Please, Please Keep Friending Me

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 8.442% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

There’s an essay going around FetLife called “Please, PLEASE Defriend Me If…“, and I’ll quote the relevant parts here:

You don’t understand why it’s just not cool for a white person to be throwing around the word Nigger with impunity.
You believe blackface is just awesome.
You think that showing consideration for the historical and social contexts surrounding taboo play (incest, rape, racial, etc) equals your kink being poopoo’d on. Pro-tip: it is possible to indulge in taboo and NOT be an asshole.
You believe that racism is not a big deal anymore and black people just be trippin’.
You believe that sexism is not a big deal anymore and women just be trippin’.
You often use the phrase “no-homo” or “that’s so gay” and don’t understand why that’s a problem.
You think trans folk are annoying when they ask you to use their preferred pronouns.
You think being a decent thoughtful human being is somehow stifling, and not compatible with being a “real” kinkster/fetishist/pervert/BDSMer/whatever your kinky label may be.
You think white privilege, male privilege, cis-gender privilege, etc are not “real” things.
You don’t understand why women don’t find street harassment flattering.
You think creationism is just as valid a “theory” as evolution.
You believe in black-supremacy, white-supremacy, male-supremacy, female-supremacy, or any other type of supremacy.
You don’t believe rape-culture exists.
You don’t support gay marriage.

While I find every one of these types of thoughts to be odious and troubling and as irritating as the original poster does, let me make an alternate plea:
Please, please stay friended to me.
While others may not want to be your teachable moment, I do.  If I tell you to go away, chances are good you won’t learn; you’ll just hang about with your other friends, all of whom think this stuff is perfectly fine, and never have to think about your opinions again ever except maybe, if you even remember, that one time a jerk defriended you over stupid shit.
I won’t let you off that easy.  No, you have to walk away from me.
In the meantime, we’re going to argue.  A lot.  Because I believe that while I’ll lose a hundred arguments, I’ll win one occasionally, and that one makes all the difference in the world.  Because I believe that reminding people that yes, people they like have differing opinions is a good thing.  Because I believe that getting called on your shit makes you a better person.  Because I believe that if I walk away, all I do is teach you the lesson that “some people don’t have a sense of humor,” and let you frame the argument as someone oversensitive getting their panties in a wad, and let you get away with a sense of superiority that you do not fucking deserve.
Don’t get me wrong.  I won’t brook personal insults, and I try not to give them.  (I fail, on occasion.  I always feel bad.)  You have to be civil, and I have to be engaged, and I have to accept the prospect that on occasion, I may even be convinced by you.  Otherwise, we’re not having an exchange of ideas, but are just throwing speeches at each other.  And if you’re sufficiently abusive, the ban button’s always an option.
Yet I think it’s important.  If you believe all of this ignorant tripe, well, I may be the only dissenting voice you hear.  And I do think that people can change – because I used to be much less sensitive to transsexual issues until transsexual friends called me on that shit, and I used to not really understand exactly what a level-up being straight and male was, and I learned by making painful mistakes where people reminded me that hey, you’re actually kinda hurting folks with those opinions.  I didn’t change my behavior out of some fuzzy concept of “political correctness,” I changed because I saw people were genuinely injured by some of my thoughts – and for me, it came down to, “I can be a dick and say whatever I want,” or “I can phrase things differently and make life easier for people.”
I would like to give you my whips, friend.  To remind you, challenge you, and I hope, change you.  I’m patient.  Yeah, maybe only one in a hundred people can truly change their minds, but 1% could have made the difference in the 2000 and 2004 elections.  And no, not everyone wants to do this, nor should you expect them to, but I mostly view my blog as a public space and so I will. (There are days I don’t feel like arguing, and I reserve the right not to respond to your every comment.  Like George Martin, I am not your bitch.)
You’re gonna get pissed off.  You’re gonna piss me off.  But you and I, we differ, and we’re gonna hash it out right fucking here.
Stick around.

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. November 30 | U-SOLVE - [...] or ‘friend’ that individual or organization and to use it as a teachable moment, as this blogger suggests. There…

All Comments Will Be Moderated. Comments From Fake Or Throwaway Accounts Will Never Be approved.