When talking about Kawaii, we refer to a form of identity. Of style. A way one may choose to represent themself. With the elections right around the corner, I wanted to take a moment to talk about how we address and represent ourselves, politically.
Representation in politics. Being political. Both terms that can be presumably defined out of a history or government class’s textbook. I know I am not the only one who was intimidated by history class, all the terminology and broad concepts going right over my head. I know I am not the only one who felt intimidated by the peers around me who absorbed and understood concepts, events, important issues, etc. so quickly. I know I am also not the only one who never considered themself political until this year (even when I was more politically involved than I presumed). Politics are intimidating.
Being political felt like a term saved for people who not only understood the political environment, but followed it as an everyday activity. After beginning my college years, I learned my brain learned nothing farther than what was taught in high school regarding politics. So why then was politics reserved for people with a higher level education when I learned more about the issues important to me outside of college? Well, going to college, being in that environment, learning from one another, learning about myself, learning about different communities, career paths, and more, allowed me to feel more prepared to become involved with politics. However, the myth lies within the ideas that you have to get a higher education to be politically involved. It was not until this year that I realized being political is an adjective that encompasses us all, regardless of age, gender, sex, income status, race, ethnicity, etc. –
We are inherently political. We are inherently built with our own beliefs, opinions, and desires for this country. We are also all inherently living politics. Each day we gain new experiences, new interactions, and new understandings of the world we live in. This allows us to become political. Being political just means you try. You try to understand, learn, discuss, and research. You vote, use your voice. You speak up for what you believe in. Being political even means, sometimes, changing your mind, changing your views. It is not about “being political”, it is about “learning to be political”.
So what steers people away from “being political”? Well, I can only base a solid answer on my own experiences of feeling intimidated, thus holding a lack of interest. I felt my knowledge wasn’t wide enough to understand the discussions in debates or to form opinions on candidates. And, to be fair, it wasn’t. I didn’t know what I was looking for in people, what I wanted out of our country. This is where the term political can be used, not as being political but learning to be political.
It could be important and effective for you to take a moment to analyze what may be keeping you from the political environment. It may be important to analyze how you defined politics and political involvement. And then, ask yourself, if you could change anything in this country, what would it be? And, it’s also important for us to note and everyone to remember, not everyone has equal access to be political.
Also, with a lack of representation in the political scene, it may be easy for people to be discouraged or distrusting. How can change truly happen when there is only a representation of a portion of the country’s population? Voices and representation matter.
This is why I will be voting this election, and in every election – to use my voice to fight for equality, equality in representation, equality in access to voting, and for equity.