It felt like making a perfect mixtape. Recipes like songs, ingredients like hooks, I could see where one dish overlapped with another, crossfaded where component pieces matched. If I have butter for one dish, I can melt more for another. If I have these two things on the stovetop, the oven can accommodate two dishes at the same temperature. I never stopped moving, leaving the kitchen only for a run to Zabar’s to buy two more serving dishes. That Thanksgiving morning, I was just cooking. The kitchen wasn’t a place to consider my options, to let my mind wander. Instead, I was expressing myself through what I was doing. I was present.
But as a society, we don’t want to take responsibility for the abuse we create, enable, and strengthen. Because most of that responsibility lies with men and so many of them are very invested in keeping things the way they are — especially because they haven’t quite reached their life’s goal to be successful enough to be able to violate the consent of the most beautiful of the trophies we also know as women without consequence. Yes, everyone contributes to the patriarchy in some way — even women—but about half of us have had no say in the rules of the game, have never had a chance at winning, and have been given just as little say in whether or not we will play. For many cis, straight men, to fight the patriarchy is to risk discomfort. For the rest of us, it’s to risk your livelihood, your health, even your life.
Why are we so willing to put our economic, professional, and interpersonal security on the line for another privileged white guy? To shrug off our very dignity and rights as a human being? And, more importantly, who are we as white, financially stable women to decide that it’s ok to concede when those most affected by restrictions to our reproductive freedom are low-income women and, disproportionately, women of color? As a woman at the end of her reproductive life, and with the means to fly halfway around the world to obtain a safe and legal abortion if needed, in a real-world, concrete way, I don’t give a shit about how the slow degradation of the commitment to women’s reproductive equality affects me personally. But that means I have to be 1000x more awake to how it would affect those to whom it would be devastating. It would be very easy to not recognize how little cuts of the knife into the basic rights of women impact the status of women as a whole and those most vulnerable specifically. This is privileged, white feminism 101. Stop it!