Looking Out For My Own
Featured Rightgrrl November 1998
December 05, 1998
I have tried for much of my life to be as fair to other people as I can be. I have examined and re-examined my beliefs to remove prejudices, stereotypical views, traditions mistaken for fact, and anything else that I don't need. Granted, I know it's a lifetime effort because no human is perfect... but at least I know I'm putting in the honest effort and appreciate others willing to do the same.
Lately, I've had to question whether I'm doing the right thing. In spite of stating as clearly as I can that I believe in no discrimination, I have been accused of exactly that. Three particular instances come to mind:
- I had a far-left gender feminist angrily accuse me of being an oppressive anti-feminist because I said that intend to practice Biblical submission if I ever marry. She completely ignored my other posts about support for women's health research, banning pregnancy discrimination, and a host of other pro-woman topics. So I can't even disagree on one area?
- Somebody crossposted a few messages about crisis pregnancies from alt.politics.rightgrrl into an anti-feminist newsgroup. We continued our conversation as normal, looking at things from a women's point of view because we're women and that's what we know. These guys went ballistic, accused several of us of being oppressive gender feminists, completely denied us the chance the refute their claims, and just got nasty. No matter what we said, they responded to us as if we had written exactly the opposite of what we did. Ironically, one of the anti-feminists is from the same state as the feminist I just mentioned. (Remind me not to go there if everyone is so oppressed.)
- I wrote an article about the killing of Matthew Shepard. In it, I fully supported seeing his killers get the maximum penalty. Instead of supporting hate crime legislation that would only benefit some people, however, I instead supported the enforcement of existing laws so that *all* people would be assured of receiving justice rather than raising one group above another. It's a perfectly non-discriminatory action, treating all people fairly, right? According to a lesbian online correspondent, apparently not. She told me I was so wrong and that I sounded like her oppressors (because I supported justice *for all*?) when I pointed out that current laws already could be used against gay-bashers and other criminals alike. How I'm discriminating by being non-discriminatory, I'll never know.
So... I've got two people accusing me of being a radical gender feminist and an anti-feminist, and I don't know how I can be both at once. I've also got someone accusing me of discrimination because I insisted on high standards of justice for all victims of violence *including* the group to which she belongs. I'm confused and quite ticked off. Even when I've been totally fair, I'm accused of being unfair.
I give up.
From now on, I'm only looking out for Numero Uno and the people around me. I can't please anyone, so forget it.
Naturally, I'll look out for my family. That covers a few ethnic groups, and at least four Christian denominations. I can't offend my family, so I can't discriminate against people who share those faiths and ethnic backgrounds. Forget everyone else.
Wait, I also have to include my boyfriend and his dad. That leaves male-bashing out. Hmmm. This means I cannot discriminate on the basis of sex.
Oh yeah, I can't forget my church family. Uh-oh, that means more people against whom I can't discriminate. Every ethnic background is represented. Of course, there is also that bit in Genesis 12 about God's blessings on the children of Abraham, so I can't go against any of his descendants. Racial discrimination is another no-no.
Of course, I can't discriminate against people in my community... wait, now just about every religious group is represented. I live in a multi-ethnic neighborhood with every type of world religion represented. There goes all of the other Christian groups, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists, and so on. So much for religious discrimination.
What about sexual orientation? No no no... I can't do that. My neighborhood has a large lesbigay population, and I used to live in a town that was easily over half lesbigay and transgendered. My favorite hairdresser is transgendered, so I can't discriminate against him (or her, depending on the day). Whether I agree with their actions or not is completely unimportant... I don't like seeing my friends get hurt.
Discrimination against people living with disabilities is out of the question. My nephew has multiple disabilities, as do many of my friends online. Besides, how could anyone tell exactly who has a disability? Many disorders are not visible, and it would be stupid to discriminate over something that can't always be seen.
There is always age discrimination... Oh yeah, right. Do I want people screwing me over when I'm older? Would I have wanted someone to harm me when I was younger? How dare I forget the Golden Rule? I can't discriminate against age. Wow, that leaves out a host of stuff... child abuse, euthanasia, and abortion.
What about hair color? Nope. All of them covered. Size? Naah. Money or the lack thereof? Well... no, that's ridiculous. That would be so shallow.
Wait a minute. I can't think of anything that I could use as a basis for discrimination. It looks like I'm right back where I started, once again opposing discrimination in all its forms, even ones that I didn't explicitly mention.
I can't even discriminate against people without trying to be fair!
This article copyright © 1998 by Lara Ray, and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its author. All rights reserved.