Why I blog

I've written about this before, but I do like to stop and take a minute to think about why I post the things I post.  And in my own mind, it isn't limited just to what I write here on my blog, it includes the things I post on Facebook and Twitter.  So why do I blog?

I blog because I see injustices in the world and I would like to point them out.  I believe that being more aware of injustice around us will give us better tools to help combat it, to lead to a more egalitarian and just society.

I blog because it helps me to organize the thoughts that I have.  When I am forced to type my thoughts into complete English sentences, in a more-or-less essay format, I think about them more deeply than I would if I were simply musing to myself.  I often find that as I end a blog post I took it in a different direction than I intended to at the offset, which is fine.  It shows that there is a different way to think of the issue at hand.

I blog because I see oppression and I wish to stand up for the oppressed and denounce the oppression itself.  I can't even with any real fervor say that I wish to stand up against oppressors because I have found that thinking of a person as an oppressor is often harmful and incorrect.  Many people who oppress do not mean to impress, or do not oppress aggressively or consistently. Many people who oppress are also oppressed and thus play the role of oppressor and oppressed in turn.

I stand up for women because women are oppressed.  Yes, women can vote now.  They've been able to vote for a century.  But they still make 80% of what men make.  They still have their reproductive system controlled in large part by government regulations.  There are many ways in which they are oppressed.

I stand up for queers because we are oppressed.  We can finally get married in a majority of states, but still not in every state.  And the states that do not allow gay marriage do not recognize legal gay marriages from states which do.  We only recently gained the right to adopt in Utah.  We are targeted by many churches as a scapegoat for real world problems, such as weather or disease.  We are mocked or shamed into hiding and even suicide.  There are countries where gay people can legally be executed for being homosexual.

I stand up for black people because they are oppressed.  I recently discovered this article that I believe does an excellent job of illustrating how racism has evolved in this country.  People with black-sounding names on their resumés are less likely to be called in for interviews.  Black people are incarcerated at a rate 6 times higher than white people.

I have compassion for anyone who is oppressed because I know what it's like to be oppressed, and I hate it.  I get so frustrated when people say that gay people should be denied the right to marry.  Even to my face.  They are blatantly oppressing me and they aren't even phased by it.  I find it very affronting.  They don't even think that they're being inconsiderate.  They often feel like they're actually doing what's best for me and that they're protecting me from my own sinful desires, which I find rather insulting.

I can't say I know what it's like when black people feel racism, but I certainly can extrapolate from how I feel when people oppress me for being gay.  I can imagine their frustration at knowing their life will be more difficult than mine simply because their skin cells produce more melanin than mine do.  I can't say I know what it's like to be a woman accused of inviting rape by wearing an attractive outfit.  But I can empathize because I know what it's like when people say that they need to protect their children by shielding them from me because I'm attracted to men instead of women.

So what can I do?  I know that as a person who often feels oppressed it is a great relief to see an ally--to see someone who relates or can at least acknowledge how I feel and appreciate it.  It is especially relieving to see straight people who are sympathetic to the cause and see the importance of standing up for my rights as a gay person, even though they themselves do not fit into that category.  So I know that I can reach out to people who feel oppressed and let them know that I care.  I understand their frustration, I understand the despair.  I acknowledge their suffering and am willing to help improve the situation.

What else can I do?  I can examine my own behavior to catch times when I am oppressing other people, and weed out any of that kind of behavior.  Sometimes the oppression is inadvertent.  Sometimes something I do or say may be rather insignificant from my perspective but very hurtful from another person's perspective.  So I can look out for things like that.  I can pay more attention to how people feel or how they wish to be treated and work on treating them that way.

In short, I blog because I wish to make the world a better place.  I believe that blogging makes me a better person and I hope that it helps my readers better themselves as well.