The Price of Progressivism

Hey Audacity Oven! Sorry for my extended absence, I had a real-life, grown-up job to tend to. But without further ado…

I am exhausted. Just really tired. I’m tired of fighting for Americans to have the basic rights that they should just have. I’m tired of men trying to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body. I’m tired of explaining to people why it benefits both society as a whole and the economy for everyone to have health insurance.

Because that’s the thing about being a progressive, isn’t it? There’s always a new something to fight for. And it’s always urgent. Either we’re expressing why we #StandWithWendy to be sure that women in Texas can still have access to healthcare or were standing outside the Supreme Court showing that #LoveIsLove. We’re telling our friends to call their Congressmen and getting into fights over immigration on Facebook.  We’re organizing for new Congressional races and registering new citizens to vote and tweeting with whatever hashtag is currently relevant to whatever we’re fighting for today and giving money to the candidate in that other state that we can’t visit to knock on doors and we’re trying to explain the importance of voter contact and…it never ends.

Just this week the Texas legislature found a way around Wendy Davis’ inspiring filibuster, the Ohio General Assembly worked in language that limits healthcare access to womenacross the state, Congress allowed student loan interest rates to double, and the Obama Administration postponed aspects of the Affordable Care Act until 2015. Oh, and 219 million Americans still live in states where gay marriage is illegal.

But the problem is that all of these things, from knocking on doors to marriage equality, matter. These are incredibly important issues and they are incredibly important to me on a personal level. So while I’ve knocked on doors only to have someone on the other side call me a heathen, I knock on. I keep calling, keep working for campaigns. I donate money and try to explain the importance of healthcare access to my friends who chose a sensible STEM major, but maybe missed the finer aspects of public policy.

This is the price we pay, as progressives. We always feel the need to explain, fight, convince. There is always a new cause to support, and we don’t want to do anything by half. It’s exhausting not just because of the energy it takes to get up every morning and work for a campaign and knock on doors and call voters, but because these issues matter to me not on a superficial level, but they matter to my spirit. It may sound silly, but I give all that I have to what I believe. When a state bans gay marriage or a legislature bans healthcare access, it does more than disappoint me, it hurts my feelings. Because this isn’t business–it’s personal.

justiceforalljpgSo while I am so tired of dealing with people who think that my body is a thing to my legislated and that it’s okay to ask what a rape victim was wearing, I won’t stop. Because things will get better, but we have to fight for it. We have to keep working. We have to fight for the world we deserve. And when we get there, there will be something else to fight for.

So I’ll just. keep. going.


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