Friday, May 23, 2014

Consequences of being an outspoken Feminist on the internet

Honesty time: I'm friends with some people on Facebook out of sheer curiosity. That's it, that's all there is. Or a vague feeling that I might hurt someone's feelings if I unfriend them even if the last time we talked was over 10 years ago. I know that people enjoy spying on me, too. That's how it goes in this era of technology. Keep your friends close and your acquaintances, exes, old crushes, old friends, ex-employers, and enemies closer.

And--for the most part--if you're one of those people on my list, I don't mind at all. I like seeing what's up in your life, hearing about your engagements and babies and milestones, and even being jealous of your adventures from time to time.

But what happens if you have some pretty strong opinions and you share them strongly and openly like the destroyer of worlds you are?

I'll tell you: you alienate people.
People tell you "you're really annoying."

People unfriend you or block you.

People make flash judgements about your personal life (especially when you post about religious topics) that they have exactly ZERO authority to make. 

And it sucks...kinda. But not really.

I've been both the alienator and alienated, the annoying and the annoyed. I've unfriended or blocked folks (which, regarding 2 specific exes of mine, was the most cathartic and therapeutic thing I think I could have possibly done for myself). I've survived it all. 

I think some polarity is okay. Public discussion of difficult, divisive topics is necessary. The world needs people who are willing to  boldly state their opinions and back them up with real information.  If you're on the opposite end of the discussion from me AND you can provide solid reasoning, I respect the hell out of you.

Guilty am I of zealotry when it comes to the topic of Ordain Women/female ordination in the LDS church/feminist things in general. #sorrynotsorry Oh yeah and social justice, civil rights, food politics, body politics, corporate name it, I've probably got an opinion on it. (FYI I try really hard to do my reading before I start sharing my opinion). 

Being boldly outspoken leads to cacophony among friends and probably being unfollowed by an embarrassing number of people.

But it also leads to building or rebuilding friendships with old acquaintances, really valuable discussions, helpful views from the other side of the argument, and--for me at least--more empathy and a stronger desire to do good and be good.  

I have been so inspired by the people that I didn't even know cared about my two cents coming out to show support and/or share their stories. It means so much to me.

I think the internet is such a powerful tool of connection.

I'm inspired to be a better person, more involved, more open, more vulnerable, more kind, and more powerful. 

So if you already thought I was weird and you're tired of me saying things, fine. Unfriend me. I'll be disappointed to some degree but I'll understand.

It won't, however, stop me from being a soldier for truth and justice for all (learning curves notwithstanding) or doing the best I can to support and stand up for what's right. Or stop me from calling out evil when I see it. Or posting articles and pictures about cats. Oh that was so 2010? THINK AGAIN, SUKKAZ.