Skip to main content

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice

If there were any day to get weepy about social justice, today seems like a likely candidate. We can get bogged down in the moment, and despair of things ever becoming better, but look to ten years ago, look to 30 years ago, look to 200 years ago. When we take a more expansive view of things, the arc of the moral universe does indeed bend towards justice. Mankind in the moment can be grasping and selfish and short-sighted, but there are always also people who push us to be better, even at the expense of our own well-being (look to slave owners whose livelihoods would be ruined by emancipation).

Even in the past five years, we have seen a groundswell of outrage that feels new. I speak primarily of outrage directed at our media, which can feel like a trivial thing until you realize how much our views are shaped by what we see and what we are told is acceptable. Percentage of women who had a speaking role in the 100 most popular films in 2012? 28.4. Percentage of people of color who are starring in the upcoming Gods of Egypt? I believe that would be 0. This would, in the past, be unremarkable, or those who remarked on it would have a small voice and no reach. Now it is noticed. Now it is ridiculous when Benedict Cumberbatch, the whitest of white people, is cast as Khan in the latest Star Trek movie, a role originated by Ricardo Montalban. 

LGBT people, who for decades and, let's be honest, centuries/millennia, have had to be silent and hide, now protest not only a lack of representation, but deliberate queerbaiting by shows that would like them as viewers, but are too scared to actually represent them. Real representation in a groundbreaking number of television shows has made the LGBT community much less patient than it used to be. While LGBT subtext alone used to be greeted with expressions of immense gratitude, it is now examined with suspicion as to the creators' motives, while other canon representation is held up as proof that this could happen and questions are asked regarding why it is not.

Gay rights. Black Lives Matter. Women's equality. These are all part of Martin Luther King, Jr's heritage, being either inspired by his activism or direct descendants of it. As I heard this week, thank God for our dreams, and the hope they give us to make the world a better place.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

Yes, Frances Willard was as gay as Oscar Wilde. But in a lady-way.

Yup. We're gonna do it. We're gonna talk about Frances Willard and gayness. Look, it's not a major part of her life, and it's definitely not the main thing she should be remembered for, but the fact that a line is being put out that she was totally straight is complete hogwash and it upsets me.




The thing is, I get when people say it's anachronistic to put the cultural concept of "gayness" onto a person from a century other than the 20th/21st. I get that. And usually agree with it. But Frances Willard is one of the gayest people in history. I have zero problem labeling her with that. The fact that she didn't have the language to describe what she was experiencing is upsetting, but she managed to have a seemingly full and satisfying life anyway, so I am happy for her.

And for people annoyed when gay people say that someone from the past was gay, here's the thing: When you're completely whitewashed from history, it is a matter of TOTAL DELIGHT wh…