If you’re a writer or a creative of any type, you quickly start to learn about your own voice. Particularly about your own identity and how it shapes not only what you create but how you create it. That same truth reaches out to every other manner of making a life in this world. So when your truth rubs up with the truth of someone with a different background from you, it can be jarring. But it’s important. Here’s why.
The other half of the population
Is it just me or are we threatening to go backward by a few decades? We’re still living in a deeply flawed society and the answer of seemingly half the population is to elect Donald Trump. Particularly when one of the biggest contentions of politics nowadays is a woman’s right to decisions over her own body. With topics like these, I, Donald himself and so many other men are not going to have the adequate experience to address the issues fully. That’s why we need to do our bit to prop up the voices of the women it actually effects.
I’m not going to say ‘I don’t see race’. That’s a position that anyone gets to take. It’s an excuse to ignore race used by many white people and an excuse to ignore people of other races. Forget that. Get into black spaces. Learn to listen and follow a black online magazine and news sites. Don’t say that violence on black people doesn’t matter or ignore the many strong arguments of Native Americans. Understand them and deconstruct your own bias.
Give space for voices
If you own a blog, a website or produce any other kind of content, then you have a platform. Broadening your horizon isn’t just about taking different viewpoints in. It’s about giving them a space to broadcast to a wider audience. We live in a world where the airwaves are full of meaningless messages and people who can’t see past their own nose. Take a breather, get guest bloggers on from different histories and lifestyles. Give everyone the chance to communicate something new.
The pat on the back
Are you doing your bit to be more open to women, to men, to black people, white people or anyone who isn’t you? Good. That response is all you should expect and hope to expect for it. You don’t get in the business of broadening your horizons to get a pat on the back or get a cookie. You do it to build a better world. You’re not a savior or a noble soul. You’re a person doing the decent thing. Put that decency out into the world and you should hopefully get it back in return. But don’t ask for any trophies.
We live in a world that is quickly become multicultural and moving towards giving more space to woman’s voices. That’s something we can all be glad for. It’s also something we can support. Giving room to the voices of others doesn’t mean you have to stop sharing your own.