I consider myself a feminist and a nice person. But … every once in a while … I think and say things that are sexist, malicious, and downright disrespectful. I’ve been accused of internalised misogyny when I disagree with the views of my fellow feminists, which is fairly often. I’ve also been called mean-spirited for enjoying the misfortune of people I dislike. That one I’m generally okay with.
What gets to me is when I say something in passing and it’s taken as a summation of my character. And yet … I can’t refute that, because I do the same thing. I hear someone make a casual comment – something they probably won’t remember saying in five minutes – and it makes me wonder if I know this person at all.
A few times, I’ve had the benefit of context. Said person has gone on to explain their disturbing comment, and when you hear the thinking behind it, the comment doesn’t seem quite as damning as it initially appeared. Thing is … we don’t always get the backstory. Often, we don’t even want to hear it. Someone steps on a line that subconsciously triggers us and suddenly they are no longer worthy of our time, our space, our audience. It’s a sad part of human nature.
I suppose the world would be a lot better if we all learned a little more patience and tolerance, if we could give others the benefit of the doubt, if we could dig a little deeper and look beyond the surface. Judge not, lest ye also be judged, as the good book says. Or … we could all just learn to forge ahead regardless of how we are perceived … in spite of how we are perceived. You know, just do you.
The topic has been on my mind lately, because I’m having one of my social spurts and taking a lot of online meetings to the streets. Meeting new people that I only know on Twitter and FB. My criteria for who I want to meet is based on their tweets, and people in IRL are often very, very different from their virtual persona.
I’ve ended up liking people offline more than I admired them online, seeing other layers of their nature and quite enjoying picking certain brains. It’s made me wonder about the twitter personalities I’ve been avoiding, and wondering if I might actually like how they appear in the ‘real world.’
Of course the downside is that an asshole online could be an even bigger asshole offline. I learned the hard way that people who seem nice on the phone can be really quite nasty in person, sembuse people who are already ogres on the net?
And then … what happens when you don’t like the person you just met? Do you unfollow their account and ghost them forever? *shudder* I guess that’s why the average person keeps their online and offline lives separate. Still … when it comes to meeting tweeple, it’s more exciting to take a few chances and step out of comfort zones. Not necessarily more fulfilling … but definitely more interesting.
♫ It’s the only one you’ve got ♫ 3 Doors Down ♫