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Meow Mix and Debater Slayer: On Personal Growth, Life Lessons, and Introspection

Discussion in 'One-on-One Debates' started by Debater Slayer, Jul 23, 2021.

  1. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
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    This thread, while indeed a one-on-one, isn't a debate but rather a friendlier, more mundane, and more casual take on the subject of this sub-forum.

    Ever since we first met on RF over 10 years ago, both @Meow Mix and I have learned and gained new perspectives from reading posts and discussions on RF, so we decided to shoot the breeze about the various changes in our lives and outlook on different things as well as the life experiences that have led to these changes in a read others can read. Hopefully this thread will prove interesting, useful, or even entertaining for someone here!

    Just a bit of background to give the thread more perspective:

    - Erin and I first talked shortly after I joined the forum in May 2011. I was a conservative Muslim at the time, whereas she was a secular humanist. Her friendliness, patience, and helpfulness were all factors in helping me change from an anti-LGBT, anti-feminist, and anti-atheist conservative to a fellow progressive.

    One thing I have learned from her and others is to give well-intentioned, open-minded people a chance instead of defaulting to shunning them if they have some harmful beliefs. This is a large part of why we're close friends now, and I'm still thankful to her and everyone else who has helped me to learn and understand more.

    - Erin was in her late twenties when we first met, whereas I was in my mid-teens. This is to put into perspective how significantly we have both grown and changed since then, given that we were both in particularly malleable (albeit still very different, obviously) periods in our lives.

    So, with all of this clarified, I'll let her make the first move and talk about a significant change or experience she has undergone since 2011! (She likes chess, so I'm giving her the gambit out of courtesy. :D)
     
    #1 Debater Slayer, Jul 23, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
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  2. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    Thanks for the lead-in ^.^

    Change is a tangled thing, couched in a labyrinth of memories, nostalgia, and that ineffable feeling of time that has passed at a rate that never feels like as much as it is.

    In The Cocktail Party, T.S. Eliot said, "We die to each other daily. What we know of other people is only our memory of the moments during which we knew them. And they have changed since then. To pretend that they and we are the same is a useful and convenient social convention which must sometimes be broken. We must also remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger."

    But I do not always think this is (fully) the case. On my return to RF after a 10-year hiatus, our friendship has resumed as if nothing had ever happened to it. We are changed as people, but friendships aren't so easily severed.

    You tell me that I helped you change with good intention and patience, and maybe that played a part; but I think open-mindedness and the willingness to entertain ideas should take the bulk of the credit (and that was already there). At the same time I understand the sentiment. I was at one point in time a Young Earth Creationist, signing on to AOL chat rooms to debate people in a chat room called Evolution is a FACT!

    My family was not deeply religious. My mother was more religious than my father while she lived, and sometimes I felt like he humored her. I was never driven to go to church, though I remember going sometimes. I have no siblings, and no extended family that is actually a part of my life. So when my mom passed, I think that maybe I drowned myself in religion for all of the wrong reasons. My dad, he's always been down to earth: he reminds me of an ent. Earthy, wise, slow to anger (but also to action), he processed everything differently than I did: I'm quick, headstrong, probably less wise. So his approach seemed as he does, and forgive me for using the term: mundane. I think that I yearned for something eternal, something spiritual, with the substance of poetry. Spirituality was an easy fix for me.

    So I was hot when I was barging into these chatrooms, this teen girl, armed only with the self-assurance that I had found something right, it was unassailable. Then, I encountered something I never expected: rather than scorn and ridicule (though there was some, deservedly), there were those with echoes of the infinite patience of my father willing to talk to me: not just argue with me, but communicate to me. Little by little, they peeled back the layers and showed me that I didn't have everything figured out after all; and importantly, not to be afraid about that.

    (I recall, being a late teen by this point and all, being emotionally invested in a song [inspired by Ecclesiastes] called "Open Hands to the Wind" during this time of change:
    "Nothing can be obtained by grasping at the wind
    There is no escape from the dualism of life, vanity of vanities.
    I am embittered towards humanity for its failures
    Yet I possess all of these same shortcomings

    There is grief in wisdom, there is sorrow in truth
    Yet, the heart of the wise is in the house of mourning
    And by sad countenance the heart is made stonger in time
    ")

    I have always been grateful to those people that were patient when I was out there being pernicious, a rebel without applause. So if I've had that same sort of impact on the evolution of your worldviews, I'm grateful to have been able to pay that back in some way: but still stress that it is not I, nor they who helped me, that really did anything. We bring change from within ourselves by being willing to properly entertain concepts and ideas despite what we think about them at first glance.

    When I first met you, I wasn't perfect myself. My nerve injury was relatively recent, so I was learning to live a life without a voice still. I was still depressed about it, hadn't quite figured out how to work my social life around it. I was dating a woman fairly seriously at a time that may not have been the healthiest (only in retrospect do I realize that I was probably clingy: this was the one person in the world that I thought would stomach dating a mute like me, I was sure I would be alone forever if not for her).

    RF became a refuge where I could speak just like everybody else, just like I used to. So when I signed up, I came in hard, writing long blocks of text which attracted people for being relatively different content than was appearing at the time. I started making friends, many of which are no longer here today. One of those friends, obviously, was you!

    I remember moving from the message boards to the chat with other regulars, and from there to playing games. I don't even want to think about how many hours we spent playing Terraria.

    But then, things began to change. I was figuring out my social life a little more, I wasn't depressed anymore once I started navigating my new life. I had an amicable split with my girlfriend of seven years after much unfulfilled talk of marriage (I am glad we did not). I just stopped signing in anymore, and it's strange, because I don't remember that ever being a conscious decision. It reminds me of one of those sad little truisms that sometimes when you hug somebody, that might be the last time and you would never know: that must be what that last login was like. Some simple thing to argue with wrong people on the internet, but also an unconscious farewell to friends. I regret that.

    I'm not sure what it would be like if I hadn't, I suppose the last 10 years would have been different. I turn again to T.S. Eliot (from his Four Quartets, Burnt Norton. Sorry, I love him):
    "Time present and time past
    Are both perhaps present in time future,
    And time future contained in time past.
    If all time is eternally present
    All time is unredeemable.
    What might have been is an abstraction
    Remaining a perpetual possibility
    Only in a world of speculation.
    What might have been and what has been
    Point to one end, which is always present.
    Footfalls echo in the memory
    Down the passage which we did not take
    Towards the door we never opened
    Into the rose-garden. My words echo
    Thus, in your mind.
    But to what purpose
    Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
    I do not know
    ."

    While Eliot is ultimately reminiscing about a place from his past here (and conversion to Christianity), I still think it is appropriate, because my life entered a new phase and direction, as well: not all of it good. For one of the things you always had in abundance that I was losing was the same thing that my father has always said that I need: patience.

    Seeing your responses to a lot of people in a lot of threads these days, I'm reminded that I need to show a little more restraint sometimes lest I move in the opposite direction of improvement. So, kudos for being a good example for that.

    I've gone on entirely too long for now. I recognize that I haven't said a whole lot about the ways that I've specifically changed during that decade of absence. Perhaps you're the first one to go after all, and I'll follow up?
     
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  3. Debater Slayer

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    @Meow Mix Wow, so much to digest there! I'm forced to respond by only quoting specific parts due to the character limit, but thankfully, this shouldn't be an issue in this thread because it's clear each post is a response to the one preceding it.

    I think you've made a crucial observation in your post that, even though others can definitely help us change, it is ultimately innate openness to discussion and differing ideas that distinguishes between someone who changes and someone who stays stuck to the same way of thinking while refusing to consider any alternative at all. This, of course, doesn't take away one bit of the significance that traits such as patience, willingness to discuss, and honesty could have in inspiring someone to change; it merely highlights that innate open-mindedness is important as well.

    A few months ago, I started being more active on an ex-religious Discord server that I had joined months earlier without having much of a chance to participate on (due to having been in the army at the time). Bit by bit, I became more familiar with most of the active members, and I finally decided to join some of the political discussions on there.

    As it turned out, that was largely a mistake, mainly because of my choice of who to engage: there were several members--a few extremist leftists and a few extremist conservatives--whose only purpose from the discussions seemed to be to "prove" others wrong rather than share perspectives or reach others to communicate with them in the manner you outlined. Two of them felt justified in openly insulting their debate opponents and calling them names because, and I'm quoting one of them verbatim here, "People who express uncivil views deserve no civility."

    While I can see how that statement would apply to, say, some nazi who walked into a discussion only to espouse hatred and nothing else, the situation is often much more nuanced and less one-dimensional than this with the majority of people. The biggest irony in all of this was the fact that the person who said that used to be a fascist themselves. When I asked them whether they believed people should have treated them the way they now justified treating everyone else who they believed had questionable beliefs, they said they were "not responsible for showing civility to bigots."

    To my mind, the most important metric by far in whether or not someone deserves patience, civility, and friendliness is whether or not they, as you said, are willing to entertain differing ideas and be open to discussion. After all, like both of us, many progressives also used to have anti-scientific or deeply hateful beliefs. That doesn't necessarily mean someone is a bad person--although sometimes it does, of course--but it means that various factors such as indoctrination, education, economic class, cultural background, and social conditions are too powerful and too complex to be reduced to the "bad beliefs equal a bad person" trope.

    Which brings me to an example of a change in my life, albeit a more recent one (from the last several months): my experiences in the army and with people I met on that server and later befriended in person have made me much more patient and less caustic. I would say "less angry," but anger wasn't precisely how I felt before said experiences; it was more like suppressed, dull bitterness and frustration. I was anti-religious in a rather forceful and generalizing way, inclined to almost entirely despise entire cultures due to the struggles I had (and still have) with religious bigotry in my society. Amid this turmoil of social isolation, frustration, and inability to truly be myself with the vast majority of people in my everyday life, I took refuge in anti-religious sentiment and sought a sense of belonging among then-similarly minded people.

    When I joined the army, however, it became clearer than ever to me that people's social, economic, and educational conditions are the primary factors in shaping up people's worldviews and priorities. I met fellow conscripts who had to drop out of school to financially support their families, leading to a longer and harsher conscription period than mine. I also met others who, despite being far more religious than some of their peers, managed to develop strong bonds with people from markedly different backgrounds due to shared struggles during service.

    A vivid memory I have is from when I sat down one afternoon with a fellow conscript during a break and started chatting with him about what he wanted to do after service. This was one of the friendliest and most candid people I met there, but he was also pretty conservative--he openly went along with the prevalent, routine homophobia and sexism of many of the other people who were around us there, for example. He never went to school because he couldn't focus enough on education and needed to work and financially help his family as soon as he could. His service period was three years because he had no degree, whereas mine was only one year.

    When I asked him what he wanted to do most after service, he said, "I want to learn how to read and write." I simply paused for almost half a minute and didn't know what to say. I also had such a moment of clarity that it later became something of a philosophical reference for me. What should we, or anyone else, expect someone like that guy to believe? It's easy to demonize those like him as "ignorant," "bigoted," or whatever insult to their intellect you can think of, but when his biggest wish was merely to be literate after a whole social and economic system had failed him, how could anyone possibly blame him for how he ended up? And more importantly, how many others end up in suboptimal conditions or with harmful beliefs through no fault of their own?

    And he wasn't the only one in such a situation either. Another conscript who had never been to school once asked me to explain to him how computers and smartphones worked when he found out I had a degree in comouter science, and he was noticeably curious to understand such things. However, due to his family's situation, he also had to skip school.

    These experiences would later come to mind again more than once when I tried to discuss various issues on the Discord server with the extremist leftist I mentioned above. Even though they loved talking about Marxism and how material conditions were the primary factor in shaping people's worldviews, they were quick to become angry and insult others for disagreeing with them or when they deemed others' views to be "uncivil," "bigoted," etc.

    This is why, even more than before, I value patience and civility in discussions, and it is also part of why I realized that being bitter toward any given religion or culture and condemning it wholesale is counterproductive and doesn't even begin to fully address the root causes of the issues I have struggled with in my country for nearly a decade--mainly (but not exclusively) religious intolerance, social isolation, homophobia, sexism, and demonization of those with differing beliefs.
     
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  4. Debater Slayer

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    What would you say are topics that test your patience? From what I have seen of your posts ever since you returned this year, you have never struck me as impatient or quick to get angry. I'm interested to know your perspective on what the main indicators of one's patience are and which you feel you need to work on.
     
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  5. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    I can imagine the atmosphere during that moment where a young man says that what he wants to do is to learn to read and write. I appreciate that image. And you're right, it's necessary to consider peoples' backgrounds, the society and structure around them. There are so many factors that go into our worldviews that we're not even aware of ourselves.

    What a duplicitous position, too; standing in the no-man's land between hardcore conservatives and progressives in the Discord. I imagine that's not unlike some situations we see even here on the forums occasionally. And I suppose this is a good segway into some ways in which I have changed over a decade.

    I wasn't very politically aware that long ago, and when I was here, I was mostly here to debate analytical philosophy only. I'm sure I had some vague ideas in my mind, but as my knowledge and experience (and confidence) grew, I found myself on a more definitive worldview path. While I've always identified as a feminist, it was something just on the backburner of my identity. I've become what would undoubtedly be put under the pejorative of a social justice warrior (can't I be a social justice wizard? Come on!) because now more than ever, there is momentum for real social change trickling through society as my generation becomes more aware of complex social concepts.

    I bring this up because I see some of the same arguments: why be civil with the uncivil? Why have patience with people whose positions are so ignorant that it would be a veritable mountainous undertaking to even begin to unpack?

    I get it, and I also get people rejecting patience because it's easy to simply run out of mental stamina to push forward. (I made a post about this very thing the other day: Feminist Fatigue).

    So I have a strange position on this notion: I think that it's ok for people that run out of spoons to retreat (I don't blame them); but I also think it is good for people that still have the mental stamina to carry on with people that might benefit from continued engagement. It's taxing, it can be exhausting frankly, but every little bit of good continued engagement does or might do is worth it; even if often it falls on deaf ears.

    I want to quote Henley's "Invictus":
    "Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul
    ."

    Henley captures for me a hope-beyond-hope that pushing through can even be a success unto itself. Keeping our cool with other people, trying on their worldview, seeing if we can show them a way to see ours; it's a crucible in which we burn but come through hardened, resolute. (But still, gotta keep track of our spoons! It's okay to run out!)

    I have helped change more minds. Especially among some of my long-time male friends. I've disabused them of many incorrect notions of feminism and other forms of social justice because nobody else still had the spoons to explain to them. It's not that they weren't willing to learn, it's just that they'd never take the time themselves; or they never felt comfortable asking for clarification on some questions. And this is why it's such an awkward thing to support people taking a break for running out of spoons, but to firmly believe that those who aren't out of spoons should keep pushing on. People can be reached.

    I have lost my patience a few times. I've apologized for it most of them.

    Anymore there are a few conversations that I'm just done with; I have no desire to participate in them pretty much ever again. Amongst them are evolution vs. creationism and definition fights over what "atheism" means (I have done this one recently and regretted doing it). I don't even use the word "atheist" for myself anymore, I just use "nontheist" to hopefully avoid some of the baggage.

    As for indicators, I think as responses become shorter and more terse, that's a pretty indicator both in myself and others (though not always, sometimes a short answer is all that's needed. It's a judgment thing).

    I have watched you use a level of patience that I need to strive towards wielding again. I've just been out of spoons an awful lot of the time lately. As I said in my Feminist Fatigue post, it might be worse for me because there are so many things I have to defend regarding my own identity (as a woman, as a lesbian, as an ex-sex worker, as a person with a disability [though granted this one does not bug me often]) before I even get to defending other identities, like defending trans friends/people, or defending friends/people against racial ignorance and bigotry, and so on.

    So, all of this is well-timed I think. I could easily see myself have approaching a path of increasing bitterness and forgetting that lesson of patience.

    Here is a fun question: have you noticed differences in me since 2011? Positive and negative?

    I will say that you have always been mature, especially when you were very young (I had always assumed, until you told me back then, that you were my age). I can see that you have not so much changed as expanded. In manhood, you have the same high level of maturity, but you've become more of a presence. I hope that makes sense.
     
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  6. Debater Slayer

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    I agree this is a time when we especially need to be steadfast in our support for progressive values, especially as a core part of our identity rather than a mere secondary feature. I subscribe to the view that political views, while still a function of upbringing and social conditions for many people, are also an expression of one's character when they're the result of active deliberation and discussion.

    While some people simply leave any political views they have in the background of their personality compared to, say, their career aspirations or religious beliefs (which I realize sometimes can heavily overlap with political views), it isn't the case for everyone, and those who spend time contemplating and searching for answers to questions about political matters are almost certainly bound to express a part of their character through the views they arrive at when they manage to be free of compelling external factors such as poverty, lack of education, etc.

    I can empathize with those who simply don't have enough energy to muster sufficient patience for discussions involving their right to their very identity and humanity, and I don't think someone lashing out at a full-blown racist is anything similar to someone lashing out at others over disagreements that, heated or not, don't touch on anyone's mere right to exist and be themselves. However, despite struggling with fatigue similar to what you described—for over a decade now and with significantly harmful beliefs rather than smaller but still problematic ones—I still do all I can to afford others the same opportunity for change that I had.

    In my view, the effort this takes, while still quite taxing at times, is still not as difficult to live with as the idea that someone I care about could have changed if I hadn't given up on trying. I pick my battles and only try when I believe that someone has potential to change in the first place, of course, but I'm not at the point of losing my patience or persistence just yet, and I hope I won't ever reach that point—although, again, I have nothing against those who do and choose to avoid such discussions. My issue is mainly with ones who choose to say unhelpful things or continually lash out even at those who are trying to discuss and learn when they can disengage and let others try to communicate with those who have the problematic views.

    It's certainly a tough balance to strike at times, but if we didn't find it tough, I suspect that could be a sign that we had fallen for easy answers and simplistic cop-outs ourselves. I don't think all and sundry who have harmful beliefs are entitled to others' time and patience, but I also don't believe in the idea that having such beliefs automatically makes someone a bad or uncivil person, as I elaborated on earlier. It seems to me that a particularly salient feature of our times when it comes to politics is a desire for black-and-white, simple answers and a shunning of nuance.

    After all, it's much easier to demonize and justify nastiness against a perfectly constructed abstraction of the Others instead of engaging with at least some of them and attempting to communicate and raise awareness or correct major misconceptions that one encounters. Safe spaces and like-minded social circles have their place and are crucial for many people's mental well-being (and I'm including myself in that, since I can only be myself fully around a small group of select friends), but so do discussions with those who are diametrically opposed to one's worldview.

    I fully agree that taking a break isn't something to blame someone over when they no longer have energy to keep pushing. Instead of completely abandoning the idea of trying to reach others and potentially wasting opportunities to change minds for the better, a hiatus could help one recharge and avoid burnout. I realize that might be easier said than done sometimes, though, especially for people who have strong feelings about staying silent on harmful misconceptions or bigotry. When I took such a break several months ago, I tried to remind myself that it was only temporary whenever I found myself feeling guilty or distressed due to taking a break.

    And for what it's worth, I think the fact that you've been able to reach as many people as you have, whether your offline friends or online ones like me, means any break you take now would be well-deserved and justified. It would be ideal to never run out of spoons, but I think making peace with the rarity of ideal scenarios in everyday life is especially useful in situations like yours and mine.

    The difference that has been most noticeable to me is an overall impression that you're much more chill than you were back then. While you were still often friendly and quite approachable, you also had tense moments that were much more pronounced than any you have now. Also, I feel like you now have a much clearer vision of where you want to be in life and what your goals are. I recall you seemed to be in a considerably more turbulent life situation at the time, which was totally understandable.

    I wouldn't hesitate to list any negative changes candidly if I perceived any, but I haven't so far. Maybe the fact that you no longer play PC games is one, because we can't play together anymore. :p

    (Just kidding. I would totally suck you into a game like Ark if you still played, though. :laughing:)

    It makes sense, yes, mainly because I was largely a people pleaser back then and was often worried that having strong opinions could alienate or upset someone else. After multiple experiences with people's cutting me off for my views and a few close friendships that I had to learn to get over for various reasons, as well as about 10 years of coping with living in a society that is mostly hostile to people who have views like mine, nowadays I'm much more concerned about staying true to my values while also remaining open to discussion and revision of my views in light of evidence and logic.

    I welcome discussion with people who disagree with my views, no matter how strongly, as long as I believe they're interested in mutual understanding, but I don't feel concerned or sad anymore when someone chooses to forgo this and instead opts to cut me off for disagreement. I won't try to change just to satisfy others (and that would be a futile endeavor anyway, since someone will always be upset no matter what you do; I just believe in making sure that when you upset people, it's not for the wrong reasons :D).

    This conversation brings to mind a question I've thought about a lot: in your opinion, if someone already had the capacity to learn from whatever experiences they went through, would negative experiences be more likely to increase that person's wisdom as opposed to positive or neutral ones? I personally believe wisdom is primarily a function of people's innate ability to learn from the various situations they encounter in life rather than being tied to a specific kind of experience, but all else being equal in terms of innate learning capacity, perhaps the type of experience could also be a factor. I'm not sure.
     
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  7. Debater Slayer

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    On a side note, I don't recall having to shorten a post to stay within the character limit in years (literally). Here's another thing that makes this whole conversation special to me. :D
     
    #7 Debater Slayer, Jul 24, 2021
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  8. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    @Debater Slayer

    Yes, I’m loving the conversation. You’re so thoughtful! I will have to reply likely Monday. I’m about to put on my face and head out. I might have a date? We will see what it is.
     
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  9. Debater Slayer

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    Have fun! I hope your weekend is wonderful. :glomp:

    You're gonna have to tell me how the (possible) date goes! :D
     
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  10. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    This last part especially is something that I see that I have trouble digesting. I see people in social justice (as that seems to be a side topic here for a minute) lash out, and it's hard to be upset at them, even if I think things could be done better.

    The other day I started a thread in Feminist Only about misuse of the term mansplaining, and how misusing it damages the times when the term would be accurately applied: it makes the term less powerful when it's misused. Same thing with elements of the right wing adopting the term "virtue signaling," which otherwise could have valid uses.

    One thing we're broaching here is another social justice concept: tone policing. On one hand, tone policing is bad: how a message is delivered shouldn't affect the understanding of the message delivered; and sympathy with social justice movements should not depend on whether or not someone was mean to you (general you) that one time or whatever. So tone policing can be toxic, and it's useful to have a term to call it out.

    On the other hand, some tactics are better than others to have dialogue with people and actually get them to entertain new ideas and perspectives. So this is why I have this hybrid, weird, notion that I'm not really going to be upset with people that run out of spoons and maybe get snippy; but I'm also going to believe there's a better way to go about it (and we should leave it to those that still have spoons). I think we both try to recharge our spoons so we can be those people, and I think that is good.

    But I guess I'm just saying that I don't know what to do about people getting snippy. Part of me believes they have the right to, part of me believes it damages the cause, I don't know what to say about it. That's tough.

    Stepping outside the realm of social justice though (sorry that took up a chunk of the discussion), when identities aren't threatened, I certainly think that we should always avoid being snippy and assuming the worst of our opponents. There are lost causes and we can recognize when that is the case and step away; but otherwise we should use mindful debate strategies that don't involve just assuming everyone that doesn't agree with us is arguing in bad faith.

    I agree. I'm going to -- ugh -- bring it back to social justice again just for a salient example here (though I promise this goes for general discussion of issues anyway, too. This has just been the bulk of my debate and discussion experience for the last decade outside of RF).

    For instance the example I want to bring up is how some of my guy friends were talking once about the "friend zone." For them (at the time), this was a harmless concept and just something to joke about: "watch out, don't to this, or you'll get stuck in the friend zone!" This is of course frustrating, and an example of a decision: do I make a mountain out of this mole hill, or do I talk to them about how this very concept is based on an unwarranted sense of entitlement to sex, and devalues friendship between men and women (such as the very friendship that they have with me, or straight women they're friends with)?

    When I did decide to talk about it, they hesitated (probably exactly because of people that do lose their patience, and perhaps they thought this would be me too), but when they were visibly more comfortable about it, they had questions about concepts that they said they had simply never felt comfortable asking. People develop this sense that broaching some social topics just leads to fighting and never gets reasoned out. I had since seen one of them share a meme that made me smile (I was able to find it, here it is):

    [​IMG]

    I mean, it's a silly meme, but it shows that after he really sat down and thought about it, he grasped how some of his prior conceptions had been toxic, even if he never meant them to be. He gets it now.
     
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  11. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    As you said, it's easier said than done juggling the concepts of "this is temporary/pick your battles" and "silence is assent." If only life were easy! Though at least that only matters with social justice issues. When someone just has a worldview that doesn't really threaten you or anyone else (maybe they just have some weird ontological view), at least it is easier to just say "you know what, not today. No thanks."

    I'm glad you have this perception. Last night when I was messaging you and I was all in my feels about my ex because of that song that came up on my playlist (I do not mind saying so here in public, we're all human), that was just a little humanizing moment I think. I've gotten better about processing emotions and stuff, and I've been fine all day since then. I think when you knew me back in the day, despite being in my 20's, I was still a little immature; I feel like dealing with the accident and everything set me back from having an adult, mature perspective on things. I was still an emo kid when I should have been an adult.

    Someday I may do games again! Something tells me things will get worse (time-wise) rather than better as I bridge to PhD though :sweatsmile:

    You are noticeably more assertive, and this goes with my observation that it's not so much that you've changed, but you have expanded. I see this in the difference in confidence for instance in talking about subjects between undergrads and grads. You were an intelligent and thoughtful young man, but you've become a more complete version of that in manhood, and I appreciate you.

    Do you mean experiences they have from life circumstances or experiences they have interacting with other people? I think I need help on the context of this question, sorry!
     
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