I found myself in a strange conversation one day. Insomuch that I was backpedaling on an opinion I had stated because I hurt someone's feelings. I wasn't taking back my opinion, mind you-- I was simply trying to explain to this woman that my opinion didn't matter.
It started on a completely different subject. I remarked that I don't like DC comics (I'm more of an Image/Boom/Marvel girl*) and that was almost exactly what I said. "I don't really like DC comics." Nothing ridiculous like they have the worst comics EVAH, nor was I shitting on someone for liking them.
What I said next is what got me in trouble. "I particularly hated the selfie covers. I think it's immature and they are targeting an audience younger than me."
This offended a woman, whom we'll call SelfieGirl. "Selfies are a form of self expression!" she said. "Selfies are a form of self love!"
The conversation went down the rabbit hole, where I was arguing for her to get over the fact that I think selfies are immature. It's MY opinion, and she can't take that away from. I am not hurting anyone, and short of an eyeroll, I didn't really care.
Nothing appeased this woman. Unless I acknowledged that people feel good about themselves when they take selfies, I was a "bad feminist." (Oooooh don't get me started on calling me a bad feminist. That's bad feminism right there!)
"Fine!" I'd told her. "Do what you want! You don't need my permission!" This didn't appease her either. My one comment, on a board about something else completely, was enough to destroy all of feminism in one fell swoop.
Look. I think selfies are for kids these days. I'm old. Get off my lawn. Damn rock and roll. Etc.
Have I taken selfies before? Uh YEAH, I'm old, not dead. Have I felt good when I get a bunch of likes or retweets? You beat your sweet social media I do. I even have selfies with duckface wih people that I really admire, and they make me happy when I look at them.
I could split hairs with you all day about how and when I think selfies are acceptable or a nuisance but that's not my point here.
What is my point, then?
You don't need my fucking permission.
You don't need my approval. You don't need to be my friend. We do not need to see eye to eye on everything. Life is not about one big checkbox that everyone has to fit into.
I don't care for most things. The list of things I DO like is much, much shorter than the list of things I hate, so don't feel like you're on some exclusive list if I don't like you.
And you may think, "that's a terrible way to live" and I don't give a shit what you think. That's your opinion and if you choose to live your life a different way, it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I am not you, and you are not me, and we are not meant to live life the same way. I cherish people both like me and unlike me, so that I may find comfort in the former and find inspiration on the latter.
So the next time you see an opinion you don't agree with, ask yourself, does it really matter? Are lives at stake? Is this promoting violence or hate? And please take a moment to decipher between "hate" and "don't like." Saying "I hate red" is very different from "red is terrible and must be obliterated!"
You don't have to agree with me. My opinion is not that important, unless you make it that important. You don't need permission or acceptance from me to live your life.
I don't have to be your friend. I promise you'll live without it.
*I made a funny!
*I made a funny!