A few ppl have reacted to comments urging no travel/gathering over the holidays by saying they felt people saying these things were indifferent to the consequences of not traveling or were enjoying others' feelings of loss. I am team "don't travel/gather" so this gave me pause.
Am I taking perverse pleasure saying don't travel/gather? Is anyone else I have seen doing this? I don't think so. I think we aren't all equally burdened by the restrictions but everyone is burdened to some degree. What, then, makes it seem like the "don't travel or gather" folks
enjoy raining on everyone's parade or are indifferent to the costs?

I think a lot of people are unsettled to be confronted w some of the stuff holidays stir up. Below are a few semi-linked thoughts on this. I am not speaking as a political theorist and my thoughts are still
evolving so I might be wrong about all of this.

1. We don't all value the same holidays in the same way or understand others' experience of holidays & we do not talk much about aspects of this. No one who has questioned my sensitivity to the costs of skipping holiday travel
has take time to mention that Jews have already missed an entire year's worth of in-person major holidays. More to the point, few people seem to recognize that it is hard for religious minorities to spend their holidays together *every year * because they are not bank holidays.
This is true for many ppl besides religious minorities. Try spending the holidays w family “back home” while undocumented or as a refugee or too poor/overworked to travel. There is a lot privilege to having a whole calendar & society organized around your priorities & holy days.
Some folks are being hit by the fact that a lot of people suddenly care about a thing that they face every year. This may sound like indifference but it is not. It is inurement. To be devastated would undo emotion work they performed to cope with missing holidays every year.
2. Related to point 1: people do not all value holiday gatherings the same way or value them at all. That is hard for others to digest. Some think we should value the same holidays (a subset of those folks insist that Thanksgiving and Xmas can be secular for
non Xians even though this is not true for all non-Xians.) But, overall, there is a widely held expectation of deference to the idea of a holiday. Departing from that is unsettling. It is ok to expect people value some holy day. It is not ok to expect people to not have them.
While non-holiday havers may not be indifferent to the feelings of holiday-havers they probably are not deferential enough to the expectations of holiday-havers to satisfy holiday-havers.
3. For some, holiday gatherings are sites where conflicts over power intersect w very sensitive parts of our psyches. I know too many families for which the location, menu, & other plans, as well as more serious conflicts (eg having to be in the closet, bullying, sexual abuse)
are annual power struggles that are usually won by the same people. As if that weren’t enough, it is difficult to explain to people that living in a society where it is transgressive to question the goodness of holiday gatherings makes these conflicts harder and worse.
Some suffer in relative silence. Others are miserable because society insists that holidays are joyful. They do not have the emotional space to recognize and articulate how hard a time they are having because creating that space would come at a high
cost to the large number of holiday-havers described above in #2, who expect deference. Some people invested in treating the dark side of holidays as highly exceptional are the people winning these power struggles. Winners write the history.
And some are people not winning those conflicts who have been so successfully gaslit that it would just make things worse to acknowledge that the holidays hurt.They need to think that the holidays are, on balance, good bc they are stuck with them.
4. Holidays are costly. They consume huge amounts of money, time, & energy. The ratio of time and energy spent preparing and traveling for a holiday to actual run-time of the event is high.
Some would never measure this way. It's a precious experience. To others, saying "there isn't a lot of there there" would just be too transgressive. And some find it problematic but are powerless to do anything about it (see above #3).
For years I have watched one family I know go through an annual dance in which everyone talks about how much the matriarch loves Thanksgiving and Xmas dinners. Reader, she does not love Thanksgiving and Xmas dinners.
She hates them. They are too much work & she doesn’t enjoy all of the people who come, including one of her own kids. How do I know? A few years ago she started leaving the state on the holidays. Also, she told us she hated them but no one listened bc it was uncomfortable
to think that she didn’t enjoy doing the work all that work for them or enjoy their company. And, no one wanted to fully catalog the whole list of tasks, let alone talk about why women do so much of it.
(If you came here to tell me that in your house men cook dinner or do dishes please instead go clean the whole house & make up all the guest beds. Then strip them, do the laundry, & fold it. The second shift is real even if you are an egalitarian hero or non-conforming.)
What I take away from this is that some people are not just very confident that truly serious doubt about the place of holidays is the exception not the rule. They are invested in this being true.
So it is almost offensive to confront a state of mind produced by different lived experiences. It sounds like indifference or schadenfreude though it is not.

I think it's actually a complex form of inurement to either rarely having holidays or to holidays being complicated.
How do I feel? I am gutted for people who have not seen their loved ones for a long time, esp if this means not seeing ppl who are near the end of their lives or facing long term distance (eg military deployment or deportation). I think about this all the time.
I also worry terribly about people who are truly alone in this world.

And I do not feel pleasure or even indifference about anyone else's holidays. Not at all. It's just not a very new or surprising experience for a lot of us.
PS we'll still be here after the arrival of a vaccine means Thanksgiving and Xmas gatherings are possible again.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Dr. Elizabeth Sacha Baroness Cohen

Dr. Elizabeth Sacha Baroness Cohen Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @alixabeth

6 Nov
Without invoking violence, what do you think is the most appropriate fate for Louis DeJoy?
Without invoking violence, what do you think is the most appropriate fate for Jared Kushner?
Without invoking violence, what do you think is the most appropriate fate for Ivanka Trump?
Read 6 tweets
3 Nov
Whatever networks decided to do after BushvGore, my guess is that they undecided it for tonight. Based on what I see I expect before midnight to hear information prematurely (low percentages reporting) w graphics that don’t clearly indicate that the info is not representative.
I’m seeing @CNN announcing things based on 8% of the vote.
Graphic of Florida vote with a teeeny 5% notation.
Read 4 tweets
26 Aug
If you voted for plutocrats pushing business friendly trickle-down policies as your own prospects contracted, you were never America's forgotten people. You got what you asked for.
If you voted for white supremacists who stroked your racism organ as they suppressed your wages and denied you health care, you were never America's forgotten people . You got what you asked for.
If you voted for people who promised to build a wall and you are now trapped at home, you were never America's forgotten people. You got what you asked for.
Read 9 tweets
5 Aug
False GOP claims about mail-in voting fraud will be the "millions of illegal immigrants vote" of 2020. Two related lies intended to undermine US elections.

So, I think we should all be RTing the hell out of @JessicaHuseman 's reporting on the 2018 voter fraud trial in KS. 1/
Look at what happened when KS Attny General Kris Kobach finally got the chance to try and prove that non-citizen voting happens and that it matters, as he'd been angling to do for years. Kobach didn't just fail to score points. He showed that he was the one guilty of fraud. 2/
A few gems:
"The trial had a significance ... far beyond the Jayhawk state. One of the fundamental questions in the debate over alleged voter fraud - whether a substantial number of non-citizens are in fact registering to vote - was one of two issues to be determined.... " 3/
Read 10 tweets
10 Jul
A reminder that we're in the "arresting your neighbors can be a fun hobby" stage of immigration enforcement.

The fact that ICE plans to train any old person who will show up to arrest undocumented immigrants is no surprise. It's not like it is hard to become an ICE agent in the first place.

One of the things I explain in Illegal is how different agencies within ICE compete for power.
ERO - Enforcement and Removal Operations - is the agency implicated in this story. ERO has become a resource and power hog, absorbing everything in its path. It wasn't set up to dominate ICE or Homeland Security but in some important ways it now does.
Read 5 tweets
25 Feb
Border Patrol and CBP agents are arrested 5X more often than agents of any other agency. And it appears that a few of their own - the ones who run their union - have been embezzling the union's money. So they are appealing to the FBI for help. propublica.org/article/the-fb…
"The FBI is investigating the disappearance of some $500,000 from the coffers of the powerful union representing the country’s roughly 20,000 Border Patrol agents, said the organization’s national president, Brandon Judd."
"“It’s a slap in the face,” said one agent and union member who asked to remain anonymous because he wasn’t authorized to discuss union affairs."
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!