I stopped identifying as a feminist years ago because I was tired of having my lived experiences dismissed by other feminists when said experiences didn’t fit their narrative or ideology.
I was tired of having other women presume to know my mind better than I do, by accusing me of having “internalized misogyny” and setting feminism back “by decades” because I chose to stay home and raise my son.
I was tired of being called an “MRA type”, among other things, for pointing out that letting them dictate how other women should think, speak, act, and live their lives, is not an improvement over men doing it; that feminism is supposed to be, at least in part, about empowering women to choose our own paths in life — not just switching from being controlled by men to being controlled by other feminists.
I was tired of having it made clear to me, in no uncertain terms, that I am not ‘one of them’ and will never be represented by them because, ironically, they could never seem to find the perfect sized box to keep me in.
And I’ve been better off and much happier since I stopped trying to live like a feminist, and just started living. I empowered myself by understanding that, despite what feminists would have me believe, I am not utterly helpless without them.
You’ll find there’s a family of friends living here,
A small group of minds, and of hearts;
With some of us clever and some of us not,
At times you can’t tell us apart.
There’s one who is cranky, and one who is shy,
And one who is really uncouth;
And just when you think you’ve discovered who’s who,
You’ll really uncover the truth.
The truth that we’re all just a little of each,
A group of imperfects are we
And sometimes I might criticize them to you,
But don’t ever knock them to me.
‘Cause the one thing that ties us together for life-
no matter how far we’re apart,
Is love for each other, a family of friends
A small group of minds, and of hearts.
In the wake of the Paris attacks (and just about every other issue that makes the front page) a lot of people are asking, “Why isn’t anyone talking about ________?” These people are also critical of others’ use of the Facebook photo filter bearing the French flag. Well, I have a message for those people:
Instead of trolling comment sections under articles on Paris in an effort to divert attention from that to whatever you think others should be equally concerned about, perhaps you should be posting or even writing articles on those issues. That would be a far more effective way to spread awareness than trying to hijack other topics of discussion to solicit attention for some other issue — a tactic which is petty and juvenile, and does very little to promote your cause.
To be clear, I am not talking to people who do post articles about other things, or who simply choose not to use the photo filter. I’m talking to people who take a morally superior stance; to the people who Jamiles Lartey of Guardian US refers to as “Tragedy Hipsters” and their holier-than-thou comments that amount to, “I care about suffering and death that you’ve never even heard of.”
I’m talking to people who rebuke others for using the photo filter and/or talking about Paris when there are other tragedies taking place in the world. Your thinking on this is completely irrational because you’re basically saying that if we don’t talk about everything we shouldn’t talk about anything. This line of thought is childishly demanding and completely unrealistic.
Some things hit closer to home and resonate more than others. This is part of human nature and anyone who claims to be equally concerned about every injustice on the planet is flat out lying — lying to themselves and lying to the world. As Lartey also pointed out:
“It simply isn’t possible to treat every individual tragedy & moment of suffering with objective or equal consideration, and no one does this. There is robust neuroscientific research into how this works in the human brain, and how poor a job we do at weighting suffering and tragedy.” [emphasis mine]
I refuse to be manipulated into keeping quiet about things that resonate the most with me, or into spreading myself too thin in a futile effort to be all-inclusive. This does not equate to apathy or racism, as some have erroneously charged. I am a human being with limited time and energy, and the same goes for all those social justice warriors striving for the moral high ground through pretending to care about all things equally — something which is absolutely humanly impossible.
Writer and Director, Terry McMahon, made a similar point by asking the following questions:
“When we grieve for someone with whom we have a personal connection should we feel guilty that our grief does not extend to every stranger we have no connection with? When we go to the funeral of a loved one should we feel guilty for not having attended every fucking funeral in the history of humankind? When we connect should we feel guilty because it is personal?”
My answer to those three questions is a resounding NO, NO, and NO!
Whenever you feel the urge to troll comment sections to shame others for discussing something that resonates with them, resist the urge. Instead, focus your energy on productive ways of bringing awareness to issues that resonate with you — not by hijacking other topics of interest and scolding people who aren’t talking about everything you think they should. That’s like crashing a funeral and demanding that mourners express equal grief for someone else buried yesterday in a cemetery across town. It’s offensive and in poor taste, and demonstrates the same level of insensitivity that “Tragedy Hipsters” decry in others when they focus more on one thing than another.
Open a new topic of discussion by posting relevant links, or even writing your own piece on issues that you feel aren’t getting enough attention. The Internet and social media offers everyone that option equally, so instead of criticizing people for exercising that option, try doing the same to a more productive end. Imagine how much attention could be brought to the under-reported tragedies in the world if all the ‘funeral-crashing’ social justice warriors would focus more on that and less on finger-wagging, which accomplishes very little apart from alienating the very people they presumably wish to sway.
On September 12, 2001, the French newspaper Le Monde proclaimed, “Today we are all Americans”. Following the terrorist attacks in Paris yesterday, this American proudly proclaims:
So, there I was minding my own goddamned business, drinking coffee and trying to read the news when my actual news reading was completely disrupted by a pathetic, self-serving sob story from one of Kansas City’s finest. His name is Michael Holsworth and according to his Facebook page, he has been a cop for thirteen years and proudly proclaims that, “When guns are outlawed, I will be an outlaw.” Here is the profile photo that Holsworth used to publicly declare that he will do what the fuck he wants, the law be damned:
Not surprising from a cop these days — don’t like the law, just fucking break it. No skin off their asses. They’ll all just lie and cover for each other and never face any consequences for the crimes they commit.
Full disclosure: I don’t like cops. I don’t trust them and I don’t call them when I’m in trouble. I’ve witnessed, first hand, far too many cases of police misconduct and brutality, and as I read the news every single day, my contempt for them is validated — by them. Today was no different. And don’t even try to convince me that there are still “good cops” out there because as long as the ones who aren’t actually killing innocent, unarmed people or otherwise abusing their authority continue to turn a blind eye or make excuses for the thugs in uniform, they are as complicit as said thugs in the crimes they commit.
But I digress.
So, Officer Holsworth was meeting his family for his birthday lunch at Olive Garden when he was approached by a hostess:
As I was sitting there waiting, one of the employees told me ” Sir, we don’t allow guns in here.” Now mind you I am in full police uniform and on duty. I actually thought it was a joke at first so I asked her ” Are you serious?” She replied back with ” Yes”. So I told her ” well I can leave I guess.” She then replied back ” yes please leave”
Did Holsworth ask for a manager to help clear things up? No, he volunteered to leave and then went crying to Facebook, asking people to share his story to let “everyone know how this establishment is treating their local law enforcement.”
Mr. Holsworth, “this establishment” didn’t treat you or anyone else in any way at all. You didn’t give them a chance to! One hostess told you what the gun policy was and you offered to leave, by your own admission. You claim that you “posted on Facebook about [it] because [you] did not want other officers to be subjected to the same embarrassing situation.” And I’m calling bullshit!
This could have been easily and quietly resolved, never to happen again, if you had simply asked for a manager. You went to Facebook to get attention and probably to try doing a little damage control and garner sympathy for your profession. You are the one who took it to the media, and then had the nerve to say this in a follow-up statement:
I ask that the media and others respect my privacy and devote their attentions to altering the general narrative about police officers in a more positive direction so this type of situation does not occur in the future.
See? Damage control for the profession. It’s almost as if Holsworth didn’t want the issue resolved amicably. It seems that he saw an opportunity to make a fuss and have his moment in the spotlight to play the victim and whine about the media’s “general narrative about police officers” and ask them to “alter” that narrative as if it’s somehow the media’s responsibility to repair the image of cops across the country — a horrifying image that cops in the United States have created for themselves!
So, Holsworth, how about appealing to your Brotherhood across the nation to stop acting like a bunch of goddamed gangsters and repair their own fucked up image? Or would that be too much like placing the responsibility exactly where the hell it belongs? Talk about victim blaming and shooting the messenger!
The knee-jerk responses in the comment sections of the news articles pissed me off even more. “Boycott Olive Garden”, and various expressions of police worship which always makes my skin crawl. The more people treat these guys like celebrities, the bigger their heads get and the more rounds they fire, and with no consequences. Cops are public servants! Stop the fucking drooling, people!
Michael Holsworth is a whiny bitch whose fragile ego was bruised when a little girl didn’t treat him like the superhero that he imagines he is. That is why he didn’t deal with the situation like a fully developed, emotionally stable adult. He’s not one. Any normal adult would have either left and taken their business elsewhere — without throwing a public tantrum — or asked to speak to a manager. But Holsworth is a cop, you see, so poor service in a restaurant is somehow newsworthy. But now he wants his privacy. And being a cop, he apparently thinks he’s entitled to run screaming into the media spotlight and then demand that the media respect his privacy. Self-important fucking ass wipe.
As to Olive Garden, fuck them for apologizing. I may very well boycott them just for that. Holsworth made absolutely no effort to resolve the matter right then and there, but instead took it public without even giving management a chance. If anything, Holsworth owes Olive Garden an apology for blowing such a petty isolated incident completely out of proportion! I’m sick to death of businesses falling all over themselves to kiss a bunch of smelly cop ass. But they do it because they worry that if they don’t, the cops won’t do their jobs if ever called to their establishments. And the sickening part is that they’re probably right, which would further validate my distrust and contempt for police.
In closing, I challenge Michael Holsworth to support his claim that he sees this kind of thing happen “all over the United States”. If Mr. Holsworth can cite even half as many cases of shit like this as I can of police killing unarmed, innocent people across the nation, I will chop off my right index finger and post a video of the amputation for your viewing pleasure. Or perhaps Michael Holsworth would like to alter his own bullshit narrative to include some actual facts. But I wouldn’t count on it.
“Earlier in my life I thought the things that mattered were the things that you could see, like your car, your house, your wealth, your property, your office. But as I’ve grown older I’ve become convinced that the things that matter most are the things that you can’t see — the love you share with others, your inner purpose, your comfort with who you are.”
― Jimmy Carter
Amen and amen!