Stones and glass.

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image credit: rydacom.com

You’ve heard the saying, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Well, forgive me for stretching the metaphor, but I’m proposing a new version:

People in stone houses shouldn’t throw glass.

Allow me to explain. In my new saying,

stone houses = a narrow version of reality, with no concept of empathy

glass = harmful words and actions that belittle the experiences of other groups

Here’s the deal: I’m sick to death of pronouncements and opinions and vitriol spewed by people who truly have no right to voice an opinion. Think that sounds harsh? Think everyone’s entitled to their own opinion? Sorry, folks. Yeah, you can have those cutting, shards-of-glass opinions in the narrow confines of your stone house, but you need to keep them shut up behind those Fred Flintstone doors. No hiding behind the neo-con hatred of being “politically correct” (which is merely code for “license to say hurtful words with impunity”).

Examples:

  • Males, who have never experienced the life-altering reality of sexism and who pronounce male privilege to be a myth – NO RIGHT TO VOICE AN OPINION.
  • Males, who will never experience pregnancy and the monumental changes it makes to absolutely every minute aspect of a woman’s physical, mental, work, and private life, and who spout worn-out crap about “killing babies” – NO RIGHT TO VOICE AN OPINION.
  • Males who can never know what it is to be physically vulnerable and to be the target of assault/rape, and who deny the truth of our rape culture –NO RIGHT TO VOICE AN OPINION.
  • White people with no experience having “the talk” with their sons (“the talk” being “How to stay alive while being a black male”), and who mock reality with the deliberately obtuse “All lives matter” – NO RIGHT TO VOICE AN OPINION.
  • Affluent, well-educated, privileged people who perpetuate the stereotype of “lazy poor,” and who work against the social safety net for those trapped in generational poverty – NO RIGHT TO VOICE AN OPINION.

Here’s a basic rule of thumb, to make it a little easier:

If you’re not a member of a group that has been consistently harmed by others who are more powerful or more fortunate than yourself, you have no business sharing your opinion about that group.

Thus ends the lesson.

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8 thoughts on “Stones and glass.

  1. I’m not as worried about people voicing their opinions. What bothers me more are people who keep voicing their non-reality-based versions of facts as justification for their opinions becoming public policy or law. (No, refugees AREN’T actually responsible for any mass shootings here. But too many native citizens sure are.)

    Personally, I like the adage “Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but nobody is entitled to their own set of facts.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • That adage is definitely true. I just am believing more and more that people simply need to shut up if they don’t have any personal experience to back up their harmful opinions, which so often do get turned into policy or at least defacto policy. I am probably overreacting to the ugliness I hear coming from my own state and even my own community – I truly just can’t bear it any more.

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      • I can certainly see how it would get overwhelming to hear that constant spew of ugliness. Wish you could come take a vacation to my corner of the country, where it isn’t as prevalent, and you could have a little Blue State respite…

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    • I agree. I’m not so troubled by people having their own opinions. I think we are all entitled to voicing an opinion. My personal opinion 🙂 is that it’s dangerous to stomp out opinions we don’t want to hear. Our son didn’t want to go hear a major political figure speak on his college campus because he didn’t like that figure’s opinions. My husband and I encouraged him to go listen – hear it for himself – and then make up his mind. He did, and he was able to take in some nuggets and also see where he and said figure disagree. I like a quote from Emory history professor, Deborah Lipstadt, who is the subject of a movie recently released. She says, “You can have an opinion, but if it’s based on a lie, expect to be challenged.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, I see what you’re saying. I think I’m starting to realize that those of us who are living under the subjugation of historically powerful groups will never get that voice, and those of us who want to speak up for the trampling of other powerless groups, will never get that voice. And I’m pissed off.

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  3. Well said!
    Although actually, I’m happy for said people to have their opinions, but only on the grounds that the rest of us then have the equal right for our voices to be heard at the same pitch and level, free to call them out for their hurtful, ignorance and to be able to put our view across without Internet rape/death threats or being told that our voice doesn’t matter.

    Liked by 1 person

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