I'M OUT OF CONTROL!
When I feel out of control, I go a little nuts. It starts with some light cleaning, like doing the dishes and tidying up, but then it goes on to adjusting the angle of a toss pillow, obsessively measuring what I'm eating, and then to triple-checking the lock on the door. Eventually I'll start tapping and counting because what's more ordered and controlled than counting and tapping? Things are out of my control a lot, especially when my government creates rules that hurt me and the people I care about. Oddly enough, none of my ticks help me with that.
A lot of people are doing that sort of thing lately. Folks who felt a sense order are feeling out of control as our society changes the definition of "family values." Their positions of power are being challenged. Where people stand in our society and how they got there isn't going unquestioned. Even when a sense of control seems only slightly shaken, folks feel the need to reassert their illusion of control, often by trying to control others. Some people go as far as trying to control what another person does with their own body and who has a vote in shaping our society.
People of color, LGBQT people, and women are having a real shit time right now because we're the people that folks are trying to negatively control. They're using their means to control our choices and to limit our rights, "equality," and status. We fight back through activism (and it's working!), but in the mean time, our own lives are tangibly limited and out of our control. Instead of moving forward in acknowledgement of the status quo and facing the uncertainties together, too often marginalized communities focus on what we can immediately control: each other.
Women's March print, "Equal Pay for Equal Work."
As women, we focus on controlling our image and critiquing the image of others, whether it's about physical attractiveness or about the impressions we give to the public at large. This is where phrases like "stay in your lane" come in real handy. Communities without equality frequently need to have conversations about minute details and public perceptions, but how many of our conversations come from necessity and not from desperately wanting to be in control of who we are and what we can do?
Image taken from 8tracks.
All of the tedious details, like worrying about appearances and the clever witticisms of our protest signs, when the movement literally encompasses millions comes down to this: we're worrying about all of the wrong things for a fake sense of control about the outcome of our efforts. If only it was an annoying, nit-picky thing! What these controlling ticks actually are, however, are a distraction from the bigger picture of what we're fighting for: true equality, unfettered by marketplace feminism and patriarchal standards.
Image taken from 8tracks.