Do you know the first thing that pops into your head when someone mentions an activist? If it’s a man with a beard, or maybe wearing all black – then that can’t be me. I’m not sure what my activism is supposed to look like. We don’t need any more of these stereotypes and misconceptions about what being an advocate means! I will share five things we think activists are too often portrayed as in our society today but aren’t true.
Activists don’t want children
This blog post is for the parents, activists, and influencers who are tired of being typecast as “people who don’t want kids to have fun.” We know that you love your children just like any other parent does. You want them to be happy and healthy, and safe in a world where they can explore their full potential without sacrificing their joy. The purpose of this blog post is to educate people on some common stereotypes about advocates so that you can confidently voice your opinion without fear of judgment.
As an activist, I am all too aware of the stereotypes associated with parenting. There are so many assumptions about how we spend our days and what kind of people we are that it’s hard to know which ones to address. Whether you’re a vegan or not, whether you homeschool or public school your kids, where you live in the world. Being a parent doesn’t have one single definition- there is no one way to be a good mother or father. And this blog post is here to prove it!
Activists are lazy
The world is changing, and we’re all getting more involved. Activism is no longer just something that only a few people do in their free time. It’s become an integral part of the everyday lives of many Americans. Often, this means kids are joining up with parents to make change happen, which can mean they get categorized as activists too.
We don’t want our activism to be full of stereotypes like lazy people who sit around waiting for things to happen or people who think it’s okay to bully others into accepting their beliefs. It’s essential for everyone – including kids – to know how to be an activist and what kind of activist they want to be.
As an activist, you might be a stereotype. I’m not trying to put anyone down or shame them- but we all know that there are certain things we do in our activism career that can make us seem like the activist version of “Bambi on ice.” Maybe you’re always late with your posts and emails; maybe you don’t answer calls from journalists, perhaps you keep forgetting to water your plants at work.
These are just some of the habits that can make us appear unprofessional and unmotivated when it comes to activism. And while these habits may have been born out of necessity for many activists who juggle multiple jobs or responsibilities (including caregiving), they will also hurt our future success as activists if they continue unchecked.
Activists are angry or crazy
There’s a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be an activist. Some people think that activism is always loud, angry, and unapproachable, but the reality couldn’t be more different. For many activists, their work has become their life, and they’re proud to have found something they feel so passionately about. They want others to understand why they do this difficult work every day and how it feels when they know you are making a difference in the world around them.
Activists are as diverse as any other group of people in society with just one commonality: they care deeply for humanity and want everyone to see themselves reflected positively in culture.
Activists lack experience
Many people believe that an activist is just a group of people with too much time on their hands, shouting in the streets for all they know. Some may say that activism is going to school and getting a degree before entering into the workforce. That it’s someone who has no real-life experience, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Activism can be as simple as reaching out to your friends and family about issues you care about, like feminism or human rights violations. It doesn’t have to be big grandiose gestures such as protesting or marching- it could even mean sharing posts on social media! No matter what type of activism you do, there are always those who will disagree with you and try to tell.
Activists cannot get the job done
With the recent U.S. election results, many people feel frustrated or hopeless about what’s happening in America and the world. But it is important to remember that we can’t give up! There are more reasons than ever to keep fighting for justice, equality, and environmental stewardship. Here is how you can be a better activist today:
1) Take care of yourself – get enough sleep, eat well, and don’t forget your medications if needed
2) Connect with others – find a group near you doing work that matters – see our list below
3) Amplify marginalized voices- by sharing their stories on social media or volunteering in your community
4) Get involved locally- take action as an individual or join with other folks who share your
Activism is a tough job, and it’s easy to see why so many people have misconceptions about the kind of person who does this work. But luckily, there are plenty of resources out there that can help you dispel some common activist stereotypes or show you how activism isn’t for everyone. So before you judge an individual based on these misconceptions, take the time to read up on what being an activist actually means! You might find yourself more empowered than ever after reading through these articles.
Activism is not a dirty word. It’s time to stop stigmatizing activism and start talking about it openly, honestly, and without judgment in the public sphere. If you want to learn more about what being an activist means or how you can support activists worldwide, feel free to share these resources with your friends on social media and beyond!