I read a lot lately on the interweb or webinet about how people should not talk about the negative things that have happened to them. Recent statements about openly discussing mental health issues seem a brief respite from a litany of stories and posts from very hard line people expecting women to be ready to employ martial arts at the drop of a hat to fend off any potential hostility. The flip side is the deluge of “Hello Kitty” style quotes about how wonderful things are when you ignore the bad and let go. Apparently acknowledging any negative event has happened merely manifests one’s victimhood; or maybe it just brings other people down. To describe an abuse or aggression is perceived – without exception by some – as revealing the weakness of a person that let themselves be injured or mistreated. Something some cannot deal with.
I think the people who would quash another’s expression likely have never had anything bad happen to them, and lack the wherewithal to even imagine what it feels like to have a different life experience from their own. Perhaps such people lack empathy or perhaps they too have suffered but they believe describing their suffering would empower the one who got one over them. Perhaps such people have engaged in aggressive acts and in a twisted way feel it is their right if the receiver of their antagonism wasn’t strong enough to stop them. I think the whole debate about whether the concept of consent is valid comes from there: from people who know deep down at some point they didn’t have consent but want to pretend it was not a problem.
Anyway, I have a few issues with the people who would gag the communication of belligerence endured. I remember so many times so many different people saying shut up, be quiet, don’t tell, you can’t say that … It seems to me the people who try to quiet one are overly invested if they feel the need to judge and decry one for speaking about a life experience. It seems to me it is unfair to expect others to always pretend nothing is wrong if something actually is. How can a person be comfortable in their day to day if continually obliged to pretend a piece of their existence doesn’t exist?
And really doesn’t keeping quiet in the end – really – doesn’t it simply give license to abnormal antisocial attackers to go on doing as they do if no one ever acknowledges their acts as unacceptable harmful negative crap? Doesn’t it basically give them licensee to carry on doing whatever they wish because no one can call them out without branding themselves a victim? I don’t believe in letting people get away with violence, pretending it didn’t happen or was a one off. Speak out say I.