Can I guesstimate them?
Sat Jun 16, 2018 01:10

“You don’t get to choose the society you’re born into, but you still have choices about how you participate in that society,” Holland said patiently. “If you attend a ball with your family, you can choose to be friendly toward the other attendees, or be rude to them, or avoid them. The potential consequences might dissuade you from behaving in certain ways, but you still have the option to participate however you want to. Unless Imperius Curses are involved, everyone has a choice about their own behavior.” Holland would not put it past some sects of pureblooded wizards to use mentally manipulative magic to eliminate rebellious behavior, but they didn’t think the Duboises would, Claudia’s spells aside. “But for a community to function, members need to choose behaviors that promote the cohesion of the group. If they aren’t doing that, it’s a sign that some part of the society is dysfunctional, because it’s failing to create an environment that the members voluntarily want to maintain.” People like Rose and Danny, who wanted to leave or change pureblood society, indicated that it wasn’t working.

At Claudia’s comment that what they proposed was ridiculous, Holland shrugged, and grinned in spite of the situation. When Danny had proposed affecting change from within the system—a suggestion that Holland had made without expecting direct involvement—the word he had used was tempting. Holland had promised to overthrow the patriarchy with him. They were no less committed to that goal now than they had been in September.

“Why not? Change begins with one person and an idea,” Holland said. They might have started with two people, but those numbers had doubled when Alex and Ivy Dubois had agreed to support their son. It was reasonable to think other people—especially members of their generation, who were probably more liberal or easier to convince—wouldn’t oppose them. Anticipating allies was too optimistic even for Holland, but most people would likely be too ambivalent to vocally campaign against them. They didn’t expect anyone to advocate on their behalf, but if Danny’s friends refused to shun him, it would demonstrate tacit support. Moderates would be able to make headway with the people that Holland and Danny wouldn’t be able to reach on their own.

“So, okay, you’re right: society needs time and reasons to change. Danny is the reason.” As far as Holland understood it, Danny was a model pureblood citizen apart from their relationship; he was intelligent, loyal, and personable. He was popular within the Dubois family’s society. It might be easy for some people to forget they like him when he came out to them, but it would be harder for others. “Right now no one is questioning whether the rules should be re-written, because no one in the society is visibly living a life that doesn’t conform to those rules. Seeing someone they like in that context will make people think about whether the rules are right or necessary.”

What conclusions would be drawn from that remained to be seen, but one of the many problems with pureblood society was its insularity. Most members had never interacted with Muggles, despite magic-users being a minority in the country. Likewise, queer people and women in positions of power seemed to be invisible in pureblood culture. The isolation from different people allowed purebloods to become entrenched in their views. Like Claudia said, they needed a reason to examine their attitudes.

As for time… “Like I said, I’m ready to fight for as long as I have something worth fighting for.” Holland was not one to let an issue go; they had always picked their battles indiscriminately. In dating Danny, they had picked a war. “It took me fewer than seven years to change Danny’s attitude towards queer people,” they pointed out. Him being twelve and away from narrow-minded conservatives at the time had obviously helped Holland achieve that goal, but their point remained. “He’s proof that people who grew up in pureblood society can form new opinions through exposure and education.” He was proof that Holland was capable of effecting that change. If they could change a person’s mind, why couldn’t they change a community? They had time and reasons.

Still, Holland wasn’t naive about what that change would most likely look like. “I know the community won’t change overnight or completely, and it might not change at all. Even if we only convince a few of your peers to accept queer identities and relationships, that’s more progress toward equality than anyone else has made.” Attitudes adjusted on a generational level when younger liberals outlived older conservatives and began dictating the society’s rules. Someone just needed to set the precedent for acceptance. “No one should have to feel that their society will reject, devalue, or treat them as a second-class citizen because of something they can’t change about themself. If one of the roles of society is to improve the civilization for future generations,” that was one of the assertions Claudia’s spell had put in Holland’s head; finally, a use for that knowledge, “this society has room for improvement in that area. No one else seems to be working on it. We’re not afraid to try.”

  • “Not letting society dictate how gender should be expressed and experienced is a good ideal, and it’s worth striving for,” Holland said. Until this year Claudia had not given much, if any, thought to ... more
    • Can I guesstimate them? - Holland, Sat Jun 16 01:10
      • How are you at divination? - Claudia, Sat Jun 16 15:47
        Holland breezed over agreeing that you could be born into a society, but Claudia didn’t miss it (in fact she considered that it would be easier to discuss things with them if they just allowed her to ... more
        • I dropped it - Holland, Mon Jun 18 15:17
          “ Or it’s a quick way to become unpopular and ostracized. ” Holland had nothing reassuring to tell Claudia about that. Yes, that was a possibility, maybe even the most likely outcome, even in this... more
          • That's why you didn't see this coming - Claudia, Tue Jun 19 15:41
            Claudia didn’t see how her current community could thrive on equality in the proportions Holland was advocating. She was confident there were many social prejudices that did not apply to her... more
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