J2 Content – Perspectives

A varied collection of thoughts on education and parenting

My Daughter, the Pre-Teen Eco-Terrorist

Well, she would be, if I let her proclaim her love for Whale Wars the way she’d like to.

Okay, okay… I have no idea if the FBI really does put people who donate to Sea Shephard or are active members of their support community on a terror watch list. In fact, I suspect they don’t do anything of note… maybe log an ip or add the names to a list buried somewhere. But what about other countries? What about 10 or 15 years from now when Sea Shepherd finds itself on the wrong side of a politically powerful movement or individual? What about the way things on the internet seem to last forever? What if my daughter goes to apply for a job 15 years from now and her love of Captain Watson proves to be a reason she’s blacklisted? What if in 2030, her company does lots of business in Japan, but she is unable to enter the country because they are retaliating against those who fought whaling in the 2010′s?  Silly, I know… right?

Now, hold on… before you blast me with criticism, please allow me to make some important points.

  1. I’m not saying any of this is really gonna happen. I’m just saying, who knows how the tides may change (no pun intended) 15, 20, 40 years from now and what will be held against who by whom?
  2. I understand that part of being an activist is standing up for change and what you believe in despite the risk of repercussions and it being unpopular with some people. I get that. But, my daughter’s 11.
  3. My daughter’s 11, did I mention that?  She’s not quite ready to make major decisions on her own, and I’m not looking to make them for her in this arena. The Whale Warriors can’t be that desperate for foot soldiers that I have to commit her to the cause before she fully understands what she’s fighting for and against. I suspect they’ll still be there and glady accept her assistance when she’s 16 or 18 or 21 and able to choose to give it herself.
  4. My daughter is 11. I want to buy her a hat and a t-shirt, not declare the actions of another culture to be against nature’s lawas. Not that I condone some of what goes on, but I’m not fully informed, nor am I comfortable imposing my morals on another culture. Yes, what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong… but what’s right and what’s wrong is sometimes subjective.  And I’m sure some of the things I do and the actions of some people I support would be opposed by othrs. I’m not looking to engage in that war. I eat at Mc Donalds, I think leather seats are comfortable, and I just want to buy a cute t-shirt and maybe a bag for my daughter. She’s 11, she’s allowed to support “the cause” at only a pre-teen level.
  5. My non-enlistment should not be viewed as condemnation of the actions of Sea Shephard. I think they’re great. And just like many of their supporters, I follow their actions online, I agree with a lot of what they do, I watch the show, I am learning more about some of the ways I can effect change and trying to do what I can… which is more than I used to do.  I’m a casual fan, and a moderately informed supporter. I just don’t want to put my daughter at the forefront of it all, and attach her name to something she doesn’t fully understand.

So we quietly fight the fight. We pick up plastic bags from the beach, she writes her essays in school about ocean conservation issues, and we try to be good, nature appreciating people.

And I feel badly for it… like I’m doing something wrong, or not enough.

But my daughter is my number one priority, and we can enjoy and support the work of Sea Shephard from a distance, with her name off any watch lists.

I hope that’s enough for now… it should be. And if it’s not, then maybe I need to take a closer look at who I’m supporting (passively) and what they really stand for.

I think it’s fine… I don’t think anyone who matters has an issue with our casual support. But I’m a worrier, and as I said… my daughter is my number one priority, and she’s only 11.

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