Two recent internet interactions:
Anonymous Dude on Twitter:
Atheists express their rage against God although in their view He does not exist. -C. S. Lewis
Funny, I don’t feel rage-filled. Maybe C.S. Lewis was projecting.
Don’t you think this might have something to do with women’s biology? It would seem that men will always have the luxury of being more relaxed about marriage and family regardless of socio-cultural stereotypes. We can make babies when we’re 90 years old; women can’t. If I had an internal clock telling me I have a 40 year window to make babies, I might be paying more attention to it at age 20 or 30 too. The article talks about barbies not encouraging girls to pursue math… maybe so, although its not like all popular boys’ toys are either. I played with legos and hot wheels, and ended up getting a law degree. And our society is as open to girls pursuing careers and education (in whatever field they desire) as ever–I believe females are the majority in undergraduate enrollment. But advanced degrees in science and careers in those field eat up some of those baby making years.
Just saying, biology may just be having its say here, regardless of any social goal we have of more women in the sciences.
If its any solace, any daughters of mine will have to play with the toys I want to play with. That means legos, electrosets, and ant farms.
I know that (a) Anonymous can/will blithely dismiss me as a Random Weird Internet Chick and (b) my fb friend will listen to me (if briefly and will not be convinced). So why is it easier to waste my time and energy responding to Anonymous and not to Friend?
I’ve justified it to myself by telling myself that I often do challenge Friend and we have a relationship that allows for some back and forth and many debates. We agree on very few things but enjoy debating [most] topics—and find each other to be robust adversaries. But this seemed like such a fundamental world-view issue that I was incapable of tackling it. I know I’m not going to change his mind and I’m only going to get angry at my friend—and get him angry at me.
Meanwhile, it takes little time (and a little flippancy) to antagonize a random theocrat on twitter—someone who likely won’t reply and, if he does, his words won’t sting.
And I think that’s what it comes down to—as crazy as Friend is, he’s my friend, and I value that friendship. I don’t want to antagonize him but to honestly engage him; and I know that any response to him will be antagonizing (more because of my emotions on the subject than because of his thin skin). I don’t care about hurting the feelings of Anonymous—even though I’m less likely to.
This flies in the face of the oft-advanced “don’t let [racist/misogynist] [jokes/comments] go by without saying something”; it’s easier to say something in a context where your words mean little. But it’s more important to say something in a context where your words will have an effect.
Any input about what to say to Friend would be much appreciated.