Why does Advocacy Intimidate?

When we work to raise each other up, life gets better for everyone…

I came to a realisation today. My advocacy makes me intimidating.

I am a woman. A mother. A wife. I have home to look after, children and a husband to care for, a role to play in society. Them’s the rules.

Raising my voice to disturb the calm waters, make waves and speak up for other people? That breaks them.

Don’t talk nonsense, I hear you cry. It’s the 21st century, that’s not how things work.

So why has Greta Thunberg come in for such criticism from none other than the President of the United States of America? She broke the rules.

Why did Malala Yousafzai get shot down by the Taliban? She broke the rules.

Why was Theresa May hounded and treated in a way no other male politician has to put up with by her colleagues and the press? She broke the rules.

Thing is, the rules are there to keep us in our place. That works for those who are protected by those places. Those in power, those in authority, those who sit on the right side of the lines. In our society, it is white, affluent, male, cisgender, heterosexual, able bodied, mentally healthy, married, working individuals.

How many people actually tick every single box on that list?

So how many people do the rules actually work for?

Not many…

Therefore why do we all keep buying into them?! Why are we all not speaking out at the inequalities in our justice systems, our education systems, our health and care systems. Do we not know? Do we not care? Do we not have the energy?

I know. I care. I don’t have the energy but I do it anyway. Because someone has to. I stand because someone has to. I speak because someone has to. I stir because someone has to and I make waves because someone has to. I wish it wasn’t me, I find it really challenging that it is me, “Father, take this cup away from me …

Yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42, NIV).

I vote because Emmeline Pankhurst stood for me.

I am university educated because Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon stood for me.

I am paid the same as my male co-workers because Julie Hayward stood for me.

I am thankful for all those people who stood for me, and I stand for all of those people in the future who may never know my name, but will know the benefits of a fairer religious community and faith systems which accept them for who they are, as Children of God, before and beyond all else.

Now you put it like that, it is a little intimidating. Good job I have an even greater Holy Spirit at my back…

Peace be with you.

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