New Blog, New Freedom

16Dec09

I began writing on a personal blog, but it soon became apparent to me that I needed a great deal more anonymity.  I want to delve into the issues I discuss without concern for what people connected to me might see.  I want freedom to say what I think needs to be said.  I want to tell how it connects with my life, and why that’s important.  And so I find myself here, settling into a new identity.  You would not think that a new web identity would really change that much.  It is still me, the thoughts that I am attempting to translate from my brain to the page are still my own.  But it feels different.  It feels tenuous, uncertain.  But, I will break the blog in, and eventually interacting with it will come naturally.

I’ve already moved a few of the entries from my past blog to this one.  I debated for a while about whether or not I was going to do that, but I think it’s important.  The journey I am taking with my thoughts and opinions is one that needs to be shared.  I cannot expect people to follow what I’m thinking now without first seeing how I got here.  I don’t think I could do it justice if I wrote a new entry summarizing.  And so this slight risk of somehow being recognized must be taken before I can step out into my new freedom.

For the sake of starting this out the right way,  I will do a bit of ranting, and, as a perk of my new anonymity, will give a few more specifics about an interaction to which I’ve referred a couple of times now.

After posting something on a social networking site about being what I lovingly refer to as child-free (meaning I do not have children, and do not ever want to have children), I received a message (from someone I do not know) asking me why most women who didn’t want children were “psycho, stab-you-in-your sleep liberals.”  So, not being able to let it go, I sent a message letting this person know that I didn’t think it was okay for him to make broad generalizations in that manner about women who don’t want children.  (I know several lovely women who are child-free, and if any of them are psycho it is not due to their child-bearing preferences.)  A bit of an argument ensued, involving me being told off for taking a broad generalization seriously, and for encroaching on this person’s first amendment right by saying I disagreed with him (both of which I discussed on here).  I sent one final message, saying that I thought it was ridiculous to expect me to not take a broad generalization like that seriously, especially since I’d had no prior interaction with this person, and also politely informing him that the first amendment also protected my right to let him know that I thought he was being a sexist bastard (I did not use those words…I was much more eloquent, and much less offensive).  He sent one in return, with a straw-man argument not even worth discussing, and the parting words that there were real problems in the world and this was not worth the breath.  (I did not send one back letting him know that he was not actually wasting breath on it…finger movements perhaps, but not breath.)

I normally don’t get involved in arguments like this.  In the past, I was heavily into debating on forums, but only ones designated specifically for that purpose.  I am generally able to just ignore people like this, because I know trying to argue sense into them will do no good.  I don’t know why I couldn’t resist this time.  Maybe it was because he sent me a message directly, and invaded my personal space at a time in my life when I am ultra sensitive to things like this.

But why I responded isn’t what I want to discuss.  It’s that last part, the part about there being real problems in the world.

Sexism is a real problem.  The fact that people don’t think so is a BIG FUCKING PROBLEM.  It’s easy to say it isn’t a real problem when you aren’t the one dealing with it every day, when you aren’t the one facing various shades of bigotry in every facet of your life.  I can’t escape this shit.  I get it at home, at work, among friends.  It permeates my life.  And it is a problem.

I’m not going to deny that there are more important things going on in the world, because I definitely think there are.  As far as general gender bigotry goes, I would rather see gay marriage allowed in all states before I see more progress with sexism against women.  That doesn’t mean that sexism toward women isn’t important, or that it isn’t a real problem.  (I think sexism in general is a problem, whether it is directed toward men or women…I just have the tendency to talk about women because, well, I am one.  This is what I face, this is what I know about, and this is what is most important to me.) I want to see our economy sorted out, I really want to see our educational system sorted out, our environment, international relations, poverty, disease…the list goes on.  I know these are problems, and I know these problems need to be addressed.  I do not think it’s okay to put sexism on the backburner because of these problems.  No progress will ever be made if we do, and, in the meantime, we are really being affected by this.  We are really getting lower wages and being passed up for job opportunities (yes, even now), we are really being told we should not make our own choices about what to do with our bodies, we are really being treated like lesser beings on a daily basis, and we are really being looked down upon if we don’t act like something out of the Stepford Wives.  The fact that someone even takes notice of a woman who doesn’t want children as a strange, unfamiliar being is proof of this.  The fact that there is still the lingering idea that all women should want to bear children and raise families is a problem.  I am tired of being judged for taking control of my own life, and for making decisions about what I want to do with it.

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