The more I read the internet,
the more I see that knowledge isn’t knowledge,
like it used to be.
Facts aren’t held in an encyclopedia set on the bookshelf.
Instead, knowledge about a topic is developed through debate.
Someone posts an idea, someone disagrees with it.
More evidence is presented, opinions are lobbied back and forth and everyone comes out the better for it.
Except the ladies.
You may not have been raised in a culture that taught that if you are to be a good girl, a successful girl, you must first and foremost be an agreeable girl.
You may not have had the kind of childhood I did, where I learned to make everyone happy lest I set him off again.
So now I seek consensus in all things.
Without consensus, I feel that terrifying flutter that things are going to get out of hand and I’m headed to get hit and I won’t be liked anymore.
But as I see more and more knowledge centered around debate.
And more women raised to avoid debate.
I fear that we’re getting left behind when it comes to the current version of knowledge.
Disagreement isn’t ladylike.
Arguing is likely to get you shunned.
Dissension isn’t desirable in females.
Hey hey hey!
So, how do I raise my daughters to feel okay arguing?
Get better at arguing myself.
How do I get my friends to hold differing opinions?
Be more of a Cowboy than an Octopus.
How do I jump into a comment thread and feel comfortable sharing my opinion, my facts, while knowing that UR A FAT WHORE will probably be my punishment?
Just typing that made me feel foolish. I’m far more grown up than this. Why are these pixels scaring me?
It’s been easier to avoid commenting.
But if I’m getting left out on where knowledge lives, I’d better steel (gird?) my loins and jump in.
If I see someone shaming another woman for being disagreeable, I’ll point it out.
I’ll talk about it.
“She’s actually making us all smarter.”
If I want to raise little fighters,
I better be better at defending my opinion.
A challenge to me,
it seems silly really,
but I’m challenging myself to comment something that might not be popular with other commenters on a particular thread.
I’m not going out of my way to pick fights, but I want to overcome that natural inertia to not join the conversation, even if I can’t go with the most popular opinion.
I’m sure YOU have no problem with this stuff.
You enjoy hearty debate,
nigh invigorated with disagreement.
But it’s hard for me.
Which means it’s probably important.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.