Friday, April 30, 2010

Friendly Debate

As a recent reader (aka my mother) pointed out, a lot of the stuff we post about on this blog is pretty liberal. Well, liberal as far as more conservative readers see it, at least. I tend to be pretty moderate, which means I'm constantly ticking off (note that I just used the phrase "ticking off" - how many very liberal people do you know who do that?) people on all parts of the political spectrum, not just those on the conservative end. But sometimes it feels like if your viewpoint isn't expressed on a blog, then the blog is against your viewpoint. It doesn't help that we're writing on the internet, where, in addition to not hearing verbal tones, readers tend to interpret writing in a more negative light than if that writing were published in print (I'm referencing a study here, but I can't document the study, so don't be too shocked if I've misrepresented it).

The problem with conservative readers avoiding blogs like Not Another Wave, though, is that if we don't have multiple voices on here, we aren't accomplishing the original goal Erica and I set for this blog: our goal is to create a safe place where individuals from all sorts of political, social, and economic backgrounds could talk about gender. In fact, Erica was inspired to start this blog when a Mormon feminist was torn to shreds by the online community for being Mormon in the time of Prop 8. People told her "you can't be Mormon and a feminist - choose one or the other." As a Mormon feminist, I've encountered that viewpoint a lot, both from other members of the church and other feminists. It's not fair, and it creates an unhealthy sense of us vs. them. Erica experiences this all the time too, as a Catholic feminist.

My purpose in writing this post is twofold: I want to encourage more conservative readers to speak up and contribute posts - or at least comment on the posts we do. All we ask is that the statements you make in posts are backed by logic (or acknowledge that they're driven by something other than logic, since all forms of knowledge are welcome here), and that your comments on posts are respectful. To date, no fight has ever broken out over a Not Another Wave post. We understand if you're afraid of online fights, since many blogs attract them... but that simply hasn't happened here. Ever.

I'm thinking it might also help, though, if Erica and I show you some of the areas where we disagree with each other, because... we have some radically different beliefs. Especially about gender and sex. But we respect one another as individuals, and we listen to one another's viewpoints. If you look over comments we write on each other's posts, you'll find we politely disagree with each other. A lot. I'm going to go a step further, though, and write a post with my thoughts on the issues Erica raised in her most recent post . Erica and I particularly disagree when it comes to the European sex ed campaign, but our disagreement is all the more reason why issues like this are worth talking about. Because how will we ever get anywhere if individuals who disagree are too afraid to discuss their differing beliefs?

So stay tuned for some healthy, friendly debate.

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