One of the "great ones" is to only support and associate with those that believe in my moral and ethical viewpoints. These viewpoints, of course are equality, activism, and humanist movement. I doubted this stance for a moment in the beginning however, simply because it brings the glaring issue of gender bias to the forefront of my feminist ideals. I was reading several forums and threads this past week on some large liberal websites where women were talking about who they were planning on voting for. There were a lot of comments proudly declaring that they voted for the women on the ballots no matter what (more women in office!)... and I couldn't help but shake my head.
Here's the deal: I don't discriminate based on gender. I just don't. I don't hate someone because they have a penis, and I don't support someone just because they have a vagina. I support, love, and stand behind people who care, do good, promote change, instigate kindness, and encourage action. There are caring men and caring women in this world. Conversely, there are crummy men and crummy women. To assume that every woman has a female's best interest in mind is blind acceptance which ultimately creates more problems than solutions.
We are taught to be nice polite people, and that those who disregard others lack some sort of social and moral upbringing. We are also conditioned to believe that the more people like us, the better. As in, the closer your individual "feedback" rating is to 100%, the better of a person you are. They call this "The Need to Please Disease" and it stems from a complex group of reasons, a large one being low self esteem. When we don't believe in ourselves, we need large groups of others to tell us that we are okay. Unfortunately, while support systems are definitely necessary for a functioning life, accumulating copious amounts of devotees won't resolve the underlying issues. Having a fulfilling life and winning the popularity contest only coincide a perfect world... which we don't live in. The summary? The belief that we must like everyone, and if everyone likes us we will be okay... is Grade A bullshit.
Now, I'm not suggesting that you go out into the world and act like a dick towards anyone you're not in love with. I'm just suggesting that you don't bend over backwards to please someone else because of some unspoken obligation. And on the flip side, I also allow myself to say "fuck you" to those I feel deserve it. Not a defensive or hurt "fuck you", but a genuine dismissal of those I feel are hurting others with their actions. This can come in many forms, from the direct to the indirect. Regardless, I have no problem cutting these people out of my life without hesitation. And this doesn't make me a bad/mean/sociallyinept/bullyofa person. It actually makes me a person with a core and healthy boundaries.
There are of course situations where this wouldn't necessarily be in your best interest; work for example. When the stakes include employment at a place you enjoy (but your boss is an insufferable bigot), you are able to make a choice. You can decide that having a job is more important than your passionate viewpoints and fake a smile during the work week. Or, you might choose your personal beliefs over the place of employment. It's up to you; your personal judgement is key here. Another situation that might not apply is if you are attempting to communicate with a person who's ideals conflict with yours. We all know that the second we become defensive, the other person closes their ears. I have found that diplomacy and kindness is key in these instances of persuasion, even if you disagree with your opponent.
Kingian non-violence philosophy believes that the only way to accomplish permanent change is to "win over your adversary" or to join forces with your enemies in the fight for good. This has proven effective over centuries, but I believe that there is a fine line to be weary of. You want to involve those that you clash with for collaborative reasons, but at the same time you must be wise about who you spend your precious energy on. Those committed to misunderstand you or those who are adamantly uninterested would be an exhausting waste of your time. I personally believe that in those circumstances, dismissal is more than okay, and movement forward is crucial. This whole concept fits perfectly into the subject of toxic loyalty, but that is another topic for another long winded day:)
So here's a radical suggestion: take the time that you invest in pleasing everyone around you and redirect it towards the people in your life that you admire or love. Better yet, use some of that energy and work on liking yourself. Loving, even. I have a feeling that this shift in direction will have a larger positive impact than you would imagine.
So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my premise? LETS GET SOME DISCUSSION GOIN ON UP IN HERE! I'm totally interested in hearing your thoughts and experiences that relate to the above situations! Spill, ladies and gents.
///Totally unrelated: doesn't the model on the right look like a redheaded Anne Hathaway?///