Each one of us has unique skills and talents that make us who we are. But there are some who think who we are as people has more to do with things like race and gender instead of individual characteristics.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Brittany: Hi, Ronni.

Ronni: Hi, Brittany.

Brittany: So, we talk a lot about individualism. I think that’s really the thing behind everything we do, and that’s because that’s the best, if not the only way that you can live in a free society is when we value every single individual and their contributions to the economy and to just our quality of life and society. So, today I want to talk about who we are as people and as individuals. Basically, I want to know what makes you, you, and not just all of our listeners. So, Ronni, I’m going to put you on the spot and ask you what makes you, you, Ronni?

Ronni: Man, my first thought is there’s a bajillion thought going through my head constantly, and I want to do so many different things and I want to figure everything out, and I want to create and inspire and all of those things. And then of course I have things like I’m a mom and I have kids and I have this life and I have hobbies. There’s a lot of different things that make up me. What about you?

Brittany: Yeah, I mean so many things, right? I’m trying to think. There’s so many things.

Ronni: Put things on the spot. So I have to put you on the spot too.

Brittany: Oh yeah. I’m a musician. I love Carl Yung, who’s a psychologist. I love Jordan Peterson. These are things people always associate with me. I love poetry. I’m a very emotional person, which is probably why I’m such an artist. I like comedy. There’s all these little things. I love clothes probably too much. I love fashion and I love me. Fashion is art. I love makeup. Things like that, that might not seem like art, but I’m not really good at painting on a canvas, but I’m good at painting my face, putting the makeup on. These are things that make me, these are the talents and the individual attributes that make me, let’s be honest, there are always going to be people who do the same things. I love meeting people. I’m like, oh, you do this thing too. I do that too. But that doesn’t mean they’re you, right? There is only one of you. I know that’s easy to say like, oh, there’s only one you, but there really is one you that has these same combinations and the life experience, right? Only you have all the stories that you have, and it’s all based on who you are as an individual. And I just think that is so cool. But I want to talk about today a little bit more than this. And that’s a problem that is going around the whole world right now. And that is the emphasis on not who you are as a person, but who you are based on a group you belong to and a group you didn’t even do anything to be part of. You didn’t join voluntarily. So, for example, I’m a girl, you’re a girl. Does that define who we are Ronni? Is that who we are as people? And I should only be looked at because I’m a girl and nothing else matters to me what do you?

Ronni: That is a loaded question a bit because I do think that it makes up who we are, but at the same time, there’s so much more to us than the one label. I’ve never really been a big fan of getting hung up on singular labels for ourselves. I don’t know if that’s where you’re going or not.

Brittany: Yeah, no, that’s exactly where I’m going. And let me give you an example of that. So, I’m a performer, and a lot of the shows I do, I only get booked on because they have to fill a quota of women and nothing makes me angrier. Now that being said, do I love getting to perform? Absolutely. But it makes me mad a little bit because I don’t want to be the best for a girl. I want to be the best. I want to be the best. And not that I’m saying I’m the best, but I want to strive to compete with people who make me better. And that means competing with every single person. And so it always makes me really sad and frustrated when I get chances to perform only because of my gender. They reduced me to that. Not if I’m funny, not if I’m talented, but we need a girl. So, you’re a girl. And so that’s what makes me mad is when people reduce you down to this one thing. So, it’s not who Brittany is as an individual, it’s who Brittany is based on a group that I didn’t choose and I love being a girl, but it was just, oh, I was born a girl, so now I have to do these shows where they just need to fill a quota. So, that’s always weird. And it’s funny because there’s a lot of women performers in this circle I’m in who demand that they think there should be a woman quota. And that to me just discounts all the other skills I have. But it’s not just gender or race. I think a big thing right now where people want to believe that the only thing that makes you or the primary thing that makes you you is your race and that nothing else matters. And that is another thing that just really gets me, because again, that’s something we didn’t, they call it, what is the word? Immutable, but that’s a big one. Or just these characteristics that don’t matter that we don’t have any control over. And yet people want to put us in a group based on something we might not even have any connection to. My dad is Hispanic. I’m only a little half-Hispanic, but I’m not really connected to that group at all. But it would be just so funny. Neither is my dad if my dad was judged based on his race, he would be put in a group that he really doesn’t even know that well. So, it isn’t that familiar with, so. It’s funny to me that that’s happening and that’s becoming specifically with race and with gender, actually, that’s becoming such a big part of our society where they only want to think of you as groups and not an individual. And that’s how we get socialism and that’s how we get all these terrible political and economic problems in the world. And so that’s something that is just really crazy. I’m trying to think of all the different ways this is happening in society and there’s just so much money and there’s what they call critical race theory, even though that term is used a lot, you mean a lot of things, but critical race theory basically just puts people in groups, they study everything is funneled or looked at through the lens, through eyes of only being in a certain race. So, let’s look at it through what it’s like having to grow up as a black person in America. And again, every single black person has a different experience. It could be. So, saying that everybody has the same one and then forcing people to only think that way is really dangerous because it brings us to something called equity, and we like equality. Everybody has an equal opportunity to do everything. It doesn’t matter how poor you’re born, it doesn’t matter how rich you’re born if you put in the work, it might be harder for you, but you can achieve. We see stories about it all the time. That’s what we used to call the American dream, but now it’s turned into like, no, because I belong to this group, I should get more privileges. Because back hundreds of years ago, slavery existed and there were bad things, absolutely horrible things that existed. But now people want to be given more opportunities than other people. And then that creates what’s called an us versus them mentality. Instead of us all appreciating each other as individuals. What it’s doing is it’s creating sports teams that we didn’t choose to be on. We’re like, okay, well, you’re going to be, we want these opportunities. You want these opportunities. Now we’re at odds with each other. And that’s really, really scary because when we adopt these us versus them mentalities, really bad things happen. And we’ve seen this all over history. So, we talk about the Holocaust, which was very tragic. That was a result of a tyrannical government. The Nazis saying the Jewish people are different than us. They’re causing all our problems. That’s the reason that we’re not having more opportunities. And so they othered this other group. They made it so it was everybody versus the Jewish people who hadn’t done it, they were individuals. It wasn’t like as one group they did things. That’s silly. That’s like saying every Catholic in the world is responsible for one thing somebody did, or every Christian or every Muslim person. So, it’s really scary. And I mean, we know what happened with that. It ended up with people dying. It ended up with people losing their family members and everything they had, all because people decided to only see each other as groups. And I don’t know, Ronni, if you have any examples that come to your head of other times, this has happened in our modern world or history. And if you don’t, that’s okay.

Ronni: Well, it’s not a race or gender thing, but it does make me think in the past couple of years when it got really bad between vaccinated and unvaccinated, and we kind of othered people depending on whether you had injected this or not.

Brittany: Yes, I didn’t even think about that, but that’s a very good point. Now, that’s a little, I’m going to say that’s a little different because it goes with the immutable or arbitrary characteristics, but it’s still the othering, right? It’s still where you become the us versus them. And it’s still the thinking in groups of nobody cared anymore who you were as a person. Some people just were like, well, you want to murder my grandmother? You didn’t get the vaccine. And it’s like, wait, what? I do all these, oh, go on.

Ronni: Yep. Here’s another one that I just thought of. But sometimes I think people get like that depending on where you’re from. For example, I lived in California for 18 years before I moved here. I’m in Utah now, and I knew moving that a lot of people were going to give us a side glance from California. Not everyone does that, but there are definitely a lot of people who do think, oh, those people from California, or Oh, those liberals, or Oh, those conservatives, and again, this isn’t quite immutable, but it still is a way of we other people into these assumptions that everyone’s the same.

Brittany: Absolutely. And that’s again, a good distinction to make that immutable. And there’s another word that I can’t think of that is easier to understand, that’s drawing a blanker now. But immutable again means something. You were born into race and religion. Religion is a little different, but that does count as gender. But then when we look at something like vaccines are being from California, you can choose that, but also that’s not your whole identity. You shouldn’t be put into this group because of one very small factor of who you are. And that’s where I want to just circle back to the title of this, which is what makes you and to have you think about this. Are you because of the race that you were born? Are you because of the gender you are or are you, maybe that’s a part of it. Or are you, because of all these different things, your skills, your hobbies, your values, the way you treat other people, that to me is how, that’s what makes us, right? That’s what makes all these crazy individuals in the world so special. And that’s what makes the world so unique and fun. And so if we only think about each other in groups, it’s just really sad to me because we’re missing out on so much more that makes people who they are. And it just makes me sad that we’re getting into a world where individualism doesn’t matter as much, and people only want to see groups. And I hope, and I am confident, or I have hope that this is just a phase we’re going through and that the pendulum, as they say, is going to swing back like a pendulum is in a grandfather clock, like that big hand that swings back and forth. So, it’s going to swing back the other way, meaning we’ll get back to individualism. That is my hope. But we will leave it there and please be thinking about what are these things. Maybe make a list of all the things that you think are who you are. I think it’s kind of fun. Thank you for listening. Don’t forget to like and subscribe and share our podcasts. And until next time, we will talk to you soon.

Ronni: All right, see you soon.