Last night, in the few minutes between getting into bed and falling asleep, one question wafted into my mind:
Why do some people believe it’s okay to interfere in, criticise or control the lives and choices of others?
In Australia and New Zealand, they have a brilliant word for such people: wowsers. People so prim, proper and moralistic, they suck the fun out of everything. People so easily-offended, freedom of choice and freedom of expression is a scary prospect to them.
Thinking about it further got me more than a little wound up. I’ve been on the receiving end of a fair share of criticism over the years from people who saw themselves on the moral or cultural high ground and saw it as their right to pass comment on others. Therefore, this post may get rather ranty, a bit sarcastic and perhaps a little satirical too. We all need to vent sometimes.
I’d been watching a video on the sexual double standard. If you’re not already familiar with the term, it’s where having many sexual partners is regarded negatively for women, but virtuous for men. From what I gathered, it’s an anachronistic and conservative throwback to the days before contraceptives, where promiscuous women were seen as potential harbingers of venereal diseases… so don’t go there! As such, a woman with no, or few, previous sexual partners was seen as appropriate; however, a man with a similar history must have something seriously wrong with him. How on earth is this still relevant today, and what right do we have to criticise others for what they get up to in the bedroom anyway? If you’re happy and healthy, who cares?!
The same goes for those who believe conversion therapy works, and either encourage, pressure or force their friends or family members to undergo such treatment. What’s the matter? Is the shame of having a gay person in the family so bad that you’ll gladly chip away at your loved ones’ mind through extreme, Clockwork Orange-style therapies; just so you can sleep a little easier? I’m sorry, but if you’re only willing to say “I love you” after you’ve had their nuts wired to a car battery, then you’re the one who needs to seek help.
And while we’re on the subject, stop lobbying your representatives in Government to legally remove the rights of others based on your personal religious views. The same goes for international religious lobby groups too. If you want the freedom to practice your religion without discrimination, then keep your nose out of civic affairs. Freedom of religion is a universal human right, as is freedom of conscience, which applies to all and not just your little collective. Freedom from offence is not a human right… so put the placard down and move along.
And finally, here’s a list of a few more things people publicly criticise others for that really pisses me off:
- Their physical appearance.
- Their wardrobe choices. There’s a reason Trinny and Susannah aren’t on the air anymore.
- Their gender identity. Is that stranger over there confusing you because they don’t look quite right? If I were you, I’d go home and take a couple of paracetamol if thinking is making your head hurt.
- Their diet. Are you a doctor or a nutritionist? No? Then shut up!
- Their political beliefs. There is no right and wrong on the political spectrum – contribute to the debate or go back to your right-wing safe space on the Daily Mail forums!
- Their mental health. No, we can’t just “cheer up” or “snap out of it”.
- Their possessions. Am I making you late for work by not driving a faster car? Sue me.
- Their personal tastes. I quite liked Pink Floyd’s Endless River. Deal with it.
- Their accent. I’m sick of hearing how disliked or “unattractive” the West Midlands accent is, or how it makes us sound unintelligent! Yow can bugger off, arroight!