Note: Random blog post incoming! *Makes noises airplanes make*
I’m sure I’ve been holding this one in for a bit, but having more conversations with my brother (goodness, I love that guy) has put the topic to the forefront of my brain. Here on my blog I mostly talk about anime and beautiful anime women, but that doesn’t mean those are the only topics I enjoy talking about, and I don’t shy away from the more contentious issues or hard questions on this planet that we face as a species. Okay, if you’re reading this, you’re most likely curious what I have to say, right? Of course you are! So what I have to say is typed below and it’s in bold for great emphasis…
There is no respectful, skillful or polite way to state views that marginalize people.
Seriously, I’m an optimistic idealist so I REALLY wish I didn’t have to say this. I’m not sure why I have to either because I feel this should be obvious, but again, after having more conversations with my brother and anecdotal evidence on online forums this apparently is not the case.
What I mean by this is that there are some people who say things that were clearly pretty horrible, and then just expect me (and others) to sit there and take it, and not point out the ghastly nature of the value, view, concept or thing they espoused. Since it’s pride month, I’ll use LGBT rights as an example. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a big supporter of the LGBT community. It’s been that way since I was a child. I have gay friends whom I love dearly and anyone who knows me, knows I think more highly of my friends than I do myself (and I tend to think highly of myself, thank you). So when someone says things such as “Homosexuals are flawed, have a mental disorder, it’s a choice, etc.” or “Marriage should be between a man and woman” we have a problem.
I’m usually a cordial, welcoming, and respectful person, and I’m perfectly fine with people having different tastes, thoughts and opinions, but when you’ve said that, then I cease to be peaceful and polite, no matter how “matter of factly” you state your view.
You just stated my friends are “less than”. That’s a no-go!
Saying, or communicating something rude, untrue, offensive or that dehumanizes another human being, no matter how little swearing or slurs you use, and no matter how advanced your vocabulary, is not respectful. No matter how much you may want to think it is.
It’s even worse when the person says something around the lines of “Hey, let’s agree to disagree”. Yeah, no, let’s not. That is where I have to draw the line. The conversation comes to a close after I explain that it’s wrong to marginalize people. If a simple explanation is not enough for that person, then very few things (besides experiencing marginalization themselves) would convince them otherwise. I’m certainly not going to change their mind by continuing to talk to them.
“Gee, Starchaser. Why do you take this so personally?”. You might ask. Because real people are involved! Another thing I take issue with is when someone adheres to a shitty belief and says they just have a “different opinion”. No. We’re not talking about who would make the better waifu, Akame or Senjougahara (it’s Senjougahara, btw) here. We are talking about real things that happen in real life, that have real consequences for real people.
On the flip side, being intentionally boorish and “speaking your mind” doesn’t make the horrible concepts you believe better either. Saying that one honestly believes in a terrible idea doesn’t change the nature of the idea.
I think I might say this as well, but this isn’t suggesting we should suppress freedom of speech or anything like that. Without freedom of speech, how would I or others know who the bigoted morons are? Say whatever the blue cheese you want. Speech away. What I am suggesting is we don’t pretend that something is polite when it clearly isn’t. I’m suggesting that we don’t reward, give props, or congratulate people for saying horrendous and/or incorrect things no matter how “well articulated” or “politically incorrect” they come across. Free speech should be protected, but not mistaken to mean “the freedom to not be called out on saying ridiculous broad generalizations online or offline“. Shoot, considering who the current president of the United States is, it has become increasingly more important to do so if you ask me.
The last thing I want to say is if someone isn’t convinced by simple logic that everyone deserves equal rights point, blank, and put a period on it, then they’re someone that I can’t really talk with. Because they have demonstrated they don’t respond to reason. They’re not someone I want to talk to or associate myself with.