Friends & Differing Political/Moral Opinions

Standard

For about a year I kept seeing this meme float around Facebook & Twitter:
Politics and Friends

Fucking wrong. This shit irritated me any time I saw it.. because what it’s essentially saying, is that you should respect someone even if they believe in taking your rights away. That you should continue to remain friends with someone who has vastly different morals from you, or even no morals, despite the fact that it makes you uncomfortable. It essentially says that you should shut up if one of your friends believes in some horrible shit.

It’s fucking wrong.

You do not have to be friends, or hell, even tolerate someone who is morally corrupt, or actively working to/or voting for politicians who are taking away your rights. You do not have to be friends with, or respect someone who is racist, homophobic, sexist or is literally cheering on the concentration camps at our border.

You also don’t have to be friends with someone who slut-shames, someone who participates in class warfare, or someone who doesn’t believe that the poor deserve healthcare and education.

You should not be friends with, respect, or remain in contact with someone who is actively demeaning a social class, race, sex or anything of the sort. You know why?

  1. You’re enabling them.
  2. You’re letting them know it’s okay to be homophobic, racist, classist, sexist etc.
  3. Because you do NOT have to respect, stay in contact with or even be around someone who is in favor of stripping your own rights, or rights of those you love. You are not obligated to love, like, respect, or be around ANYONE. Period.

There’s a clear difference in differing opinions and having polar opposite morals.

I am friends with a few conservatives, but there is a clear understanding that A. They don’t have to be friends with me if they don’t want, and B. That their opinions do not effect my autonomy. I am however NOT friends with people who are racist, homophobic, who wouldn’t support me if I ever needed an abortion or who are blatantly classist. I will not be friends with someone who instead of talking with me about women’s healthcare rights, accuses women who need abortions of being sluts. I will not be friends with someone who believes that just because you can’t afford healthcare, that you don’t deserve it. I will not be friends with someone who hates someone else just because of the color of their skin, who they fall in love with or their accent.  I will not be friends with someone who supports life in jail for a woman who gets an abortion, but not only lets a rapist go free, but ALLOWS THEM VISITATION OF THE CHILD. (FUCK YOU ALABAMA).

By “respecting” someone who is literally striping the rights and lives away from others, you are just enabling them.. and thus you are part of the problem.

Advertisements

Family Isn’t Just Blood, and Blood Doesn’t Mean Family

Standard

I come from a very blended family. My immediate family consists of my Dad, Sister, Step Mom, Step Sister & Brother. My extended family is the same, with random marriages here and there, step siblings, grandpas, parents. We’re a pretty mixed bunch, and I completely love it.

Though as some of you know, I don’t stay in touch with my mother’s family. 90% of it is we are just living different lives, and lost touch over the years. Some of them I avoid because they’re toxic human beings who made me miserable and influenced my life in negative ways. Hell, while I now know my Dad’s side of the family (estranged for most of my not-adult life thanks to shit I had no control over), and I love talking with them, I’m also not super close to them. It is what it is, and just because we share some kind of genetics doesn’t mean I have to force them to hang out with me, or go out of my way to hang out with them.

I will go out of my way to help or spend time with my immediate family, not so much outside of it. However, I also include other people in my “family”. I have close friends who I consider family, people who have been there for me during the rough times as well as the good times. Hell, I would drive across the damn country if I was needed. That’s what family does.

My point being, is that it doesn’t matter your actual blood relation, adoption, or marriage for that matter.. what counts is your actions. Just because you’re related to one another doesn’t mean that there has to be some sort of relationship, that also means that you don’t have to tolerate negativity from someone just because they’re “related” to you.

While I learned this lesson long ago, someone close to me is learning it now, and it’s hard to watch it unfold even though I’m happy to see them standing up for themselves. This person has been struggling with their family’s constant monitoring of them, and their need for constant contact for years now. I’ve watched it unfold as they were expected to drop everything, regardless of their plans to preform some menial task for family. Over the years, as this person learned tasks that are pretty essential to being an adult, they started to wonder why their family didn’t teach them any of this, and why it seems like they were set up to fail. Hell, I wondered that much myself. All it took was them standing up for themselves and asking their parents to stop doing something illegal and frankly absolute bullshit for the threats to begin.

It was the eye-opening moment for them, they were able to see that if their family doesn’t get what they want, or the control they apparently crave, they will attempt to undermine this person’s livelihood. 

Unfortunately, sometimes that’s just the way it is. All you can do is accept whatever behavior your “family” has, accept their attitude, and ask yourself: “Is this what I’m going to subject myself with for the the foreseeable future?” You can either deal with it, accept the negativity or back away, limit contact or cut them out of your life.

No one should have to put up with blackmail, negativity, abuse, or any of that in their life just because “they’re family”. That’s an absolute horseshit excuse. Just because someone is “family” to you, doesn’t mean you get to use them, threaten them, or control them.

That’s not what family is, and family is more the blood.