Why is blogging so DIFFICULT sometimes?
I have been trying to write a particular blog post for about six months now. It is on Sex Positive Feminism, my personal beliefs with regard this, and is something I believe in very strongly. It also creates a huge amount of controversy whenever it is talked about, from what I have seen on various discussion boards and in myriad groups.
For someone with such outspoken views, who has strong opinions and is quite vocal/literate about them, this will probably come as a surprise. However, we tend to surround ourselves with people who broadly agree with our viewpoints on various topics, and if there is a massive disagreement about something which is a core fundamental principle to our being then those people tend to be on the periphery of our social circles. Debate is rare, argument (unless our personalities desire such things) rarer still.
I am a person who does not enjoy confrontation or argument. I have only recently (in the last 10 years or so, on a sliding scale of “getting more so”) become increasingly confident in my knowledge and therefore in my opinions. I am still quite shocked (naively so, and I can be VERY naïve) that people can actually disagree with me! Fundamental to my principles and therefore myself is the belief in equality and when someone disagrees with me with regard to equality I am shaken to the core. I always try to understand the other side(s) (I have yet to debate an issue which has only two sides) position(s) but sometimes have found it incredibly difficult to see how they can hold to such principles. It does not mean I will ever stop trying, although acknowledging people are prejudiced and that blind faith will rule some people is quite difficult for me.
So far, the most controversial topic I have instigated is the debate regarding the titles by which women are addressed in the English-speaking world (Ms/Miss/Mrs); my post can be found by clicking on the blue highlighted words. Every time it is discussed, it creates controversy. I understand why, it is a topic fundamental to people’s hearts, but I do not really understand the controversy about it as the legal facts are plain and the inequality is obvious. However, the controversy has taught me valuable lessons in listening, understanding and opening myself up to other points of view, if only to determine eventually that my position is as I stated, fundamental to my core principles and representative of my central core of being.
I don’t like anger though. I don’t want to upset people, or hurt them. My wording is carefully chosen to avoid doing so, yet somehow controversy finds me. Why is this? Is the belief in equality so offensive to some people that they feel duty-bound to insult, abuse, deride and wish quite nasty physical violence on people? I am lucky not to have received such abuse yet, but from my knowledge of other feminist bloggers I know this is a matter of time. Unless, of course, I remain attractive as a blog to only 5 or so readers, all of whom are friends.
The Sex Positive blog (which is going to be split into two, possibly three, parts on account of length) is the hardest one I have written so far. I know, having taken part in previous discussions, that it is a topic that angers MANY people. It angers people with whom I identify, whose views I respect and agree with. Feminists are often angered by it (although as I have written before, feminism is an ideology which is not an amorphous unchanging identification). I know it could upset those I care about, and that is not something I ever wish to do.
So why write it, or indeed any blog which might cause upset, anger or offense? Quite simply, because it is another belief system fundamental to my principles and myself. Because it is incredibly important in the fight for equality and to my belief that understanding is vital to advancement and education of everyone. Because, ultimately, my fear of controversy, confrontation, embarrassment and criticism is not as important as my belief in stating my views, opening myself up to alternative points of view in debate and furthering my and other’s understanding of people and society as a whole.
I have to. It’s another fundamental principle of my core being. That’s all.