Sunday, June 28, 2020

Free Speech, Just Not For Me... The Anthem of the Muted Majority

"And I feel like a number
Feel like a number
Feel like a stranger
A stranger in this land
I feel like a number
I'm not a number
I'm not a number
Dammit I'm a man" ~Bob Seeger

Right off the bat, I know that I have already offended some of you reading the lyrics I chose for my introduction.

This may be your first foray into my blog, or a repeat visit, and that last line may have triggered you.


Not because of the fear of numbers and math that many people profess.

Because of my use of a single word: MAN

Those of you who know me IRL, know that I am not a man, and those of you who don't, well, now you know too.

But your overwhelming compulsion to jump on "discriminatory" language has already led you to slot me into whatever negative stereotypes you favor at the moment.

However, forty plus years later, and the lyrics still fit, regardless of the "gender specific" word used.

This is sad, because if you peruse my other blog entries you will realize that I have great respect for numbers and wish that everyone would feel comfortable enough to use them in their everyday life.

For me, personally, to feel like a number in a negative sense is not a good thing.

Ironically, for all the almost universal dread of mathematics and numbers, our society has become obsessed with quantifying people - usually in a way to avoid human contact.

The result? I feel as though I no longer have a voice. My conversations about how I really feel on any topic are confined to the people in my life who I trust.

Otherwise, anyone who disagrees with my point of view declares open season and lumps me in with their preordained dismissive labels.

Don't believe me? This morning I received a video from a friend of mine, a woman I have known for more years than the Seeger song has been in existence. 

Click here to see/hear the hate speech from both sides. Warning: NSFW, and even I cringed to hear the language out of these seniors.

It is my understanding that we are guaranteed "freedom of speech" in the First Amendment to our Constitution. 

Nowhere in that amendment is there language limiting that freedom to "only speech agreed to by the listener", yet that has become the norm.

People who disagree with your point of view are free to hurl hateful invectives at you, become physically agressive towards you, and even attempt to interfere with your job, your residence, your way of life.

I no longer feel as though I have the right to express my views, even when confronted aggressively by another person expounding their opinion.

How has it come to the point where a multitude of individuals like myself feel muted?

Because we have become quantified by our age, our gender, our height, weight, eye color, hair color, shoe size, marital status, race, highest level of education, household income, place of residence, ad infinitum.

We have been slotted into categories that are used by any and all wishing to dehumanize their "opposition" in order to advance their own agenda.

Don't believe me? Rewatch that video above. The hateful phrases being slung freely by both sets of seniors are characteristic of our society in general.

Then watch this one, because it is how many of us silenced individuals perceive ourselves: 

How is this relevant? You can throw out all the polls and predictions presented by either side of an issue.

The numbers collected are invalid because of the sheer numbers of people who remain silent, fearful of expressing their opinions by the retaliatory activities of those who disagree with them.

Enough is enough. We are developing a society of Stepford Wives in which diversity is not only devalued, it is penalized.

We complain about the lack of innovation and invention from our country, which used to be in the forefront of the world in those areas.

How can we possibly expect to excel when our entire society is focused on homogeneity - and differences are punished?

Wake Up America! 

It is okay to be different!

It is okay to disagree!


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