Friday, April 4, 2014
Jutta Brink: Tale of an Unfriender
April 4, 2014
by Richard Reynolds, "firebagger"
Facebook is a strange place full of incendiary comments, both politically and sociologically, by many different types of aggressive, yet super-sensitive individuals. One has to be mindful of discretionary tactics when engaging in debate with them, lest they assault you with unwarranted appellations, usually "idiot," "scum," "faggot," "commie liberal," "conservative fascist," "Nazi," "hippie," "pothead," or any other of a stream of seemingly endless, vile, unwanted sobriquets that may or may not apply to your actual character or views.
I received an e-mail from one of my "friends" named Jutta Brink, for example, just the other day, which I read last night. Jutta wrote: "Republicans oppress women!, disciminate against them, would rather have them barefoot and pregnant. So yes !, Any self-respecting woman does not and should not, and more important WILL not vote Republican !!!!, period. Sorry, Richard.~ PS, I have become to believe you're a firebagger, F that, Richard. Consider yourself blocked, no time for shit like that, nice knowing yea. "
This comment of Jutta's was in response to a comment I made on a photo she shared that asserted that women who voted Republican had no self-respect. I felt that it was unfair to suggest that because a woman was a woman she had no right to have a political opinion that diverged from my own opinions or Jutta's. I thought I made my comment in a respectful way, stating that I simply disagreed with the presumption that one's sex, race, creed, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation should automatically determine one's political opinions. I even criticized the Republican Party in the comment because I believe that the GOP seems to go out of its way to say it is an inclusive party, then often uses what are, to me, the same distasteful tactics used by the producer of Jutta's photo, suggesting that women who are Democrats are supporting baby murder or other activities the GOP deems unacceptable.
I've often been called a "commie liberal," a "socialist scum," and occasionally I'm referred to as a "conservative fascist," and now I've been called a "firebagger," which I presume is a derogatory term for "Teabagger," which is already a derogatory term for a member of the Tea Party.
Let me state, for the record and for all time, I, author of this blog, "The Doomed Stuffing," which is virtually unread by human eyes, am not now, nor have I ever been, an ideologue -- one who holds opinions according to an ideology that are intransigent and infallible. I am a human being who tries to form and hold opinions that are based on ideas and facts, and I don't believe that people who disagree with me are anything but ... well, people who disagree with me. Sure, there are crazy neo-Nazis, racists, KKK members, gay-bashers, extremists on the left and extremists on the right. But disagreeing with someone about something is not necessarily a condemnation of their humanity or their dignity or, for the religious-minded, their soul.
But Jutta Brink's reactionary facebook-unfriending of me was something of a surprise. Politcally, I probably agreed with her more often than not (although I thought she often went too far in her comments ... but, hell, most of us on facebook often go too far in our comments). What is perplexing is the contradiction in her liberality versus her willingness to denigrate women simply for being women who disagree with her.
In any case, since facebook doesn't allow you to reciprocate an "unfriending," but merely removes the entire history of your comments with your "unfriender," I thought I'd blog about Jutta's abrupt eternal dismissal of our political debates and our "friendship." It doesn't exactly hurt my feelings that she unfriended me (we all know most of our facebook "friends" are just people we've never met, anyway), but it does kind of piss me off that facebook doesn't allow you to respond to the unfriender directly. I'd like to tell Jutta Brink a few things about tolerance -- one being that tolerance doesn't just apply as a moral concept dedicated to protecting those who share one's own opinions. Tolerance is a moral concept designed to protect the dignity of everyone equally -- even "firebaggers."
Goodbye, Jutta Brink. It's been a weird ride.