I spent the first half of my life covering my head (sometimes literally) and waiting for cruelty to wind back down to ambient disdain. Now that nobody’s routinely putting gun barrels in my face because I refuse to use racial epithets, or because I won’t confine myself to ‘women’s work,’ I am finally free to speak.
That sometimes bothers people, and I assume it’s because I don’t have only nice, pleasant things to say. I’ve incurred disapproval for being playful or snarky or downright angry in my speech. “Kay, why are you so disagreeable?” “Why can’t you be normal?”
Just like everybody, I pretend a lot of things. But normal isn’t one of them. I have the capacity, but it sickens me. Bigotry is normal. It should be unacceptable, but it’s normal. Racism is the status quo, but it’s embarrassing at best, and devastating to civilization at the scale of the mainstream. Misogyny is so pervasive, so normal, that women – WOMEN! – treat the word ‘feminism’ like profanity. They cringe from the very idea that we should have equal status with men. They won’t even accept that nobody’s choices should ever matter more than ours when it comes to our own bodies. That’s normal. Agreeable gets what normal promises.
And it’s awful. I will never go back. Not even if wing-nuts start shooting at me again. I lost count of how often my life was accidentally spared by a lousy shot, you know? What’s a few more rounds between the mutually disagreeable? The difference is that I fire only words. If you make me choose, I’ll take the First Amendment over the Second, every day of my life.
Because even when I disagree with you vehemently, even when I RAISE MY VOICE!! I would still rather listen to your bullshit than put a bullet in you. That’s the difference between the Liberal I am and the Conservative I was raised to be.
Which is good news for everybody involved because I am a dead shot.