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Word for Wednesday - Open

Open

/oh-puh n/
adjective
  1. not closed or barred
noun
  1. to become open
  2. to afford access
My chosen word this week ties in with this week's "Quote Quest" prompt which is:
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
~ Sylvia Plath

Now, this is something I agree with. As bloggers, and particularly as sex-bloggers, we tend to be open about things (possibly to the point of oversharing sometimes) that many people find uncomfortable discussing.  We talk freely about our turn-ons and turn-offs, we talk about our kinks and fetishes, we discuss our relationships in great and (sometimes literally) painful detail. on the whole, I believe this is a good thing.

The thing about being open though, is that it cuts both ways. If you are comfortable expressing your opinions on subjects, you need to be open to the fact that some people will disagree with you. There is no monopoly on wisdom. Just because something is true or right for you, does not make it universally so, and there is a need to be open to the fact that other points of view exist and, from the perspective of the person holding them, equally valid. That's not to say that all opinions are right; a racist/sexist/sectarian/anti-semite/transphobe expressing hatred of "other" may honestly hold and believe the vies they are expressing, but the act of simply holding an opposing view from oneself, does not make the other person automatically wrong or. Nor does it automatically earn them one of the above labels; accusing someone of bigotry simply on the grounds that they do not hold the same opinion, or have the same values as yourself, is itself a form of intolerance. It show's a lack of respect for others and is an example of the very behaviour you are accusing the other person of.

Of course, genuine bigotry does, sadly, exist. It must be called out, challenged and stood up to. The rights of trans and LGBT+ people need to be protected from those who would treat them as subhuman. The right for people of colour to go about their lives unmolested by overbearing authority, by racists in uniform must be championed by everyone, not just those with darker skins. I am not a religious person by any means, but I will defend to the death the right of anyone who gains solace in faith to do so. Bigots do exist and they must always be challenged but some of them are expressing their opinions from a position of being uninformed rather than of actual hatred, and we must always try and be open to the possibility of opening their eyes before condemning them.

This was originally going to be another post about Mental Health; another area where victims not only have to battle with the illnesses they suffer from, but against the stigma and prejudices of others towards them, but I've written about that often enough and I believe this to be as, if not more, important.

The sex blogging community is, sadly, not above such issues. A "community" that preaches inclusiveness and understanding has, it seems, turned against itself; with people ready to accuse those who disagree with their values as bigots without even attempting to understand the underlying emotions. Lines appear to have been drawn and mud and insults are being slung and, it would appear, neither side is really covering itself in glory.

I realise that, in posting this, I will almost certainly lose followers. Bloggers on either side of the dividing line will wish to dissociate themselves from me.  And here's another thing about being open, I realise this and I am OK with it. Small-minded pettiness from some corners drove me away from this "community" previously, but now that I've decided to return to blogging, I will do so on my own terms. I do not force anyone to follow me or to read what I write. I have no aspiration to be a transitory "big deal" on social media. I am simply me, a man with my own views, my own beliefs which are honestly held, but yet I am open to having them challenged and willing to accept that I might just possibly be wrong.

You cannot be inclusive and accepting unless you are open to being challenged and scrutinised. You cannot be inclusive and accepting if you have a closed mind. You cannot be inclusive and accepting if you cannot accept that other views can also be valid. You don't have to accept anything unquestioningly, even if someone you respect on twitter tells you it's true. If something is wrong, challenge it. Open your eyes. Open your mind. Most of all, be open to the fact that it may actually be you that is in the wrong.

KW

Comments

  1. Wonderful writing KW - articulate and well discussed.
    It is so great to have you back blogging again. Because you write so well serious articles will always be well received by me - but don't forget to wear a kilt whilst writing them ;-)
    May x

    ReplyDelete

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