists. I’m proud they value equality for all. Feminism is for Everybody is the title of a book by Hooks published in 2000. Grab a copy. It’s small, but, powerful.

I believe feminists need to be political. I believe ignoring politics is not an option. We need awareness of what’s happening at every level in our political system. We cannot afford to ignore it. Not if we want to keep the rights we have. There are plenty who would love to see our political system return to the way it was when the Constitution was framed. 

 Are you interested? Are you willing to get involved? If you are new to political activism, start with Ballotpedia. It is a “nonprofit, nonpartisan collaborative encyclopedia designed to connect people to politics and elections at the local,state and federal level.” 

There is carefully researched information available on the site. According to wikipedia, Ballotpedia was “Founded in 2007, it covers American federal, state, and local politics, elections, and public policy.” Everything is referenced and it is free of partisan opinion. 

Here are some things you can do to make a difference: write a letter-to-the editor, attend a town hall, go to a city council meeting, volunteer for a candidate or organization you support; you get the idea. Act. 

Join me and others who want to make this world a place where mutual respect is the norm and all people are considered to have inherent value. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Author Bio: Pat Fuller is a retired professional counselor who worked in addictions and education. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing her blog, and keeping up on current events via her social media accounts.

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