I like guns, or discussing unpopular opinions
Its true, I like to shoot guns. Now that the handgun ban has been lifted in my area I am considering taking a class and purchasing one of my very very own. I have lived with guns all my life, and consider it a matter of personal safety as well as sport. (From what if someone breaks into my house, to what if there is a cataclysmic emergency and I need to be able to defend my home/family/pets from other people, or even worse, the government.) It is a paranoid and possibly delusional viewpoint. But as long as anyone in this country has a gun, I want one too.
Lindsay’s post today about withdrawing from the fatosphere feed has made me realize that I do tend to censor some of my less liberal opinions in the fatosphere. The vague idea I got from her post and comments is that 1. People have been bringing politics into the fatosphere and that makes people who disagree with them uncomfortable. (I myself am guilty of the politics thing, I miss my political blog.) 2. People who have opinions that differ from the fatosphere mainstream don’t feel comfortable speaking up about them.
I respect Lindsay’s decision to leave the feeds. When you realize something is not for you, or that it is not making you happy the correct decision is to take action to change that. So this post is not an attack on her in any way, I am just trying to foster discussion. (Also, I do not read the fat liberation feed and am not really clear on what lead to its creation so if I’m totally missing something as a result feel free to correct me in the comments.)
It’s not that surprising that this issue is coming up now. The fatosphere is supposed to be this safe space to discuss fat issues and make everyone feel warm and fuzzy. As such there is a lot of heavy duty comment moderation, and a lot of echo chambery-goodness. Oh sure we have disagreements, but they are usually disagreements how much more inclusive we could possibly be. It’s sortof like arguing over which shade of red you are going to paint the living room, important, but we’re not exactly talking about orange versus blue here. It’s still a shade of red.
And now politics has infected the American consciousness for a time, and people disagree, but we are so used to this being our warm fuzzy echo chamber that reading about how someone supports the person we are being taught to loathe by our respective political affiliations on the feed is like getting punched in the face by your teddy bear. (Sorry international folk! We’ll be over it in time for Christmas hopefully.)
Do I think politics really belongs on the fatosphere feed? Not really. In an ideal world I would like to be able to tag fat related posts to put into the feed and then post about a billion totally unrelated things on a day to day basis. People read this feed to talk about stuff related to fat, not to argue about who should be president.
However the fatosphere group think potential does concern me. It concerns me that people who may disagree on certain issues don’t feel comfortable speaking up. How are we supposed to improve as a movement, or learn more as individuals if we never hear opposing viewpoints? How do we make the right decisions if we only hear our own side of the story?
We certainly get enough opposing viewpoints from the media to keep us all quite busy. But I really think we can handle more respectful discussion. So I would like to encourage people to stand up for their opinions even if they don’t believe they are shared by the majority. If you don’t represent your own viewpoint, then no one else will. You might be surprised that there are more people out there that agree with you than you previously thought.
Things I will not tolerate in the comments-
- Personal Attacks
- “ist” language or comments of any kind
- Insanity (repeating the same thing over and over with the expectation that someone will suddenly agree with you.)