“I remember when I was a kid, my mom and I were out, and I asked about someone who seemed different. Something like, ‘Why is that lady acting like that?’ I remember my mom told me that lady was just simple.”
I said that to Ming. We were somewhere in Oregon, on a forested drive home from visiting a hot springs we’d never been to before.
“I heard my mom call someone simple as a way of saying something like developmentally disabled, or crazy. But simple was an innocuous form of crazy. They were not really attacking anybody. A chill kind of crazy,” I further explained to Ming as he drove.
“Simple was like touched,” I said. “Touched is like that–touched in the head. My mom said that word too. I think touched is more like God touched them–they are slightly sacred. It’s religious.”
These old fashioned words and ideas. Women were more likely to be simple or touched, while men were more likely to be crazy and considered dangerous. Maybe the testosterone made them angrier?
I think a lot about hormones, gender, power, and what is considered threatening. Cops saying they feared for their life is a huge excuse they use for killing POC. Being afraid is somehow an ok emotion, less shamed than other feelings that are seen as weaknesses.
What makes someone / something scary? Feelings are feelings, and they can’t really be wrong. But feelings can be informed by racism, prejudice, ignorance, xenophobic nonsense, trans hate, queer hate, ignorance. That fear that comfortable white people get when their little bubble of fake safety is questioned by the reality of the rest of the world’s existence.
How do you talk about crazy? We need visionaries and people who see another way. Simple can be an insult or a compliment. I want a world where we’re all equal and valued, not just abled people and regular people.
Some extremes are fine with me. You can find me simple–you can find me complicated or complex. Just find me. Consider us all human, and let’s do power in a just, generous way.
Whatever you find me, I want to build a culture with you where all our needs matter, and we can be kind to one another easily. Sharing is the norm, and fierce competition is no longer, or a rarity. We work together for our well-being, and love is the law.
Sounds like a good community. Sounds utopian, but Ming and I live there in our little gender anarchy zone. All we need to do is expand our circle out bit by bit, until it includes everyone.