Brute Reason

A collection of thoughts about psychology, social justice, and anything else I give a shit about. freethoughtblogs.com/brutereason

Topics: feminism / psychology / lgbtq / sex / politics / abortion / health / mental illness / language / depression / sexism / sexual assault / fashion / racism / education / social justice

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I’m going to explore an idea that’ll probably be a little controversial, so bear with me.

A lot of my Facebook friends (all men, incidentally) like to have discussions on their pages in which virtually nothing gets your comment deleted, or you unfriended/banned. (Maybe some things, but few.) They get commenters who regularly deny or belittle others’ lived experiences, insult people with mental illnesses, tell rape survivors to get over it, claim that sexism and racism categorically do not exist anymore, and so on.

Now, I AM NOT TELLING YOU what to do with your Facebook or who to keep on your friends list. I get the impression that these guys keep these people as friends because 1) they enjoy heated debate and 2) the things these awful people say don’t affect them personally, so it’s no skin off their backs.

But these friends of mine, they also say all the time how valuable they find my input and that of others like me, how important it is to them to understand the perspectives of women, people of color, people with mental illnesses or disabilities, what have you. And I can’t even begin to count how many discussions I’ve completely stayed out of because I saw HORRIBLE things being expressed, and, while challenged, allowed to stay up in the comment thread. I wasn’t about to wade into that and have people insult, patronize, and belittle me.

Guys, you’re missing a lot of people’s important and useful perspectives by keeping terrible people on your friends list and leaving their terrible comments up on your page.

Maybe the fun heated debate is worth the loss of these perspectives to you. I’m not going to argue with that, because that’s a question of your personal values. But please at least think about it, because maybe you don’t realize whose voices are missing from the conversation. You can’t know what you’re not seeing.

  1. estel-tuioira reblogged this from brutereason and added:
    So much this.
  2. suvichan reblogged this from brutereason
  3. researchtobedone reblogged this from brutereason
  4. brutereason posted this

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