Wednesday, December 18, 2013

(Possibly) Good Advice I Just Won't Take

People I love post, say, and do hurtful, dangerously ill-informed, mean, or terrifically offensive things. We all have those people in our lives and in our newsfeeds. Shoot, more than once, I've been that person.

Once, several years ago, I posted a joke meme about Aspergers. I didn't even think twice. It seemed funny to me. Thankfully, a friend of mine was courageous enough to stand up to me, stand up for what was right, stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. I immediately saw the error of my ways, apologized profusely, did my best to right my wrong, and sat down to think really critically about what is funny and what is not. I was changed by that interaction. And I found myself with a deep admiration and respect for that friend, because it is far more difficult to confront someone you know and care about than it is to sit behind a keyboard and throw epithets in all caps at a stranger on a random Facebook page. How courageous of her to do what was right as opposed to what was easy.

I am now that courageous person. Generally, I pick my battles. If I went after every HUA* post, comment, or action I saw or heard, I'd have no other time in my day. There are those things, though, that I simply cannot let go. Typically, those include touting the benefits of abusing one's child (spanking, shaming, name-calling, circumcising, etc.), waxing poetic about those who are so disgustingly LGBTQIA, blatant misogyny, and making fun of those with special needs. I don't have many people on my FB friends list who I don't know personally, but those I don't know in real life, have many of the same beliefs that I do, so I do not find myself with any real need to confront any of the aforementioned situations. It's always the people I know and love. It's generally a former student (young adults I'm still close to, still care deeply about) or a close family member. And aren't those the toughest cases?

So, I'm repeatedly told by those who care about me (and sometimes about both parties) that I should stop commenting, hide the person, delete the person altogether. Maybe that's good advice. I don't know, but I know I won't take heed. There are people behind those hurtful things, lives that are affected, damage that is done and they're not there or not able to stand up at that moment and say, "Hey, that isn't right. Please stop." I am. I'm there. So I do it on their behalf. I hope someone else would do the same for me, especially when it's hard to do, because that's when it's really needed.

I get it. I do. I get advising me to avoid the things that will prove hurtful. I get advising me to avoid confrontation for the sake of keeping placid waters in the relationship. For the most part, I get it. That would, indeed, be the easy thing to do. It's just that nagging part of me that says, "But what about the people who are hurting and cannot stick up for themselves? What about them?" that I cannot silence.

So, perhaps I'm not actually the courageous person I thought I was. Perhaps, to you, I'm the stupid person - the glutton for punishment. Whatever you call me, this is who I am and I'm pleased with this part of me. I'm pleased that I'll choose right over easy in this case. So, thank you for the (unsolicited) advice, but I'll pass on it this time.



*head up ass

5 comments:

  1. >waxing poetic about those who are so disgustingly LGBTQIA,

    I think you meant something different than what this sounds like?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THEY believe they're waxing poetic about those who THEY believe to be disgustingly who they are, thus I am compelled to speak up.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the clarification. (Me being a warm fuzzy dyke, I wasn't comfortable with the way it read.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry about that and thanks for asking for the clarification instead of assuming and getting upset first. :)

      Delete