I’ve come to the conclusion that the world’s gone mad.
Political polarisation, outrage culture, hatred, it’s crazy. Lunacy. Absolute, 100% madness.
I’ve recently been talking a lot with my nearest and dearest about what’s been bothering me. Things I’m seeing in the street, the news and online. I don’t know about you guys, but do you feel like people have just forgot how talk to each other? Without it coming to verbal, or even physical, blows?
I’m a girl who loves a good discussion and debate. I got involved in local political debates and activism in my teens. I believe you can’t achieve progression without discussion. If people with differing opinions never spoke to each other, how would we compromise or progress? Be it in a friendship or larger scale in political life?
For example, me and my parents disagree on a few things. We can still talk to each other and treat each other with respect. A recent friend I’ve made is a lovely American lady, who happens to be Republican and more conservative than I’d consider myself to be. I’m a mixture of modern and traditional if I’m being completely honest.
We don’t see eye to eye on certain political topics, one of them being economic policy. I adore having these talks with her, (aside from the fact she’s a total scream!) because I love the fact we can agree to disagree on policy without it affecting our friendship in, what sometimes feels like, a world where remotely disagreeing with someone can get you a torrent of abuse.
Kinky Bestie, as you know, is one of my oldest friends whom I love with all my heart. He’s an openly gay man who’s very progressive on a variety on things in life, and even we don’t see eye to eye some times!
And you know what? That’s absolutely fine. Yeah, I said it. That’s absolutely fine.
*Hears crazy outrage on both sides of political spectrum*
Disclaimer! When I talk about this, I don’t mean hatred. There is no place for hatred. There’s enough of that in the world as it is. We don’t need any more. Racism, homophobia, misogyny, misandry etc. are awful and never condonable.
This has also become a topic of discussion on my course as well. When meeting with other writers who’s work we’ve been studying, asking how they deal with online abuse and the “mob mentality” has come up more than once and if it places restrictions on creativity. Many (namely online) are using simply disliking a fictional story for its genre, character development, style etc. to act deplorably.
The general consensus was yes, but to continue writing regardless and deal with contentious themes with the respect and sensitivity they deserve, to make sure it is in context with the story and obviously, not to be gratuitous.
Yes, you have the right to like or dislike a story. Yes, you have the right to free speech. Hell, you have the right to be utterly appalled by something if you want! But does it give you the right to send someone death/rape threats and doxing the person and/or their families? No. It doesn’t give you the right to commit a crime.
I have and I’m sure many of you have seen a-plenty, people using “free speech” as a way to justify this sort of behaviour, or using these abhorrent means of terrorising someone and call it “political activism” as we’ve seen with political figures, journalists and writers alike.
To make it clear, I don’t care where you stand on the political spectrum. I don’t care if you’re Labour, Lib Dem, Tory, Democrat, Republican, Independent, whatever! If you are threatening someone’s safety or the safety of their families because they don’t agree exactly with you, it doesn’t make you “offended” and it doesn’t make you a “political activist”. It makes you a garbage person, plain and simple.
I’m sure there’s plenty of people in the world that don’t like what I write. That’s fine. I’m not here to please everyone. I’m not here to please anyone, in fact, I do this solely for myself and thoroughly enjoy it. The fact that I’ve got a following and made some lovely friends along the way is a wonderful bonus!
It’s ok to disagree. Even if you vehemently disagree, be dignified and if they can’t be, that’s their problem and not yours. But both parties screaming so loud until they can’t hear the other person isn’t discussion and will never get anyone anywhere.
Fighting fire with fire only makes a bigger fire, right? How about both agreeing to put the fire out?
All my love,
*Picture – Pinterest