Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Progress is Still Progress

There are a couple of things I try to remind myself and sometimes it's easy to let one take over the other. I remember some British politician (I have no recollection of her name) saying that when people say, oh they just want a woman on the committee as window dressing, it may be true, but if they didn't think they needed window dressing before it's still progress. 
On an organizing call I was on last year, one of the organizers reminded us to be bold, to take advantage and ask for all the things we wanted. 
Now of course, some of this is good negotiation. There's one shoe store that deliberately puts spendy shoes near the door so that even if your knee jerk reaction is, I would never spend that much, the tendency is to reset the amount you think is reasonable up a few notches. 
The same happens with social justice and other forms of progress. It's why things like internment camps go from that thing you thought you would never accept to something that is very bad that you hope somebody fixes someday when they have a moment. 
So when things happen that are part of what you want, it can be easy to focus on the parts you didn't get and forget to celebrate and appreciate those you did. 
Yarn Harlot did a post once about how yarn people are often very good about understanding incremental progress. And I think this applies to writers too. Word by word, stitch by stitch, you build something. 
So, it is in this spirit that I recognize the conflicting feelings of both finally and it's not enough, not yet, with the installation of Kamala Harris into the role of Vice President. The first woman, the first woman of color, the first Black woman, the first Asian American woman, and the second BIPOC vice president for our country.  One of the odd things about being the multiracial multicultural person is growing accustomed to seeing parts of you making firsts. Woman having been running for President and Vice President since before I was born.  We have more work to do, but this moment is still one to behold.