When I was younger, I stood up all of the time and spoke out whenever I perceived something was wrong or unjust.
I got burned – a lot. I was often standing and fighting on my own. So, as I’ve aged, I have carefully worked out which battles are worth fighting, and as a result, I don’t fight as much.
I’m not happy with this.
I’m in transition at the moment and I’m not quite sure where I’m going to land. The universe keeps giving me opportunities to work myself out, rediscover and rebuild myself.
Yesterday, a woman I greatly respect, reminded me who I used to be. It’s been on my mind since. I woke up thinking about, and reflecting on it, this morning.
At a polling booth, a man from an opposing group, whilst handing out, in public, made a comment that Liberal women are the “best roots”.
My friend was angered by her perception of his disrespect to the mixed company and the public (voters). When I arrived to hand out, she mentioned what happened several times. She needed to do something about it.
She was advised to speak to the Booth Organiser inside. She did. He came out with her to speak to the man responsible for the comments.
You know, all he needed to do was acknowledge that his comment was disrespectful to women and inappropriate in the company he was in, and it would have been over.
Being the person he is, he didn’t. He kept it going.
My friend became very angry. My friend became my younger self.
I tried to calm her down.
And, this is the interesting part for me, I’m not sure I should have done that.
I’m not sure I shouldn’t have turned around and stood with her.
He was clearly in the wrong, and he was, quite clearly, an arrogant dickhead.
The socially acceptable version of myself understands that we were representing a candidate and not ourselves, that nothing would be gained by taking on a dickhead, that it wasn’t worth the fight.
However, we also need to call out poor behaviour. My friend did, and she stood by her calling out of his poor behaviour.
Was she naive to think it would change something, change his perception, or was she just being plain hopeful and trusting that people would correct their ways when poor behaviour is pointed out.
Regardless, I’m proud of her for standing in her truth. It took courage to speak up, and then to stand by that.
Not only that, upon reflection, when she held her ground outside, the Booth Organiser from the Electoral Commission, turned on her and attempted to put her in her place, and I think he did this because she was a woman. Because we were all women.
The moronic guy kept making comments. Not in front of my friend – she had fairly cuckolded him. I warned him at least three times after that to pull his head in and he made comments about me. I, too, stood my ground and told him he was disrespectful and an idiot. His Booth Captain supported me in it.
He became cowardly in her presence, choosing to make sideways comments out of her ear shot.
Two different ways.
I like her’s more. There was passion and integrity. Calling out every idiot in the world takes time and energy and requires putting yourself in the firing line.
I think I prefer how that feels.
I’m proud of her. The jury is out on me.
I know I did what I had to do. I know that politically we need to play things a certain way. But I think I’ve become too politically minded, and that means playing it safe and only disrupting the apple cart sometimes. And I don’t think I like it.
I’m working out who I am and who I want to be and whether they are the same thing. Massive time of transition.
Grateful for it.