We’re not supposed to say this, but I’m going to. I generally do not care for the opinion of others that differ from mine. Before you go calling me a bigot or something like that, please read on. I hope that I can explain this without sounding like an asshole.
I hear opinions constantly. As a writer, an avid user of social media, a transgender citizen, a feminist, a person who’s pro-choice and an all-round social person, there doesn’t seem to be a day that goes by where I don’t hear of someone’s dislike or criticism for something or other.
I’m exhausted. I get exhausted when I hear from you. Do you ever feel that sensation when you hear from an asshole? The one where your stomach turns over, your head floods with grief and you just want to punch them? I seem to be feeling this on a daily basis.
Whether I’ve read an article on police brutality, trans rights, white privilege, rape culture or perhaps even just the comment section on a Facebook post, I find myself feeling exhausted.
To those of you who would tell me not to do any of that, I can see where you’re coming from. Ignorance really is bliss but I’d prefer to be stay in touch with reality when I feel strong enough to do so.
I don’t know why opinion-giving has appeared to increase so much. Maybe they’ve always been expressed like this, but I am only noticing them recently. Maybe I just feel a lot more passionately than I used to about many things. Maybe people just feel more entitled to give their opinions than they used to. And they are entitled to give their opinions, god knows I do it enough.
The modern narrative on opinions seems to go the same way all of the time. People say that they have a right to their opinion and freedom of speech and they’re very right about that. But here’s where I have a problem with giving your opinion:
1.It’s really unnecessarily hateful.
2.It’s criticising someone for doing what they want to do even if it has no effect on your life.
3.It’s not politically correct (and you’re aware that it’s not).
4.It’s a very strong, oppressive opinion about a situation that you will never be in.
5.It’s based completely on assumptions about someone’s life and their situation.
I’m not asking you not to have opinions that fit into the above categories (although I am asking you to try). Rather, I am asking you to consider not expressing these opinions in person or online when it’s only going to offend someone.
People seem to confuse their freedom of expression with the need to express things. Is it necessary to tell me that you don’t think I’m pretty? Is it necessary to tell me that you think Kim K shouldn’t pose naked when she’s a mother? Is it necessary to tell me that you believe a foetus is a baby from the time of conception?
People hang on to their opinions like life-rafts when they are called out. They scream “that’s just my opinion” and “I have the right to speak” when you’re only trying to point out a flaw in their logic.
If you don’t like a movie, it’s not really necessary to tweet it to the world. If you’re not into modern art, you don’t have to point this out to me every time it comes up in conversation. If you didn’t like my book you didn’t need to Snapchat me telling me this.
In a world where people place comments under every article and write essay-length Facebook statuses that they seem to take as seriously as a news item, I don’t really blame us for feeling the need to discuss everything. But I also do believe that most humans focus on the negative a bit more than the positive.
And I’m not trying to criticise this. I express plenty of negative opinions on Twitter. I talk about when people have been assholes to me. I give out about that celebrity who posted a really offensive tweet (*ahem* Trump *ahem* Gerry Adams). I give out when a programme or a movie doesn’t have nearly enough representation. Opinions are important and negative ones are just as important as positive ones.
But frankly, I believe that we should all just shut up every now and again when we find ourselves giving out about stupid things that don’t really affect us. You can give out about the Kardashians being famous all you want but they aren’t going to stop being famous. You can tell me how you think that bloggers are quite entitled people for as long as you like but it won’t stop me from identifying as one. You can call women sluts and whores for doing things that men would be celebrated for but that isn’t going to stop them from doing what they want (I hope).
If you want to give out, there’s plenty to give out about. Injustice, brutality and oppression are sadly not lacking in this world. It won’t take you long to scroll through the internet and find a cause that needs passionate people to support it.
Maybe put yourself in people’s shoes a little bit more. Maybe shut up and listen every now and again. Maybe spend your time creating something that you like instead of constantly criticising other people’s creations.
Remind yourself that you aren’t obligated to read articles about celebrities. You aren’t forced to read that person that you don’t like’s writing. You don’t have to keep listening to that offensive radio show every week.
I’m so sick of people being hateful and disguising it as their opinion. I’m so sick of people choosing to shit on already oppressed people in the name of freedom of speech. I’m so disgusted by the ones who believe that their opinion is worth their weight in gold.
I’m assuming that only rational people are reading this but perhaps that is not the case. Maybe you like to be controversial for no reason. Maybe you hold grudges against people you’ve never met. Maybe you may have been shaking your head while reading this. But as you would probably say to me, it is merely my opinion.
Watch how I block out negativity below:
Read about an argument I had with a group of friends about prejudice here.