I don't usually discuss politics outside of my home. I don't engage in political discussion on someone else's Facebook page, and in fact I try not to write about it on my own page because it's too easy for people to say things on Facebook that they wouldn't say in person.
Politics, like religion, are just too controversial. No one will change their viewpoints until life forces them to do so. We all have different life experiences that guide us towards what we feel is right, and it's just not worth trying to change someone's values. And, with some people, it's just not worth the argument, so I usually just let it go and avoid the controversy.
But, sometimes, our very worth can be lost by not standing up for what we believe.
This year was the first year my youngest daughter voted in an election. She turned 18 in August, and I couldn't wait for to register to vote. She wanted nothing to do with it. "Who cares politics, are stupid." she said when I urged her to return her registration card. I gave up.
One day she called me from school to let me know she had registered. The school was having a drive to get people to register, and in recent weeks, she had found a reason to do so. Her reason; she didn't want to lose her women's rights. She had to vote for what she felt was right in the election.
I was so proud to take her with me to vote on Nov. 6, 2012. I took her picture with her "I voted" sticker, and posted it on Facebook. My baby girl had exercised her right to vote, and I wanted the world to know.
Within minutes many friends and family were liking it. Then my cousin decided to use it as an opportunity to share his political views. We were raised in very different parts of the country with different life experiences, and are polar opposites when it comes to politics.
My daughter saw the comment first and was upset. I normally wouldn't have engaged in the conversation, but this was my little girl's moment, and I had to say something. So, I responded by saying that she respects women's rights too much to vote for his candidate. Then another family member jumped in with his viewpoint, and well things went down hill from there.
Basically, the second person's viewpoint, to which my cousin agreed, was that women's rights were not an issue of the election, because it's not the 1950's. While maybe to him it's not an issue, but it is very much an issue to both of my daughters and myself. I let them know that I was surprised with both of them having daughters that they weren't more concerned about women's issues.
My cousin's response, (pardon the grammar, it's copied and pasted), "If my daughters as smart as my wife and marrys a good man who works hard and values his wife she will be just fine"
Hmm, What?!! Um, if that's not 1950's, I don't know what is!
Later, that evening as the results came in my cousin decided to take out his angst on my older daughter (this was her first presidential election,) when she posted "Yay, I get to keep my women's rights!" as her own status.
He commented, "but you wont have a job."
Then followed it up with, "you better start dressing nicer cause that "lady" behind you will be taking all your jobs."
The "lady" he's referring to is one of my daughter's best friends, a beautiful Latino girl standing behind her in her profile pic.
In that moment of anger over the election not going his way, my cousin could no longer hide his true colors, what I've known about him for a long time, but just brushed off as being the difference in where we were raised. He doesn't side with the Grand Old Party because he's worried about our economy, in fact he's doing quite well for himself. He sides with the Grand Old Party because he wants a Grand Old America. One where women are in the kitchen and minorities are not educated equal citizens.
Family or not, racist and sexist comments are no longer acceptable! It's time I honor my daughters by standing up for what I believe. I believe in them, and I believe in women of all races. We have rights, and those rights will always be an issue. The moment we forget that, is the moment that we do revert back to the 50's!
And, quite frankly, I can't clean a house, so that's not where I want to be.
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