Friday, 26 June 2015

Listen to me

I feel a bit down about something I've realised. Well, it's something I kind of realised before but now I've really noticed it.

If I express a strong opinion on something, for example feminism or vegetarianism, I get quite shouted down, and nearly always by men. Rarely young women like me, but men my age, ones I'm friends with. And I see them having similar conversations with other men, but in an entirely different tone, and this is what I'm upset about.

They have much more decent and thoughtful debates with each other. In a 'debate' with me I am constantly put down, told I am being unfair, or arrogant, simply for expressing my own opinion on something, usually in a facebook status! For example, the dog festival in China. I put as my status that I hoped people campaigning for it to stop were all vegetarians/vegans, because I don't see why humans should be allowed to pick and choose which animals it's OK to torture and kill and which ones it's barbaric to torture and kill. And don't give me that 'we need meat to surviiiive' 'cos it's BS. I was basically saying can people just admit to themselves that they're OK with animals being killed and tortured for their enjoyment? Because that is why most people eat meat, because they enjoy the taste. Unless there is an illness that requires you to eat meat or you will die, if there is do let me know.

Immediately it was two guys, friends of mine, who jumped in telling me I was unfair and being arrogant about morals. I won't go into all the points of the arguments, they did have some valid points (and some very invalid ones such as 'we need meat to surviiiive') but it was the way in which they were talking to me that got me so upset. They very clearly didn't like that I was expressing such strong opinions, yet I know if I was boooyyyy (sorry) the tone of the conversation would have been very different.

Of course it isn't only guys giving me flak and being rude, but one difference I've noticed is they must always have the last say. Even if it is a silly comment such as 'kewl' or 'k bye'. And even if I am making valid points, I am still always going to be saying 'unfair' things in their eyes, because I'm challenging their beliefs. Do they not deem me important or intelligent enough to have a mature debate with?! Or is it their precious egos?

I guess I wrote this because despite how happy I am with my life and with myself at the moment, things like this are always getting me down. I just don't get it, it's like because I stand up for what I believe and have strong opinions they want to shut me up. Well... good luck getting me to do that!


  1. ALL OF THE YESES! A lot of times when I'm talking about something important, people just brush it off, tell me to be quiet or create an argument. I think it's so important to have healthy discussions rather than arguments but so many people just don't see it that way! I get you completely - I have no idea what to do about it though!
    Maeve // Thrift O'Clock

  2. I'm in total agreement that everyone's opinion should be heard and respected. Those guys just have no idea how to do that, they may learn one day when they want to have opinions of their own that others may challenge. Although, I don't really think of Facebook as the place to get mature, well thought out debates with anyone. It just doesn't have that atmosphere to it. Absolutely, share your opinion on there, but I wouldn't expect much in return for sharing it, in terms of a polite debate. Facebook is a breeding ground for all things ridiculous and dramatic.
    The politest thing on FB for people to, in my opinion, is to allow others to have their opinion, to express it and then to leave it be. I'm talking about those people that don't know how to have a civil debate. If you can, they sure thing, debate away, debates are fun. But most of Facebook should just leave things be.

    Although, I have to say, I don't fully agree with your comment about all the people campaigning should be vegan/vegetarian. The way I see it (as a person who is thinking of making the change to a vegan lifestyle), those who are vegan/vegetarian are further along on this path than someone who is just starting out. Someone thinking of changing, is just at the beginning. I think credit has to be given to those standing up for something - given that there's always the idea that people don't stand up for what they believe in any more. Those that eat meat, but fight against this in China, they are still standing up for something important, they are another voice against what's going on and you cannot discount their voice because they aren't as far along as a vegan or vegetarian person might be in fighting for the same cause. It may be that these people who currently eat meat, but are standing up for this to end may think in a month, 6 months time that they want stand up for more and may become vegetarian and vegan in the future. This might just be their step in that direction. They should be given a chance. Everyone starts somewhere.

    I just don't think it's fair to shoot someone down for standing up for something because their opinion isn't the perfect version. They are trying, they are standing up for something they believe in and they should be respected. Much in the same way that those guys should respect your opinion in the first place because you are also standing up for something you believe in.
    You can't shoot people down for being a "hypocrite", because then, they might just give up all together and that's a voice lost in the fight.


  3. Haha yeh learnt my lesson about commenting on things on facebook this week!

    I totally agree with that, I wasn't really talking about those transitioning though, most people I've seen posting about it are full on meat eaters and have no intention of stopping because according to them animals we eat are killed humanely (whatever humanely even is now lol). I didn't explain it well here, I paraphrased 'cos it wasn't really the point of the post, it was just an example that happened the other day, but aaaallll the time I'm told off in some way for having strong opinions!

    Deffo don't want to discourage anyone from going veggie, and not shooting anyone down, but how is the dog and lychee festival different from animals eaten in the UK? More animals are slaughtered in the UK in a month (like a terrifying amount more) than at the dog festival! It almost seems a bit elitist and racist of British people to say how wrong China is when we do it too, only we do it behind closed doors.

    But yeh I was more writing this because I'm fed up of the abuse I and other women get for having strong opinions and am fed up of having everything mansplained to me.


  4. So upsetting :( like people come back with arguments like "you're too angry" or "other people have it worse" and I'm like yeh I'm fighting for them too!!! SIGH

  5. Oops, I realised after I wrote the comment that it probably wasn't what you were posting about. Sorry about that!
    I shall step off my soap box. In truth, I just enjoy discussing with you, because you are one of the few people that I feel I can have a mature discussion with.

    I get it, I have the same, whether I'm expressing my opinion, helping a colleague with some advice for their experiment or I'm changing my hair colour - people sure love to have opinions about your opinions.

    I see what you are saying, and I think as people look more and more into becoming vegetarians and vegans (in terms of doing it for the moral/ethical reasons as opposed to health and what not) people become more and more aware of this and their thinking changes. At the beginning though, we have to come around to the concept. It might seem elitist and unfair but I think you should give people a chance to learn for themselves and to change their own opinions as they wish, without bashing them because they haven't got it right yet.

    Fighting for what you believe is right, isn't always the most logical thing. There are flaws in everything. I like to see people try and fight and to grow into their opinions. I think sometimes you have to join with them to fight the comment cause, because you are on the same team, but when you go home in the evening, you have to let live. In this situation, I'd rather stand next to someone who wanted to fight for the dogs and went home and had chicken for tea, than stand alone. I'd still stand, but company is nice. Maybe one day they will think about the chicken, maybe they'll want a discussion about it, but that's another day. Right now, you're just fighting the cause at hand.

    That's what I wanted to say :)

    Sorry for taking your blog post out of context!

  6. I think if someone feels strongly enough about something and doesn't share the opinion of you, they should be able to have a bit of a debate on it. I mean that is what makes social media interesting. It can be nice to have people agree with you on issues too of course. But I think when debating things, it can really be very interesting when both people in the conversation have some disagreement. That being said, opinions should be treated with respect. If they are your friends you should let them know that you are upset that they haven't respected your views and values, not that they don't agree with it.


  7. Well yeh that was my point in this post, I did say they had valid points, but the way in which they were talking down to me. Actually one of them corrected himself, but I was basically having everything "mansplained" to me and I'm just fed up of being treated like I know less because I'm a woman. And when one of them ended the conversation with "kewl" I was pretty annoyed.

    Not sure I agree that social media is the interesting place for debates, as Kerri pointed out, especially facebook, it's where people get the most abuse as people can sit behind their computer screens and not care about how they word things.

    People can disagree with me, obviously, just fed up of it not being respectful or being told to shut up.

  8. Hahah no worries, maybe should have just left out that example! I did say that they had some valid points to their arguments, and honestly actually one of them admitted he was wrong with the 'we need meat to survive' argument, but the other friend was just getting ridiculous.

    Thank you, right back atcha! I have plenty of friends who have different views to me, but it's the way in which points are put across that bothers me. I think I've learnt my lesson with facebook though haha! Not a great place to start debates :P

    I have noticed many more people considering going veggie/vegan, my best friend said he wants to soon but I'll have to help him with veggie meals! Vegetarianism is tied up with sexism a little bit, seeing as eating meat is one of the stereotypically manly man things to do, and these guys were being manly men, I think that things are gradually changing though so I probably should be more positive!

    No worries gal, good to hear your opinions on all the things!

  9. Just after writing my comment below I find this article haha,

    Literally pointing out the bs women get for having opinions!