I think as females we are raised to be polite, not to rock the boat, and go with the flow. Just look at the fairy tales we tell our children. Cinderella, Snow White, & Sleeping Beauty. Poor little women who all needed some big strong handsome prince to come along and get them out of the trouble they were in.
We’ve seen the excerpts from the 50’s era home economics books. Occasionally I see excerpts from a magazine article from Housekeeping Monthly circa 1955. These are instructions to women on how to make sure their husband is happy when they arrive home from work and so on. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a women feeling this way towards her husband. If I didn’t work outside the home, I would consider it my job to do a lot of the things mentioned in these articles.
My problem with this teaching is that it carries over into my day to day interactions with other people. When discussions are brought up that I have a different opinion on, I have found that I normally walk away or don’t say anything. I was brought up not to upset the apple cart. If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.
I’m all for good manners and civility, but I’m finding that sometimes other people’s views are not being presented to me this way. When someone begins to bad mouth a group of people and I think to myself “Hey that’s not right!” It has me wondering why? Why should I keep my mouth shut and my opinions to myself. I realize that there is a time and place for everything and sometimes its best to just walk away. But as I get older I’m finding it harder and harder to do so.
I think we’ve all heard Martin Niemöller’s poem “First They Came….”
“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
Some of the conversations, emails, and posts I come across are just really putting out what in my opinion is bad information. When an opinion is presented as a fact it needs to be called out. There are lots of things that as human beings we have opinions on. Most of the time the opinion comes from where we grew up, how we were brought up, and who we surround ourselves with. Opinions are just that, opinions. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, to speak their opinion, or discuss their opinions. I just need to remember that I am also entitled to my opinion.
The world is in an uproar. I think it is always in an uproar in one way or another. People have become militant in their opinions. I believe discussions and difference of opinions are good. I have the ability to listen and to change my mind on subjects. I’ve made a conscience decision to not sit idly by and keep my opinions to myself.