Ah, Facebook, ye noble bastion of free speech… So I got into a conversation with some guy I don’t know because he said something misogynystic. I have to say, while the printed nature of internet discussions has the benefit that you can evaluate everything before you say it, there is the danger that once it’s in print it is eternal. I marvel at people who are careless on social network sites- you know that’s never going away, don’t you? I normally avoid engaging in such discussions for this very reason; I still don’t really know why I got into this one.
Two things occurred to me during and after that conversation that I thought worthy of rehashing in a little more detail (rather than wisely dropping the subject, as the previous paragraph suggests I should). The first is that, as a conservative Christian woman, I occasionally encounter a militantly shallow view of feminism: this hazy idea that feminists are an ignorant rogue army of godless hateful women acting out of spite.
I also have friends who dislike the current trend of feminism but are more thoughtful in their views (click here to read my sister in law’s discussion of gender distinction and practical symbolism). To me though, feminism isn’t about anger or throwing down gender distinctions. I have no interest in immitating manliness. As a feminist today, I’m interested in normalizing the reality that women weren’t given equality, they already had it. The feminist movement didn’t take something that was not previously ours, it demanded that what was rightfully ours no longer be denied us. I like how Darrell worded it a few days ago: “Of course I thought that women should have the right to vote, the right to work and, a place at the table in our national dialog but it took having two little girls of my own to teach me that there’s a huge difference between tolerating an idea and celebrating it.”
That quote brings me to the second issue. I mentioned above how it surprises me when people blurt stuff out on Facebook- this conversation… It’s always nice to share opinions, really, but reread what you type before you click “post.” When I ask a person about what they say, and am met with “what I meant was…” and “I never said…” that’s not a sign of someone who spoke clearly to begin with. Think first, then speak, because honestly folks WHAT YOU MEANT ISN’T HALF AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT ACTUALLY CAME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH.
I’m actually interested in hearing other people’s opinions on this, so I’d love for you to share your thoughts below, if my dire reminder about the permanency of written words hasn’t scared you away… if you disagree, I promise not to bite your head off, but I don’t promise not to create a thinly-veiled satirical comic strip poking fun at you.