How and Why I Post and Tweet
I should probably clarify how and why I blog and participate on social media because people tend to make incorrect assumptions about me, my motives, or they get confused or infuriated with my reactions online.
I like to think aloud. I like to, and prefer to, talk to like-minded people.
I have never been a fighter.
Even though I’m over much of my codependency (which previously hindered me from expressing disagreement or anger at people in the past), I’ve not developed an interest in debating or argumentation.
I do not have the temperament to get in back-and-forth disagreements, where one party keeps wanting me to respond to a hundred different points (or the same point repeatedly) and refute everything they mention or articles they link to.
I will occasionally speak up and disagree with someone else, and when I do, I usually initially try to be polite about it.
My posting habit is to drop out of conversations if they start to drag on, if the tone is becoming nasty, argumentative, or I tire of the debate, of having to back up every little thing I write or tweet.
You will notice, if you know me from The Wartburg Watch blog, that it’s pretty rare for me to stay in an argument with someone – not always, but usually, if the other person insists on going after me, and arguing for hours or days, I usually “duck out” and leave that thread.
Off the top of my head, I can only think of a few cases where I stayed and stuck it out and didn’t leave or back out – once with Chapman Ed on SSB blog, once with a guy whom I call “Flag Ken” on TWW, and for awhile, with Velour on the thread at TWW about Sproul Jr. being an alcoholic.
Other than a few cases like that, it’s not my habit to stick around and argue all day on a blog, or on Twitter, or to even return weekly, to take up the same argument, to argue the same point with the same person constantly. That’s not my style. I don’t care for it.
Argued Out of a Position
I do not believe people can be argued in or out of a position, such as atheism, Christianity, leaving the Democratic Party, or whatever it may be.
I usually see trying to argue with someone else to get them to change their mind on a serious topic as a tedious waste of time, for all involved.
There are some people who delight in debate, in endless debate. They actually seek it out and relish it. I am not one of them.
I am exposed to views that differ from my own. However, I chose at my leisure how and when I do so.
On my social media account, I am following both right wing, centrist, and left wing parties and news sources.
I’m a conservative (pretty close to moderate).
Unlike many other conservatives, who have an immediate tendency to reject anything liberal out of hand, and who get their views about liberal attitudes through conservative paraphrases of liberal papers and articles, I sometimes go directly to the source itself.
I go straight to the liberal blogs, Facebook groups, and news articles themselves to try to understand what liberals are saying and thinking.
A few years ago, I stopped relying purely on conservative commentator summaries of liberal positions, one reason of which is that they are inadequate or flawed.
I stopped relying purely on what conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Prager, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, National Review, The Weekly Standard, etc and et. al., have to say about liberal opinions.
Yes, I still sometimes watch or read work by such conservatives or conservative publications, but I also go to other sources, too.
I have found that often times that conservatives (and others who disagree with liberal positions) tend to either misrepresent what liberals say and think, they exaggerate it, distort it, or else misunderstand what liberals mean and are saying, especially if it makes most to all liberals look like unhinged lunatics or wackos.
Conservatives take much glee in ridiculing liberals and portraying them all as crackpots. This is not to say there are no liberal crackpots, because, yes, there sure are.
I have seen liberals do the same thing in regards to conservatives.
Many liberals seem to rely on sites such as “Right Wing Watch” to keep them up to date on whatever conservatives are saying or doing, but I have found at times that such liberal sites also misrepresent or misunderstand what conservatives say or believe.
I’m Not Interested in Debate
I don’t blog on this blog to dialogue with contrarians or to debate people.
I’m not doing this to blog in whatever style some random joe wants me to blog in, or to discuss whatever topics they say I should be discussing (not saying I am closed to suggestions, if they are phrased politely).
I’m not on the Daisy Twitter account to debate.
No, I’m not open to you disagreeing with me on this blog. Or on Twitter.
I’m not here looking for someone to try to change my mind on some subject.
I do visit other blogs and forums where I get screamed at often enough by others who don’t agree with my opinions. I don’t need or want that sort of thing on this blog, or on certain social media accounts of mine.
I come from a family where my father was somewhat sexist, as even my mother informed me on several occasions.
I was discouraged by my mother from showing anger (because it’s supposedly wrong or unfeminine to express anger), and I was discouraged from speaking up directly, or from voicing my views.
My father point blank told me in his calm, detached manner when I was a kid that “nobody cares about your opinions.”
I was taught by both Mom and Dad that my feelings and needs do not matter, but that other people’s feelings and needs do matter.
My opinions, feelings, and needs were consistently brushed off and discounted by my parents and my siblings as well. I did not grow up in a family where I was taught that girls and women in general, or that myself in particular, matter, or that our views matter.
I was also taught that showing almost any type of emotion in front of others was wrong. (My mother was okay with me showing her emotions in private, but my father taught me it’s shameful to show emotions in front of others.)
I’ve since learned that yes, my feelings, needs, and opinions are just as important as anyone else’s, and it’s okay for me to disagree with others and to show anger.
This blog is one of the few places I have to be blunt and open, to scream and yell, and to say whatever I want to say.
I have been policed, silenced, and pressured to stay quiet, to keep my opinions to myself, by my family of origin since childhood, so I don’t need or want adults pulling this same garbage on me as an adult on social media or on a blog.
Lydia and Thought Policing
One woman I’ve recently had a dust-up with on Twitter, Lydia, engages in this same silencing behavior with me that my family utilized, but all the while claiming that she supports free speech and is against “thought policing.”
Lydia thinks she is just “commenting on Tweets,” but no, that’s not what she’s doing.
Lydia has made it more than clear with me in months past that she does not support the “Me Too” trend or any criticism of the James Damore google memo.
Lydia has no official power over me (as she enjoyed pointing out), but she practices her own form of “thought policing,” and she discourages my use of free speech, by nit-picking and harping on every Tweet I make on the same two topics that she does not agree with (namely, MeToo and Damore).
There are other ways to squash dissent, and not all of them involve using violence, banning a person, removing their Twitter account or blog, or using legal threats.
Lydia uses a different method to try to shut down opposition.
Any time I log in to Twitter to post on these two subjects – and this has been going on for many months now – Lydia cannot just disagree once and let it go.
This is true even when I skip getting on Twitter for four or more days in a row. The moment I log in after days being off line for several days in a row, if I tweet about Damore, Lydia will hunt down that tweet and negatively comment on it.
This is a very odd fixation she has. She is harassing me over this.
No, she has to always, always hunt down my Twitter page to find Tweets where I may have once more Tweeted items in support of MeToo or that are critical of James Damore’s google memo. She then sub-tweets them so that her negative comments appear in my Twitter notification box.
If she wants to disagree with me on MeToo or Damore, that is fine, but I don’t want to see it, deal with it, or answer her same objections. I asked her the other day to please stop replying to those tweets of mine or stop sub-tweeting them.
Lydia is trying to annoy or harass me into dropping those subjects. There is more than one way to silence opposition, and she’s using those other approaches.
So no, given my upbringing, where my family taught me to keep quiet, nice girls don’t speak directly and openly, and nobody cares about my views and so on, I’m not looking for yet another venue where jerks, busy bodies, and other malcontents drop in to shame me for showing anger (or any other emotion).
Nor am I looking for someone to drop by to disagree with whatever views I hold, or to tell me in some shape or fashion that my opinions are stupid, I don’t matter, or my views don’t matter.
I got enough of that sort of treatment from my family, where I was pressured to stay silent, since I was a kid. I am done with it.
I view constant demands to answer this or that question or respond to whatever point to be a form of harassment and bullying – this would depend on the person, the context and so on – but especially so after I have asked the person to please desist, but they keep at it (this would also include the aforementioned Lydia, and she’s been at this for months, it’s not been a single incident).
If I tell you I am not interested in debating subject X with you and to please drop it, but months later, you are still getting up in my face about it, that is not respecting my boundaries.
I don’t owe you answers or research – look it up yourself if you are that interested in the answer.
I’ve recently had someone (that would Lydia) on Twitter who, for months now, keeps focusing on a topic or two I post about who responds negatively, and I may be posting about this in the near future.
This person keeps demanding I respond to some study or another, and I have a feeling she has not read any of the studies I posted which dispute that study or others.
She has been doing this for months, any time I tweet about a certain topic. I have either generally ignored her, or told her I don’t care to discuss this with her, yet she persists.
After awhile, it turns into a situation where I feel as though she is stalking me.
With this behavior, she also reminds me of my big sister, my sister being someone who has never respected my wishes or my “no” and who bulldozes over my stated wishes, because she doesn’t feel my feelings matter or should be taken into consideration.
Sweet and Happy Clappy
I am not here to be a sweet and lovable blogger or Tweeter who wants to listen to your contrary opinion.
That does not mean I am close-minded or don’t have a rebuttal to some opinion or study you keep waving in my face – it means I am tired of your crap and want you to leave me alone.
No, I don’t care to respond to any and every point you raise, here or on Twitter.
I am not in the mood to have to constantly defend every opinion I hold. I blog and Tweet to share information, to parse what I have learned, and so on – not to defend positions I already hold.
A couple of months ago, some woman stopped by my blog who had been visiting it every so often.
She was irate that I keep posting content that is sometimes critical of psychology, anti-depressants, and psychiatry. She was basically telling me in the comments box that I should only be blogging positive, nice things about such topics.
I told her no.
That’s not what my blog is about. She can start her own blog and post happy, positive things about therapy to her heart’s content on her own blog, but it’s not up to her to dictate what I post about on my blog. If she doesn’t like the nature of my blog, she does not have to read it.
She grouchily replied to me, something along the lines of, “Why did you start a blog if you are not open to other people’s ideas?”
My question to people such as her: why do you assume that everyone who blogs (or tweets) is interested in debating and hearing opposing views and then responding to all opposing views? Not everyone blogs or Tweets for the same reasons.
Maybe you’re the sort of person who blogs because you love to hear from people who have different opinions than yours and who want to rip you apart and argue with you about it for days, but I’m not that person.
How I Learn About Opinions That Differ from My Own
I am open to other people’s ideas, but not in a debate format, where I get personally challenged to answer every point or critique someone raises, and when I respond to that point, they throw another objection in my face, then another, another, and another.
That could go on ad infinitum, and I find it incredibly tedious.
I prefer to go out on my own, google around, and look up articles by others who hold oppositional views to mine, and read what they have to say. Then I mull it over and do more reading by others who are similar.
Then I google around some more to read up on criticisms, if any, of whatever that position is. Then I google more to see if there are responses to those criticisms.
And so on and so forth. That is how I learn. That is how I filter information.
I do not glean anything from on-going debates, whether it lasts fifteen minutes, an hour in a day, or takes place over a course of days.
And perhaps most importantly, I don’t have the personality or patience for it (I cannot emphasize this enough).
I prefer to learn from reading already-written content, such as magazine articles, and mull over what I just read – I don’t learn as much from give and take arguments with Joe Blow on the internet.
That is why I don’t entertain objectors here or on Twitter that much, if at all.
I also learn far more by reading same- on- same criticism, or I find it far more interesting. This has been especially true for me in the last few years.
I am fascinated, and get more out of, reading liberals criticize other liberals about liberal positions, or Christians who critique other Christians over Christianity, or conservatives who critique conservative positions.
I am also very interested in reading things by “ex” adherents. For example, it’s very informative to read blogs or articles by ex-Christians who are now atheists.
I think I’ve learned more in the last few years reading up on why someone switched their worldview, religious, or political beliefs than by reading apologetics from any given group or person who is attempting to defend whatever their current position is.
When someone pops up on my Twitter or this blog to say, “But what about…” or to argue, I generally become very annoyed very quickly.
And, by the way, why are you asking me,
“But what about…? How do you account for…?,”
and why are you constantly haranguing me to answer the same point over and over, every time I log in to Twitter, over a period of months (I’ve had someone recently do this to me on twitter – see: Lydia)?
This is especially annoying behavior when this person has chosen to ignore ten or more studies and critical papers I’ve linked to on this blog that already repudiates the view she is seeking to defend.
For those who keep hammering me on, “But how would you respond to X?”
-Do you not have Google on your internet connection?
If you are that determined to find a rebuttal to a particular study or argument, I’m sure the answer is out there on the internet.
I don’t want to do your homework for you. You’re an adult. You know how to work the Google.
I very much resent anyone characterizing my blogging or Tweeting style as me being close-minded, not seeking out alternate views, or living in a bubble or echo chamber, especially when one takes into consideration that in addition to reading other people’s blogs and news sites, that several years ago, I began questioning my own religious and political views.
After I spent a few months questioning my own views, both religious and political, I looked up what supporters of my views had to say about some of the doubts I had. I didn’t find much of that content satisfying.
I then started reading material by those who disagree with my long-held religious and political views – by reading first-hand sources, not what their critics say those people think and believe.
After all that, I changed my positions: I am no longer a Republican. I am not as conservative as I was before. I am now semi-Agnostic rather than fully Christian.
If I was so terribly close minded and not willing to read about views that differ from my own, please do explain how I shifted from being Christian to partially agnostic, from Republican to no party affiliation?
How is it that I went from rejecting Christian gender complementarianism to seeing that Christian gender egalitarians were correct about gender if I am so close minded and not open to reading opposing views or considering I might be wrong about things?
The person who never reevaluates what she thinks and believes, never questions it, never changes opinions over the course of her life, is probably more close-minded than I am, and is probably the one living in a bubble.
You can see from a few of the posts on this blog that I do, or have, ventured outside my blog here to read and listen to opinions that are critical of my own – and I refuted them, including but not limited to, opinions by conservative host Tucker Carlson regarding the “Me Too” movement.
I spent years growing up in a family and church that did not value, respect women – not as much as men.
I now see that a lot of the things I was taught by other conservatives and Christian gender complementarians about liberal secular feminism were incorrect.
While I don’t agree with liberals or liberal feminists on every subject, they are correct on a few things, but this is something most conservatives will never concede.
Liberal, secular (and even Christian) feminists have been misunderstood and misrepresented by conservatives and Christians.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the people who has recently been giving me grief on Twitter for months now (which escalated on February 6, 2018) , a woman named Lydia (possibly more on this in a future post, if time permits – and those posts may not be very nice at all) sometimes misunderstands secular feminism.
Lydia thinks she understands secular feminism, but based on many Tweets of hers that I’ve seen, she actually misunderstands it and is viewing it through a filter of what right wingers say about it – a filter which distorts what feminists say or mean.
(I do not perceive the “MeToo” phenomenon as being a liberal or a purely feminist phenomenon, but a lot of conservatives do.)
For example, Lydia shares tweets by conservative commentators who erect straw man arguments against the “Me Too” movement: not too long ago, she liked or re-tweeted a comment by conservative Laura Ingraham who said that MeToo feminists were representing all women as being victims, and all men as being sexual abusers.
As I’ve noted on previous posts, MeToo advocates have done no such thing; this is attributing a view to the adherents that they do not hold.
This is a view point that conservatives wish and want liberal feminists to hold, so they can rely on the old chest nut that all liberal feminists are man-hating, baby-killing monsters, so they can feel okay about not having to really examine what feminists are actually saying.
Many conservatives find it easier to mock and dismiss feminists from the outset, then to go visit their sites and blogs and spend time really trying to understand them and their views.
Another example: months ago, during Hurricane Harvey, on Twitter, Lydia favorably re-tweeted or liked comments by conservatives who mocked the concept of “Toxic Masculinity.”
The problem is, the conservatives who Lydia is retweeting on this matter, like many conservatives, do not understand what the term “Toxic Masculinity” means.
To keep this very short, because this is not a post about that topic specifically: that term does not mean that all men are bad, or that masculinity is toxic.
If you think the phrase “Toxic Masculinity” means all men are evil, or that masculinity is toxic, you have really misunderstood what is meant by the term.
You do not understand secular, liberal feminism as much as you think you do.
What you probably have is a caricature of secular, liberal feminism that has been formed by years of brainwashing and mockery by guys such as Rush Limbaugh. (I like Limbaugh just fine, but I do think he gets some topics wrong at times, including aspects of feminism.)
You’re not going to get an accurate picture of what liberal feminists mean by listening to Rush, watching Tucker Carlson, or by reading conservative takes on liberal feminists on conservative sites.
(You should bear in mind that many of these conservative talk show hosts and radio hosts want high ratings on their shows, so they tend to promote or only feature the most far out there, kooky feminists they can find, because such kooks draw the biggest ratings and the most click bait for their online articles.)
I don’t let Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, or other conservative commentators do all my thinking for me.
It’s possible there were a few other points I wanted to raise, but they’ve slipped my mind at the moment. So I may edit this post after publishing it to add those other thoughts.
To give an example here of how I operate – maybe this will help people understand easier.
I usually agree with conservative TV host Tucker Carlson, but not on the “Me Too” issue.
At first, when “Me Too” became a phenomenon around October 2017, Carlson was supportive of the movement (or claimed to be), but as weeks went by, he became one of those hyper-ventilating ‘MeToo’ Concern Trolls who go on and on about “but isn’t this movement harmful to men.”
When Carlson adopted this new, critical outlook, I disagreed. So I took to my blog here to respond, analyze his views, and critique them.
Here’s where a lot of people get infuriated or confused about how I am:
Should Carlson see one of my posts and invite me on his show to debate him about it, I would turn him down.
I would refuse to appear on his show.
I don’t want to debate Carlson one- on- one in real time, or social media.
Should Carlson contact me on Twitter to disagree, if I Tweet a link to one of my posts critical of his position, I would keep any response to him brief – but I would not be interested in fighting him to the death over hours or days to prove he is wrong and I am right. Not on Twitter. Not on the phone. Not on TV.
The context where I best communicate and grapple with other views is when I am composing a post such as this one.
I can go at my own speed. I’m not rushed. I can take my time. I can google around and look up more information to form further opinions, to back up my own position, and so on.
This sort of thing – how I prefer to interact – infuriates people. If Tucker Carlson is the typical person, he’d probably accuse me of, “since you won’t debate me on Twitter, or come on my show, you must be close-minded, not open to hearing views that differ from yours.”
Some people find my method of responding to criticisms odd or confusing. If Carlson was like one of those types, he might say to me, “But why did you blog this post criticizing my views if you didn’t want me to confront you about it, and then go on my show and argue this out, or take a phone call from me, where I confront you?”
I am an incredibly introverted person. I don’t like being around people or getting into small talk – as small talk is usually laborious and dull. I also find one- on- one debating tedious.
It’s not my nature to be very confrontational or to enjoy disputes.
Should Carlson reply to one of my posts critical of his views on his show, I may be inclined to respond to his rebuttal to my post by writing a new blog post replying to his rebuttal.
I wouldn’t go on his show, and I probably wouldn’t tweet him, but if I reply, it would be on my own time, in my own way, and on a blog. That is just how I roll.
I am tired of people demanding or expecting me to answer them on terms they prefer or are comfortable with.
Maybe I lack a desire to respond to your criticism or push back – I’m just not interested.
That does not necessarily mean I have no answer or am reluctant to hear opposing views.
Hopefully, this blog post clears up why I grow quickly impatient with people who come here, or Twitter, to argue with me, why I don’t usually get into drawn-out debates online, or why this is not the sort of blog where I am looking to have my opinions challenged.
I challenge my own opinions and reconsider my own views at times; I don’t need you doing that.
In the last five years, I’ve already had my mind changed on matters ranging from the political to the religious, based upon personal experiences I went through and from reading blogs, articles, and news sites of others.
this post has been edited to make a few minor changes
Lydia Malone of TWW and Other Sites – February 2019 post