Boycott: (v) to withdraw from commercial or social relations
“Don’t make waves.”
I heard this all the time as a young person. Since I was raised in land-locked Ohio, it was very simple to comply.
It was also made easier by the fact that anyone who stepped beyond the boundaries of acceptability was quickly ostracized from the general flow. Yet issues always arrived which demanded immediate attention, consideration, deliberation and action.
Growing up in my town, prejudice was accepted, gossip was honored, chauvinism was the household norm and music was deemed raucous and evil until it gained a great respectability through financial solvency.
I had to make decisions:
What did I think about civil rights?
What did I think about the war in Viet Nam?
What did I think about the notion that “a woman’s place was in the home?”
These were dangerous questions. If they were posed in public, you were viewed as a troublemaker. If you offered an opinion other than the standard fare, you were basically dubbed “anti-American.”
It took me many years to learn how to boycott the inhibiting doctrines and platitudes which permeated my little town.
Today it’s easier for me. Matter of fact, I can suggest several things we should boycott immediately:
- The word “bitch”
- “Baby Mama”
- Racial stubbornness
- Too much violence
- Chauvinism in all its forms
- Gender wars
- Talk of “culture”
For after all, culture is just another way to introduce stereotypes, which invite prejudice.
I wish I had been more brave when I was a “Buckeye Boy.”
But I guess I can do my penance … by learning what to boycott around me today.
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