I’m a pretty tolerant person; I grew up in a very diverse city and have always had friends from all walks of life. Gay, straight, black, Guatemalan, transgender, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim…..whatever you are, I don’t care as long as you are a decent person and cool with me.
With that being said, I also have a……..”diverse” set of opinions being shared constantly on my Facebook timeline. I would say 98% of the posts I see are pretty harmless. It’s an election year so there is plenty of mudslinging from acquaintances back and forth from people who support different candidates, which are easy enough to scroll past. Selfies, selfies, and more selfies (which are cool since I love seeing people happy with who they are). And, thanks to one particular friend (KK), I see almost every meme worth sharing. (You love me and I have proof! Lol!) So, all in all, totally harmless.
(There’s always a “But,…” and here it is.)
But, there’s a couple individuals that are starting to make me reevaluate why we’re “friends.” The ideals they embody are not in alignment with who I am and my character. It makes me wonder if all this hate and intolerance is just to rile others up or if these individuals are speaking their real feelings. I’m an eternal optimist and am always looking for that shred of hope that there is some good in every one. (Yes, I’m disappointed often.)
( I totally understand having an opinion and our constitutional right to speak that opinion. As long as people who hold those opinions speak fairly and don’t spew hate and breed fear. Facts to support claims also help. And not sharing “news” stories from sketchy origins.)
As I said above, I have people that I consider friends from all walks of life. I do not like generalizations of certain cultures, religions, nationalities because the actions of a few should not reflect on a whole community. I do not believe that one community deserves more benefits and privileges just because they are from said community.
Emotions are running very high in this day and age. The media and governments are trying to separate the nation and are fueling the fires in between communities. “They” want us to be in turmoil so they can feed off our uncertainty and all these “attacks” against LGBTQ, ethnicities other than Caucasian, and religions other than Christianity are propaganda to keep up from coming together.
Transgender people trying to go to the bathroom (which they’ve been doing for years without complications until lies and hate made it an issue) are not going to molest your children.
We need to be more worried about the actual pedophiles that are acting out their atrocities behind the guise of being schoolteachers, coaches, and officials in churches. And the most popular type of paedophilia where the child’s own parent is abusing them. Stopping someone trying to use the bathroom isn’t going to fix this…
We need to stop sexualizing our daughters, nieces, and women in general. The “slut-shaming” needs to stop. A woman’s body is not an object for men to ogle over. Nor should we have to cover up to make the men surrounding us more “comfortable.” (Same goes for those women who choose to completely cover themselves. They should not have to show their bodies if they don’t want to. Regardless of their reason behind it.)
Being a woman is HARD! We shouldn’t have to worry about of our tank top shows too much of our shoulders or cleavage. We shouldn’t have to worry if the outfit we choose to wear is going to cause us unwanted attention and get us verbally assaulted for just walking down the street. Women shouldn’t have to “cover up” while breastfeeding their child. Breasts are not a sexual organ. They are a reproductive organ that produces nourishment for our children. Women should not have to worry about having “too good of a time” to protect themselves from men who can’t keep their dicks in their pants. (Unable to give consent still means NO.) Women should not have to adapt the way they celebrate their faith because another religion does not agree with their choice attire. Turbans, hijabs, burkas, etc are a form of (religious) expression and it’s no one else’s business how that individual chooses to express themselves.
Along the topic of women’s rights, NO ONE should have the right to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. If she chooses to use birth control, so be it. If she chooses abortion, not anyone’s business. If she chooses to have 19 kids, more power to her (and I wish for her strength and patience!). If she chooses to never have kids, good for her. The government and church officials need to back off and learn to live in the 21st century. Instead of preaching abstinence as the only way, our youngsters need to learn reality when it comes to sexual education. If a man ejaculates inside a woman of puberty/child bearing age, she will get pregnant (eventually) and there is a huge risk of STDs. (For the sake of this argument, I’m not going to elaborate for other sexualities since I’m focusing on women’s reproductive rights.) We can’t keep ignoring these issues and vowing persecution against women making a choice with their bodies. It’s no one’s business but her own.
LGBTQ people are not suffering from a mental illness. Their lifestyles aren’t something that can be helped with a pill or therapy. It’s not a phase to grow out of. The nation needs to quit treating it as such. Love is blind and it shouldn’t matter who an individual chooses to love. The choice in a significant other doesn’t change a person’s character or integrity. Feeling like a man trapped in a woman’s body (or a woman trapped in a man’s) does not mean that person is a freak or looking for attention or a pedophile. It’s simply that who they are on the inside is not reflected on the outside. (I’m sure we’ve all had a similar feeling about something about ourselves at one point in time. Imagine that uncomfortable feeling being constant.)
Since the beginning of recorded time, religions have been fighting each other. One side is always saying the other is the root of all evil and that we need to convert the heathens into following “the one true religion.” (Whichever one that may be, I’m not a religious person so I have no bias as to who or what is “god.”) Who cares what someone else’s faith is. I’ve read the bible, and the Qur’an, and been open to hear all opinions of faiths. (I like hearing all sides of all subjects, it’s the Libra in me I guess.) What I’ve found in hearing all these different viewpoints, is that ALL faiths are based around the same ideals. Do good to get good back to you, don’t be an asshole, stay faithful to your significant other, don’t kill people; basically be cool to everyone and don’t be a douchebag. (While some preach more violence towards non-followers *coughChristianBiblecough*, they’re all basically about the same thing just different ways of saying it)
The problem lies in our interpretation of centuries old texts. All the world’s civilizations are vastly different from when all religious texts were written. Our interpretation of the teachings needs a fresh perspective. If you’re going to follow a faith, and want the freedom to be able to follow said faith without persecution, then you do not have the right to impose regulations on other faiths. (Freedom of religion ring a bell?)
This country was founded on the premise of freedom. Freedom from being persecuted for any of our unique beliefs. Just because another person doesn’t have the same views as another, does not allow the opposing view to be oppressed or regulated. We cannot achieve freedom by only allowing one side of anything to be expressed.
Fear and greed is what I believe is behind all of this hate and intolerance. We fear what we do not understand and we’re living in a generation that is “every person for themselves” mentality.
All this really makes me want to unplug and live in the middle of the woods. (Something already in the works but the plans have been fast tracked.) Is this really what we’ve become? A culture so blind to the struggles of someone “different” that we hate them and make their lives a living hell?! Does it really make us sleep better at night when we’re stripping away basic rights from people who are not what we are?!
I know I’m losing sleep because of those who spew hate and intolerance. I feel so deeply for those who don’t benefit from the same liberties that I do.
I am a Native American and Spanish, 30ish year old female. My looks favor my Spanish heritage. I am not married but have a very committed relationship with my boyfriend of almost 9 years. We have pit bulls instead of children. I medicate with medical marijuana for my chronic pain from rheumatoid arthritis and years of not treating my body right, my severe anxiety and panic attacks from PTSD, and to be quite honest, to help me cope with assholes I encounter in day to day life. I support anything that allows others freedom to life their life as each individual sees fit.
I understand that I do enjoy certain privileges due to the fact that I appear Caucasian. I don’t (usually) get followed around a store being suspected of being a shoplifter. I was in a situation one time where I was the only one NOT arrested when I was just as guilty as the others involved (they were not Caucasian). You get the picture.
While being who I am and surrounding myself with a very diverse group of people. I can understand the divide. I see the mistreatment of my friends and although I’m not dealing with a lot of this stuff being directed at me, it still hurts to see a beautiful soul crushed by intolerance of who they are just because of who they are.
Racism is alive and flourishing. Homophobia and transphobia run rampant. Sexism is a real thing. We can’t keep raising children that need therapy to help them recover from their childhoods.
We don’t have to agree or approve of everyone’s choices/lifestyles/genetics. We do have the moral responsibility to just let them be. If you don’t agree or approve, instead of attacking in any way, shape, or form, how about we just ignore it the same way I ignore inflammatory posts and comments on social media. Everyone has an opinion but not all deserve a reaction.