I have a post that went somewhat viral. I am not really sure what the actual definition on social media for viral is...but I had a post that got some attention. And of course, not all good attention. I am apparently now anti-woman and a misogynist because I had the audacity to say that woman are sometimes retaliatory and vengeful in divorce. I am pretty sure Shakespeare said this first way back when. And granted he was a man, but it doesn’t make it less true.
In my post, I owned that I was generalizing and that this was not always the case. But I just got pummeled for that too. Saying that I so over generalized that my point was worthless. Well, can’t that be said about just about anything? How are we to speak in absolutes in a world where things never remain static and are constantly changing?
I was on a father’s rights/men’s rights podcast. Of course I am going to speaking to that audience. And by saying that I am speaking to that audience, I wasn’t pandering as I was also accused...I was attempting to speak from my experience to help men fair better in divorce. And apparently, as a woman, that is not allowed.
What is funny, and I did actually LOL, is that some of the women who commented just proved my point. They were vengeful and retaliatory. Tearing me down which is exactly what they were accusing me of...interesting. And it seems to me that women destroying other women is just fucking wrong, but hey, that is just me.
To be clear, men called me out too. But not that much, mostly men were reacting to a lot of the fodder that women posted. And then there was a great deal of back and forth with stupid shit stuff said by both genders. I really hope that the spectrum of gender that is currently developing and thriving in our country has some affect on the horrible gender divide my generation has grown up with and had to survive. Perhaps Generation Z can teach GenX a thing or two about love and tolerance and acceptance. PLEASE!
In truth, it feels like everyone just got offended by what I said and then took off with it to suit their own purposes. Very few of either gender really stopped to consider what I actually said in the context of the entire podcast and even fewer appeared to stop and think about anything I said and why I might be saying it or what my experience with divorce might bring to light.
I think this is why our world is now dominated by 60 second videos, tiny little sound bites that you can manipulate into anything you want. There is so very little substance in 60 seconds. So much that you can misinterpret and misuse for your own purposes.
In the end, from my perspective, women didn’t like being called out for their shitty behavior, most especially by another woman. I had a lengthy chat last night with a woman in Chicago and she got my point. She saw what I was trying to say. And to her credit, she took the time to reach out to me and tell me that she heard and saw me and was grateful. She actually had some experience with vengeful and retaliatory women...
There are few absolutes in divorce. Everyone loses and everyone gains. The children get the brunt of all their parents dysfunction and it fucks them up forever. Women come after men in ways that are diabolical and mean spirited. Men do the same but in my experience far less often. Hell, I will even call myself out - when I was getting divorced I absolutely had this desire to see my ex punished. I was able to rise above it and check myself, but I have to admit that the feelings were there. I just didn’t act on them, for the most part.
I get that there are a lot of bad feelings swirling on both sides of the gender line. I get that women have been abused and mistreated by men FOREVER and I get that we are all pretty pissed about it. I FUCKING GET THAT BECAUSE THAT HAS BEEN MY EXPERIENCE TOO. Men do a great deal of harm to women is an unfortunate reality that almost every woman and girl I know is recovering from...However, this is not all men. Most of the men that I come into contact with fall into one of two categories - narcissistic fuckers that care for no one other than themselves...and good men who are doing the best they can in a world that has villianized their every move and motive. But I see the same thing with women...I deal with a great number of narcissistic assholes and a lot of women who are good, decent people just trying to handle all the way too much they are expected to do in any given day.
The part that makes me the most sad about this whole debacle is this: we still aren’t hearing each other. And the platform we are using for communication really supports just more crap flinging and nastiness. And I really don’t like it. I have never wanted to be insta-famous. I want to earn a living like anyone else. I put myself out there because that is what society demands of us today. And to be honest, I don’t really care for it all that much. But I engage, so I am volunteer not a victim.
I want people to read what I write and to see my posts not because I have this intense desire to be SEEN. But because I have a sincere desire to help. And I know all too well that my intentions and my actual words are going to be misinterpreted and there is nothing I can do about it. There are going to be a lot of people who say ugly things about me, my views, my experiences, my looks. And some of those comments are going to sting and may even hurt.
But, I have learned that other people’s opinions of me are none of my business. If you like me, no big deal. If you hate me, no big deal. If you love me, no big deal. And it is no big deal because it is all likely to change in an insta-instant. And I suppose this is some example of parity in the world. If people are going to love you, then I guess you gotta have some haters too.
But to be clear, because I feel like this point is missed far too often, I am a person who has feelings just like every other person out there. I have insecurities and fears and pain and all the other emotions that come with being human. As do all of you. And while you may not like what I say or what I share about my experience in divorce, I am not out there name calling and throwing shade. I am attempting to relate my experience, strength and hope in a way and manner that is respectful to everyone while also being brave enough to call people out for their shitty conduct...in an effort to perhaps help everyone make divorce a less terrible process that costs so much on every level.
I believe that people, all people, men and women alike are basically good. And I speak from a place that the life that I live supports that conviction. I am not out in social media land pandering to men to hate women and I am not similarly out there pandering to women hating men. There are plenty of those sites out there, go find them and rain your hate down there. I am simply not interested. Watch me, read me, or don’t. The choice, and it is a choice, is totally, 100% yours.
For me, I value the free expression of everyone’s opinions even if I don’t like them, disagree with them completely and am perhaps hurt by the words used to communicate them. But, nevertheless, I read them and I think about them and I do not just shove them away and dismiss them. I actually listen to what you write and I take it all in and attempt to come to a deeper understanding of what ails us all in this world. And I attempt, really, to speak from a place that will bring more understanding, more acceptance and more knowledge being shared and experienced in this world. So if that is going to cause you to hate me and vilify me, so be it. What you think of me is far less important than what I think about me.