Offended much?

Here’s a topic I never thought I’d discuss again. This image seems to be making the rounds in certain places on social media.

Maybe what I’m about to say is an unpopular opinion, but I’m certain if you’re getting offended by someone else’s personal achievements, that’s entirely a “you” problem.

While it’s not something that’s ever crossed my mind, yes, I’d say I beat teen pregnancy too if I was asked a question where that an appropriate answer. Why not? I didn’t hate teen parents. In fact, I was friends with a teen mother in high school. Never looked down on her. But I certainly didn’t want her situation. Someone who says “I beat teen pregnancy” is saying it wouldn’t have been a good situation for them. Maybe it was a good situation for you. Great. But that’s not a situation that is good for everyone. Speaking for myself, I was heavily suicidal in my teens and I did think about having a child in high school for the sake of having someone who loved me. Bad reason to have a child. Very bad. Depression screws with your mind. Thankfully, logic beat out that idea and I made it out of my teens with no child in tow. That’s a personal achievement for me, not a slight against teenage parents.

Granted, “achievement” is not what I’ve really ever thought of it as, but I’m not unhappy to have not been a parent in my teens, so that’s the closest word to describe it in this context. The same applies to other aspects of life. I’ve never stepped foot in a bar or club, or had a drink of alcohol, but I don’t hate people who enjoy those activities. I just want nothing to do with them.

Two of my friends graduated university earlier this year with their bachelor’s degrees, one in biochemistry and the other in psychology. Meanwhile, I just started attending trade school four months ago after spending almost two years in retail and I am dying for it to be over. If my friends say “I’m glad I went to college right after high school” or “I’m not a college dropout”, I don’t take that as a slight against me because it is not about me. They are talking about themselves. My sister just went through a break-up after being with her boyfriend for two years. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost four years (though it has been a very bumpy road). If I say “I’m glad we never broke up” or “I’m glad we’ve been together all this time”, that’s entirely in reference to my boyfriend and myself, and zero to do with my sister because I am not talking about her.

Let’s also not forget parenthood isn’t always the best thing to happen to someone, and some people don’t realize that until after they become parents. There are absolutely parents who walk out on their children, do not properly care for them, let it be known the parents resent them, and at worst, outright kill them. And while I don’t doubt parenthood is fulfilling for many, I’ve heard even happy parents say the “kodak moments” are only 10% of parenthood (some say 5, some say 1). Take that for what you will.

Also, on the internet, where a single post can reach millions of people, what are really the chances the creator of the post is referring specifically to you?

How Not To Handle Disagreements

Yesterday, May 28th, was supposed to be a day for people to share their abortion stories on Twitter under the #WomensHealth tag. Notice I said supposed. That’s because it didn’t turn out that way. Instead, pro-lifers took the event for themselves and made it theirs, so instead of sharing experiences, it was full of the typical arguments you hear from that side. Naturally, anyone who supported abortion was attacked. To sum it up for myself, I was called a murderer several times (stopped counting after twenty), spammed with bloody and gory pictures, told I was going to Hell, and told I have no common sense because I am an atheist. Two people also went on to make fun of my sexual orientation (that is the third time; what is it with the orientation hate when it comes to debating abortion?)

(To anyone who may want to participate in such events in the future, go ahead, but I’m warning you. It becomes the equivalent of a bar brawl. If abortion was debated out in the streets, the whole country would literally split apart, state by state. I’m sincerely surprised it’s still intact as it is.)

One person I got into a verbal struggle took to not only calling me names, but making assumptions about me. A lot of assumptions. I don’t want to go dig it up, as I’m avoiding Twitter for a while because I don’t need the heat, but after going back and forth for a while, she came to the conclusion I am:

  • Materialistic
  • Selfish (unsurprisingly)
  • An idiot
  • Unfinished with school. In fact, she came to the belief I didn’t complete elementary school.
  • Retarded. No, she didn’t directly say this, but she used every word she could to get around it.

Obviously, since we were on opposite sides, we weren’t going to agree, but what’s the point in saying things like what’s on that list? You’re not making a point. You’ve just resorted to insulting someone. That does not help your case at all.

And yes, I did attempt to end it, but even after I stopped responding for a while, she went on. On top of that, some other people joined in with this, although they cheered her on in insulting me rather than doing it directly themselves. Eventually, I got tired and went to sleep for the night. What happened when I woke up seven hours later? My notifications were blown up while I slept! I didn’t bother to read all of them, so I don’t know if they’re from the same people or different ones, but I was honestly stunned. These people were so mad, they blew up my inbox for seven hours?

You’d think I’d be mad, but I wasn’t. Even I’m a little shocked by my own reaction. All those insults would normally infuriate me, but if anything, they bored me. I was angry they wouldn’t stop bothering, but the insults really didn’t upset me as much. My only retort to this woman was that she’s presumptuous, which she is to make all of those assumptions about me because I refused to agree with her. At one point, it wasn’t even about abortion anymore. It was just about her trying to show me up and having a fit because I wouldn’t change my stance.

The more I think about this, the more I wonder if those things have to do with her. No, I am not trying to say she is stupid or such, but it seems like when people jump to conclusions like that about someone else, it has more to do with themselves than the other person. This woman knew nothing about me besides my name and face. She probably wouldn’t be able to pick me out from a group if she saw me in real life. Yet, she comes to these conclusions because I won’t take her side.

I like debating. I don’t like when it gets overheated and more explosive than TNT boxes in Crash Bash, but I admit the passion is sometimes admirable. However, this wasn’t even that. This is simply hurling a torrent of insults at someone for disagreeing with you. To put it another way, this is basically the equivalent of a child throwing a tantrum for being told they couldn’t have a piece of candy at the store. There’s no point to this. It adds nothing.

Just to make sure I am clear, I think debate and discussion is fantastic. That’s why I choose to be apart of it if the subject is something I feel strongly about. I understand people will get angry and furious. There are strong thoughts and feelings flying about. That’s to be expected. Really, I wouldn’t expect anything less. But resorting to a torrent of insults is unnecessary. As I said, it’s pointless and adds nothing meaningful. If anything, it just shows you cannot control yourself. And no, I don’t mean cursing. Cursing on its own isn’t a problem. Throw your curses at somebody, however, and that’s a problem.