In light of the recent history-making Women's March following the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, you may find yourself either in a cloud of confusion wondering where all this discontent is coming from or in a hysterical state of anger as people obstruct your news feeds with all of this pussy power nonsense. If either is the case for you, beware; your privilege is showing and you have not yet attained any level of human decency. But this just in; it's not too late for you! Even if your vote back in November happened to favor a racist, xenophobe, homophobe, and misogynist, there is still time for you to become a decent member of society. So check yourself before you wreck yourself, follow these ten straightforward steps, and have fun moving forward in a more kind, colorful, united, and straight up awesome world. You can thank me later.
1. Understand that women are people
I know. It’s shocking. Often this concept gets lost in translation. Although you can easily take a step backward in time and see a place where women weren’t graced with the fundamental human rights they have today (sort of), you have to understand that depriving women of their ability to be contributing members of society is simply incorrect. With babies on their hips and strong, powerful brains in their skulls, women have endlessly fought for the respect they deserve. It is inexcusable to treat a woman as anything less than the inspirationally mighty beings they are.
2. Understand that people of color are people
Another outrageous statement that pains the ears of many white supremacists is the declaration that people who don’t have pale skin are still people. Just like you probably (or hopefully) don’t treat a blonde differently from a brunette, you should also treat people of other skin tones equally as well. Believe it or not, we’re all humans capable of equally immense and wonderful things independent of the color of our exteriors. Period.
3. Understand that all beings of all sexual orientation are people
Fun fact: you can be straight even if others aren’t! A gay marriage does not disgrace a straight marriage in any way whatsoever. Upon realizing that LGBTQ+ people are entitled to just as many rights as you, you should come to the conclusion that you can, in fact, coexist. Incredibly enough, you can even do so peacefully as soon as you realize that giving rights to your fellow humans has absolutely no effect on you whatsoever.
4. Understand that people from other places are people
This is a great thing! After all, most things you think of as being American are actually originally from overseas. Hot dogs are Polish, the concept of Apple Pie originated in Greece and Rome, Kit-Kats are from England, good ol’ peanut butter was originally from South Africa, television wouldn’t exist without developments made in Russia and Spanish matadors were the OG cowboys. Even our national anthem is set to the tune of a British song with lyrics inspired by a Greek poet. If it weren’t for international diversity, our lives would lack a whole lot of the things patriotic Americans identify with. The only thing that is really American is the obesity epidemic. Whoopee, go 'Murica.
5. Understand that people with disabilities and illnesses are people
Another shocking tidbit of information: people with mental or physical illnesses don’t choose to be that way! Whether someone’s illness affects their visible exterior or invisible interior, they would be just like you if it weren’t for their uncontrollable, unfortunate circumstances. Be an adult, control yourself and don’t make fun of them or withhold their rights just for having different abilities than you.
6. Embrace the idea that all people are equal
Essentially, it all boils down to this: every human deserves equal rights. There is no one person that is more entitled than the other, and the way you get ahead is not by bringing your fellows down, but by working hard in your craft. Being inclusive and kind does not hurt your ability to succeed.
7. Realize that science is a thing
Global warming is not a hoax. Science is fact, end of story. I truly do not feel the need to elaborate on this one.
8. Get a grip and gauge your level of privilege
Probably the greatest key to becoming a valued member of society is by wrapping your head around the leg up you have over others. It goes something like this: I am a white, heterosexual, and healthy female born in America. Although I don’t have as much privilege over white males, I have it easier than those who aren't straight, are of color, or are of international decent. Now you try!
9. Understand what is yours and what isn’t
This goes for a lot of things. Here in America, you are considered free to do whatever you want; however, there are some things that are not acceptable in order to allow for your other fellow Americans to be free as well. For example, sexual consent isn’t yours for the taking. A uterus is not yours to control. A woman’s hijab is not available for your removal. And finally, you do not get to dictate the agenda, wardrobe or emotions of anyone but yourself. Think back to your days in the sandbox and refresh your memory on how not okay it is to steal, kick, pinch, spit, hit and grab.
10. Realize that being derogatory towards others will make you feel bad
Studies show that those who participate in vengeful actions have a worse emotional standing than those who choose not to. Basically, being mean will make you feel worse. If you’re an egotistical asshole who needs a self-centered reason to not discriminate, there you go.
Congratulations! You are now a decent person. Although these ten steps are only the beginning, and by no means should you let simply being decent inflate your ego, you are making progress towards becoming a productive member of society.