This is probably the most political blog I’m ever going to write, Reader. I know, I know, you expect different when you come here. I try to keep it mostly about nonsense and vaginas, and in that respect I’m still staying true to thine own self and you. But this time it’s not about what’s going on in my pants, but instead what’s going on with Bruce Jenner’s, or Caitlyn’s vagina-area.
Now, before you click off and go read more fun things about cute kittens and Pinterest projects, give me a minute. Or go and click off right now, it may save our relationship.
I personally have a whatever-it-takes-to-be-happy-in-life opinion about it – I am a really really lefty liberal – but why why why do so many of my heterosexual friends have such strong opinions about it??
My heterosexual social media friends are of the opinion that they know exactly how, what, where and when Bruce Jenner should have made his transition, or are of the opinion that she should have never made a transition, or are so resentful that she is making money off of the news, or that she’s doing nothing to move the LGBT community forward.
Let me reiterate – these are heterosexual friends, who are not even part of the LGBT community. They have opinions on what she should do with her money, how it’s affecting her family, and that she should have never had children. Some take the position of stating they will always refer to her as Mr. Jenner. That’ll show ’em.
These are usually the same folks who would never allow another person tell them how to live their life, how to spend their money, how to raise their children, etc.
I haven’t seen one opinion about Caitlyn Jenner’s trangendering in my news feed from any one of my LGBT friends. Not one.
Many posts concluded with how this wasn’t a “courageous” act. Many many posts.
I try to scroll past it all or just hide these newsfeeds, but sometimes the comments niggle into my craw just a little bit.
The word “courage” seems to be their hot button.
Their picture of “courage” every time looks like a bloodied, limb-missing combat soldier. Soldiers are courageous. There is no dispute or doubt from me.
But then I took the bait and made a comment. I try so hard to stay away from the bait. I really, really do. Maybe it’s because I’m unemployed and have too much free time between kissing kittens and Pinterest projects. I’m spending too much time on Facebook.
My comment read something about “courage doesn’t have to look like just one thing.” I thought that was really toning it down.
The next day he posted a comment about my comment, and said he “agreed, it doesn’t have to look like one thing” and included pictures of firefighters running into a blazing building, policemen doing heroic deeds, etc.
Which are all courageous. Yes, there is no doubt about that.
But they still all look like the same thing, so his counterpoint wasn’t very well made to me.
So I took the bait. Again. And made another comment.
This. Is where it all went bad.
To me, courage also looks like the addict standing in a room full of strangers and admitting they have a problem and asking for help.
It looks like the battered woman having the courage to finally say, “Enough!” and leaving her abusive relationship with three kids, no money, no family support, not knowing how she will get by, and leaving anyway.
It looks like someone who has lost a child, and having the courage to get up and face their one-less-child-world every day to tend to the rest of the family when they really want to crawl under the covers and never emerge.
It looks like anyone who is afraid of being judged, shamed, embarrassed and humiliated, and putting themselves into the spotlight anyway.
It looks like anyone who fights – mentally or physically – to just hold their life together when the seams are fraying faster than they can sew.
I looked up the the definition of courage, because maybe I have it all wrong. The Merriam-Webster definition reads like this:
Full Definition of COURAGE
Per usual, it seems when I do say something that isn’t about kittens or cake, it all ends badly.
Not because of his differing opinion. Not because of Caitlyn Jenner’s non-vagina, when he summed up as a “chick with a dick,” which does offend me because it belittles a whole entire human being with a flippant comment. Still, we can be friends, despite that. And not because he disagreed with me. But because one of his friends posted a comment calling me a “bitch” and “I hope you don’t call this person a friend” and he “liked’ the comment.
He told me, “This is the first time I’ve been unfriended because of something someone else said. You’re pretty sensitive.”
My response was something along the lines of, “Let’s be clear, you’re not unfriended because of something someone else said about me. You’re unfriended because you supported/liked the comment. That’s not a friend of mine, real or social-media. That’s not allowed in my world. And also, don’t confuse having standards of friendship with being “emotional” or “sensitive.”
I am fortunate to have a diverse group of people that I am friends with, both social media and real. I think it helps me to understand different perspectives. It also has made me realize I have some hot buttons that are pretty easy to push. And usually it’s around bullying.
Because all those comments are just bullying. They are meant to tear another person down.
I have tried over the years to stay out of the fray on Facebook. I’m getting less able to do so. Just this morning I had two cents that I couldn’t stop myself from posting in response to a post from a conservative friend about the welfare state of America. I really hope it doesn’t result in unfriending, because she’s peripheral family and I like her. I just don’t agree with her.
Because maybe I know too many people, including a transgender friend who is one of the kindest, most sensitive people I know, and a hardworking friend who fell on hard times and who needed to use welfare to stave off homelessness, and myself, currently using “the system” of Obamacare to be able to ~barely~ afford healthcare while I’m unemployed – and I find it really difficult to sit silently by and let these quippy comments and posts sum up people – my friends, myself – with generalized statements that belittle and bully us into feeling like lesser human beings.
So maybe I need to take a Facebook time-out. Until I can be trusted again to stick to posting pictures of cute kittens and cake.
Oh, by the way, I guess I did get one comment from my LGBT-community brother about the whole Caitlyn Jenner situation. His opinion was, “Look, I’m not upset about how Bruce Jenner decided to come out about becoming a woman. I’m disgusted that she still calls herself a Conservative and a Republican.*”
*I was corrected by my brother that he said both Conservative and Republican. Because apparently there’s a difference and if I’m going to paraphrase, get it right.