Ladies, sometimes we are our own worst enemies. It’s true. We can’t deny we sometimes hold ourselves back as much as anyone or anything else. I hate saying that, but we have to get real.
I recently witnessed a group discussion in which almost every woman involved rolled over and let a man that may have an 8th grade comprehension level (seriously, no higher than that) start dictating a discussion on abortion. He jumped in expressing his opinion that abortion was the lazy way out of responsibility for women. Abortion would never be necessary if women weren’t sluts because only sluts need abortions because they can’t stop putting out. And what was sad was this guy truly believed that.
Being the way I am, I made two mistakes – I tried to be rational and I used words that had three or more syllables when trying to argue the counterpoint. I asked the fellow what role men played in pregnancy process and he informed me that although I was right it takes a sperm and egg to create life, if a woman gets pregnant it’s God’s will and that is the end of discussion. he also added that God would toss all abortion sluts in a pit of fire because they are loose.
So what is my point in all this? Of all the women involved, no one even bothered to try to correct him. He took their silence as agreement. Now, even though we were dealing with someone that is in all actuality categorized as mentally “dim”, silence was not the way to go. Sometimes you have to speak up!
After the fact, some women responded that they didn’t say anything because “what difference would it make?” By remaining silent, they silently assented to a view they didn’t agree with. They gave the impression they agreed with the viewpoint. It’s not about changing the mind of the speaker of statements you disagree with so much as it is about openly stating that you disagree. It’s about showing there are two sides to every coin.
The same thing happened In a recent discussion on FGM in which a man came in and equated circumcision to FGM. Almost no one would speak up because they took the view of “What good would it do?” I could go on and on …
The thing is, silent assent is dangerous. It emboldens those who have radical ideas to sometimes become even more radical because they are never challenged. They are never forced to provide rational explanations. Debate is how learn, grow and sometimes change. Debate is healthy. But in order for it to really mean anything, you have to get involved! It’s not about walking away saying “I won!” or “I showed them!”, it’s about saying that people are responsible for what they say.
This is my challenge to everyone – At least on time this week when you see something you don’t agree with, open a dialogue with that person. Find out how they reached their conclusions and explain the how and why of yours. Show the other side of the coin! Civil debate is healthy. If it devolves into name calling, you can always walk away, but at least others can see that someone stood up and tried to make sense of a situation. Maybe they pick up where you left off.
Use your words and speak up for what you believe in, because trust me, no one is lining up to speak for you that really has your best interests at heart.