What Patriotism Means to a Nasty Woman

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Happy 4th everyone! As we celebrate the birth of our nation and get caught up in patriotic t-shirts, fireworks, and all-day barbecues, we wanted to take a beat to share what patriotism means to us. Generally, patriotism is defined by love or devotion to one’s country. But what does that even mean?

There is an idea that being a good patriot means revering the American flag and worshiping a symbol, a piece of cloth, really.

There is an idea that being a good patriot means honoring ideas and laws that were created a couple hundred years ago.

There is an idea that being a good patriot is sticking with the old way of doing things because that’s what the founding fathers intended.

There is an idea that being a good patriot means elevating our military and law enforcement because their jobs are hard, dangerous, and may require a great sacrifice.

There is an idea that because of this danger and sacrifice that being a good patriot means supporting our military and law enforcement without question.

There is also the idea that being a good patriot means cramming as much red, white and blue into your July 4th menu as evidenced by an entire section of Pinterest devoted to patriotic foods. Hard pass on the patriotic deviled eggs, thank you very much.

There are a lot of ideas about what it means to be a good patriot and, quite frankly, a lot of them are dumb.

We could go back to the founding fathers and their wisdom and try to make an argument about their intentions and what they would want us to do today. But guess what? They’ve long since turned to dirt in the ground, and they aren’t here today, and this isn’t a court of law, so we’re going to go with common sense.

Loving and being devoted to one’s country should mean you want the best for it. You want it to survive, and you want every part of it to thrive. This means its natural resources, infrastructure, ideals, and citizens should all be protected.

It means that we are continually working toward equality for all. It means opportunity and progress for all. It means that we have clean water and natural resources that are being cared for and maintained for future generations. It means that everyone has access to education and healthcare. It means we care about the least of us and help each other as citizens of the same nation.

It means we question those that aim to help the few, enrich the few, and exploit our natural resources. It means we use our voices to help those who don’t have a voice. It means we work to become the nation of our dreams. The America where anything is possible, and everyone can have a piece of the pie.

It also means we acknowledge that our founding fathers didn’t get everything right.

It means that we recognize that this country was built on the backs of slaves. It means that we acknowledge the deep wounds to entire groups of American citizens that haven’t even begun to heal. It means that we do better. It means that although the men who founded this country had lofty ideals, they were men. They were human. They weren’t perfect. They weren’t making decisions for women or people of color. There was no true equality.

Our America is better than this. We believe we can make America truly great for the first time. We can amplify the voices of the underrepresented. We can speak out about injustice to our peer groups. We can cast our votes. We can use our money to shape our country. We have a lot of power. As patriots, we must wield it to make this America more beautiful than the founding fathers could’ve possibly imagined.

So as you’re enjoying your fireworks while wearing an American flag tank top chomping on corn on the cob, don’t forget what else makes you a patriot and a Nasty Woman. The founding fathers started something good, as Nasty Woman and patriots, let’s finish it.

Emily Davis