Let’s face it, these days it’s pretty near impossible to not be political on some level. Everywhere we turn and from every angle, on every social media platform: people are sharing their thoughts, frustrations, hopes, let downs, etc. The news isn’t helpful and families and friends have divided and become “former” family and friends.
And then some say: “I’m just not political.” I get it. It can be uncomfortable to choose a side or say something that may be misconstrued as divisive. To those who have truly, genuinely found themselves in a place of neutrality, I tip my hat to you. It must be nice to live in such a place of well being and peace about the world, our country, and your place in all of it. I write this and mean it sincerely.
For the rest of us, it just hasn’t been so easy. For the rest of us, it is impossible to not be political on some level.
How so? Well, it could easily be argued that the clothes I wear, the car I drive, the way I wear my hair, who I date, what movies interest me, my gender, my sexual orientation, what birth control I use (or don’t), what type of work I do (if I work at all), what social gatherings I attend, what my musical interests are, all of it. Just being a human and walking around in the world from day to day – and how we chose to move through it, is a political statement.
Then others move about the world so incredibly boldly that there is no question where their beliefs lie. In the past few years, the divide has become wider and the differences in beliefs expressed with a fervor that can become frightening. Some of this boldness is terrifying while other forms of boldness bring hope.
So what do we do, who truly believe the world can be “better;” for people to be better, kind, civil; for people of all races, religion, age, social and economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, to coexist side by side with one another in a respectful manner?
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that the majority of people who read my articles each month are not leaning to the right. I recognize there are a lot of people in the world that believe I, and people like me, are what is wrong with the world. But, I know myself. I know the people with who I surround myself. I know the people who reach out to me. All of who know we can do better; Who expects us to do better; Who feels we have a responsibility to leave things better for the generation that follows us.
I know it sounds utopian and pollyanna and overly hopeful. But the only way to get one step closer to that place, or at the least, one step apart from the direction we are heading is to vote. We all need to vote.
I am not here to persuade anyone about which way to vote. I expect most people have their minds made up by now. But for me, I will be voting 1) For my husband who is Native American and had the majority of his ancestors massacred. 2) For my grandchildren who are half black and their parents are fearful about raising them in this country. 3) For my family members who are in same-sex relationships and face harassment. 4) For my daughters and their right to safe birth control options, better pay, and relationships free of abuse and oppression. 5) For my black friends who are genuinely fearful every time they step outside their door. 6) For my transgender friends who are systematically and violently murdered for simply attempting living authentically. 7) For my freedom to express all this and more without shame and in a state of full conviction. 8)For everyone who bears the brunt of centuries of systematic oppression to fully feel a sense of belonging. 9) For this magazine and others like it to exist.
I know full well many will say I’m all kinds of radical. But I believe promoting equality and anti-oppression isn’t radical. It’s kind.
So get your sexy self in full swagger to the polls.
Dr. Laurie Bennett-Cook is a Clinical Sexologist with a private practice in Salt Lake City. She can be reached at DrLaurieBennettCook@gmail.com