A blogger I follow on Twitter recently posted something that got me thinking. “Silence is consent.”
I had just gotten off Facebook the day before. Between the snarky posts of people pointing out mistakes of the Orange One, to the other side telling me to “get over it, you lost,” I couldn’t take it.
All of this, when I have kept very, very quiet about the state of the US government and what I think of it.
For the snarky, my message to them was to stop talking about it and DO something. Leave the snarkiness to the late night comics.
For the others, what exactly have I lost? Other than those specific people trying to take away my right to free speech and the right to assemble?
Part of the problem is that I have recently realized that I am an empath. I suck up other people’s energies quickly, and it shifts everything inside of me. I couldn’t take what the crap on Facebook was doing to me.
So I left.
But then the blogger said, “Silence is consent.” And it made me think about what my role needs to be.
I look at it this way…if someone was doing something to me that hurt me, say, poking me with a pin…if I didn’t say something, I would be giving my consent. I have to speak up and point out (pun fully intended) that being poked with a pin is not good by me.
If I fail to speak up, I am a doormat.
It matters not that anyone with common sense should KNOW not to poke another person with a pin repeatedly. I cannot expect others to know that; as much as I would like to rely on the should of common decency and respect, the person poking me obviously hasn’t take in that message. I have to speak up or get out of the way. Staying and tolerating the behavior is implicit consent.
I’ve thought a lot about this.
Running away doesn’t work. I know this because I have tried it before in various circumstances, and it never works.
But what will it mean to make my voice heard?
I don’t want to be one of those who just add a “me too” to the snarkiness. It’s too easy to poke fun at what is going on right now. The ludicrosity (I just made up that word, isn’t it cool?) of what is going on in the country is a wide wall that anyone with half a wit could hit with their eyes closed.
I don’t want to be confrontational with those who are seeing everything in black and white. More discord serves no purpose.
This blog is a place where I can voice my thoughts. It has been for years.
It may be that there are things that will come out that people may not like.
Oh well. I am not concerned.
I will stand up for my rights. As a woman in a man-dominated field, I am very aware how hard it is to win rights, and I will not stand for anyone taking things away from me. Not because of my gender, not because of my ancestry, not because of my religion, not because of my skin color, not because of what I say.
I will not be quiet, unless it is by my choice. No one has the right to tell me to shut up. I will not be intimidated from saying what I believe to be the truth.
I can’t foresee where this is going to take me. I hope to still present my ideas as they have been thought out and mused over. Time will tell.
But as always, my blog, my rules.
I’m laying it out here: you don’t like what I have to say, that’s your right. It’s not your right to verbally vomit over me for expressing my opinion. I believe everyone is capable of civility. I don’t have to agree with you. You don’t have to agree with me…but when you do disagree, do it in a civil manner. Or it will be removed.
My limiting to what is on my blog is not a violation of the free speech amendment (and if you think it is, do us all a favor and actually READ the Constitution). The amendment applies to the government making laws to limit free speech. I still get to make the call of what appears under my site. You want a soapbox, go get your own blog. They’re free.
I would love for this space to be a place of a respectful exchange of ideas. I don’t know that that is possible in this climate. But this is a place of respect and discussion.
As I said, we’ll see what happens.
Photo by Eldkvast