“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war … testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated … can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate … we can not consecrate … we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us … that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion … that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain … that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom … and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Abraham Lincoln - November 19, 1863
To honor our fallen, we cannot ever say it too many times to those who survived: thank you for your sacrifices.
Yes, it’s an ad campaign from a bank… but strangely it’s so much more.
If you are gay, queer, trans… whatever… please never let go. Have the courage to keep holding your loved one’s hand. It’s so easy to conform to the ideals of the hetero world and be afraid of judegement and ridicule. However we will never be able to break that barrier if we don’t show our relationships are as valid as anyone elses.
In the past I’ve let go before. I felt guilty and ashamed for forcing myself and my partner to break our physical bond in public, because I was afraid. These days though I refuse to give in!
And just to make sure this post still has my favourite Jedhans in it… This further underlines my previous post about the important presence of a strong, same-sex couple in the Star Wars galaxy!! Break those barriers and make the ‘abnormal’ normal!!
“I grew up in a poor neighborhood on the north side of the city. There was a lot of violence. But I didn’t feel the color of my skin very much back then. Even the whites in my neighborhood were poor. We all lived in the same way and everyone seemed equal. My mother always encouraged me to study hard so I could leave the neighborhood. She worked as a maid for a rich family, and she wanted me to live a life like theirs. Eventually I graduated college, got a good job, and moved to a wealthier neighborhood in the south part of the city. I do feel safer— just like I imagined. But I never expected to feel so unwelcome. It can be hard to make friends. I’ve been called names. I’m made to feel the color of my skin more than I ever did growing up.”
Some people ask, ‘Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?’ Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general - but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women. That the problem was not about being human, but specifically about being a female human. For centuries, the world divided human beings into two groups and then proceeded to exclude and oppress one group. It is only fair that the solution to the problem acknowledge that.
The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists