“You’re not a feminist, why are you getting your panties in a twist?”
So not kidding, folks. Thus, in response…
You’re right – I do not take the label of feminist. Local culture defines interpretation of everything (rightly or wrongly). In my case, a lot of my choices, opinions, and general “all that I am” conflict with said life-long experiences for the definition of that term – and that means this isn’t a word I use to define myself.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t object to things that EVERYONE on the face of this earth should object to. Things like sexism, racism, or anything like that. Or a valid point being kicked around like the person behind it (not to mention the underlying CAUSE behind the point) means nothing.
When I see something like that, it’s really hard not to speak up (unless, of course, it’s in defense of myself, ie: my recent TOR experiences).
When I come across someone that has been brave enough to make a statement about something that bothered her, and the response to it was to make a giant mockery of it via a *business* blog, I’m going to say something. I will call out that company. Even if I wouldn’t have thought twice about the object in question – the blatant disrespect of the way a “professional” company handled a situation will light my fire.
At the same time, I get irked by personal disrespect too. It doesn’t have to be a corporation. I made reference to this before, in regards to a concern over sexism in some beta wow quest text. The situation wouldn’t have bothered me, but the response did. Because it *should*.
You don’t have to be a feminist to understand treating people with respect. You don’t have to be ANY sort of label to expect that. Well, ideally, simply being human would make people understand – but we’re light years from that ever happening.
This applies to any sort of scenario. Just because you aren’t offended by something, doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone else that you just hurt in the process. I know I’ve said stupid things in the past — and I very likely will in the future. Things that may have hurt someone, *even though that wasn’t my intention*. But you know what you do in those scenarios? You apologize and consider this new angle that was brought to light. You don’t brush it under the rug because it has never offended anyone before. This is not a case of “the needs of many outweighing the needs of the few.” There is no NEED to offend anyone. It is not a life-or-death situation for you to be offensive just for the sake of it.
So if you want to ask why I jump all over these sorts of issues, it’s because of the way people respond. It’s because I’m tired of people’s opinions being skewed by responses full of misunderstanding – and sometimes even absolute hatred. It is that sort of response that makes it so hard for people like myself to actually speak up initially.
Respect those around you. That’s all I ask.
“May we learn together the lessons that give us peace and a giving spirit, that we may be of value to others.”