Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Fighting on the Same Side

I don't like confrontation. I avoid it whenever I can. I know there are people who thrive on good arguments, but I am not one of them. One of the reasons I stopped posting here regularly was because, as more people read my words, I had to make a much stronger effort to not step on toes. I mean -- I didn't have to. Most of the popular mainstream blogs rely on mean-spirited humor. But I liked the people who read my words -- who left kind and/or thoughtful comments. I didn't want to say something that might be hurtful for the sake of the opportunity to turn a clever phrase.


A lover, not a fighter.

But lately I've found myself in fights. Plural. I have been confused every time -- how did this happen? -- but -- not being a seasoned fighter -- I just can't seem to figure out how to walk away and drop things. Obviously if something I did or said inspired someone else to be mean to me, then I must have been misunderstood. I try to restate, but when the antagonist just keeps striking, I eventually strike back. I'm not proud of that. I watch people who just walk away. I want to be like them. I'm not, though. Not yet. I'll learn.

Most recently I was attacked because -- although this woman and I were on the same side of an argument, my personal experience and viewpoint didn't completely match hers. Now she was young -- and maybe it's the advantage of age -- to be able to understand that I don't have to share your precise experience for your experience to be valid. She ripped me to shreds because I came at it from a different angle. No, no, no. You will think exactly as I think, or you will be wrong. Then -- THEN! -- she launched into -- well, here's the thing -- if she'd been a man, the womyns would've been shaking their fists and spitting, "MANSPLAINING!" while simultaneously lighting their torches and searching for their pitchforks.

I thought about that a lot.

I suspect that if a man had spoken to her that way, she would've lead the angry mob. Hell, I suspect that if a man had spoken to ME that way she might not have exactly LEAD the mob, but she would've probably joined it. Because mansplaining is bad. Everyone knows that. We are womyns, hear us roar! Don't dare to try to 'plain something to a womyns, because womyns don't need to have anything explained to them.

Except, of course, by other womyns.

Not being able to walk away from a fight isn't the only bad habit I'm trying to break.

I read comments.

Recently I was reading a story about the absolutely repellant Brock Allen Turner rape case. A woman in the comments expressed her repulsion with him and compassion for her by stating that she was loved. She was somebody's daughter, grand-daughter, sister, niece, friend. She was immediately attacked -- and I mean ATTACKED -- by the womyns who said things like, "Oh, so if she were a homeless orphan, it would be ok?" She said, no, of course not. It would never be ok -- but she just kept being pummeled. Our worth isn't based on our relationships to other people. Well, of course not. I agree. But I don't think attacking a woman who was in agreement -- what happened here was capital B Bad -- because of the way she chose to express her compassion was fair. She eventually gave up, by the way. But she took an awfully good pummeling, first.

For what?

It's stupid. Let's get it together, women. Womyns. The lot of us. Fighting with people who are on your side is really a deterrent in the bigger picture. We're attacking each other for using the wrong word, or having a different experience and turning our backs on all the stuff we should REALLY be fighting. 

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