Calling All Moderates Out There

AmandaYVR

Okay, right off the bat I'm going to apologize here. Before you even start reading. Because this is going to be [too] long, I already feel it. But try as I might, I just cannot say things as briefly as some [men, especially, who are known for being much more economical with words] would prefer. (I also have a justification for that, but I'll get to that later maybe.)

So I've just come off of a very intense afternoon on GAG which included three very heated discussions. First I will briefly discuss the two hour private message session with someone I know a little here. I wouldn't call us friends, but acquaintances, having crossed paths for a few months now. We were talking about a fairly neutral subject (he initially wanted my opinion about something regarding some next questions he was going to ask, etc.) but after dabbling in a few other topics, which I initiated (comedy, movies, health), I was fed up. Exasperated, I asked him a question, and I meant this sincerely, exactly as I phrased it, "Are you aware of how rude you can come off being?" To which he replied, "Do I care? Not really." And then adds the jab, "Liberalism is rude." Now just to be clear, we were barely talking about politics. I am well aware of the contentiousness of differing political ideologies today, and I pretty much never engage in discussions about this anymore, as I find moderates are few and far between right now. (I also wrote a question about 'us vs. them' mentalities and issues today.) But it crept into our discussion because of an off-hand comment about Priuses (yes, the car) being "Liberal." However, to be clear, this mytake is not about politics. It is about conversation, communication, and conflict. (I'm not crazy about alliterations, but there they are.)

So I'll start off by saying, men, I am not your enemy. I am not against you. Far from it. I actually sort of think that you have been both one of my greatest passions, and also perhaps yes sometimes greatest disappointments over the years, but that was then, I see it differently now in the rear view, and today I am not seeking new lovers and confidantes (as I am with a man who despite some obvious flaws - we all have them - has generally exceeded my expectations for having a partner who stimulates my mind and is also a best friend), so, my current goals and desires are more... attainable. Yet, I am tired. Why? Because I'm trying to do something here. And it's a lot of damn work. (I am speaking here to everyone, or rather anyone who's interested, but the men are far, far more engaging, forthcoming, impassioned, playful, combative, you name it. You run the entire gamut. The women, so I have concluded, are typically much more opposed to conflict, stating their opinions unless they feel strongly about something, and probably a little bored and a little disinterested perhaps, which is fine.)

The reason I was getting so irritated chatting with this user today was not because of minor differing opinions on the subjects we discussed (they really were inconsequential.) It was his communication style and method, I will call it. (The tl;dr is that he did have an alterior motive, and a penchant for quickly profiling, and has some health issues which are greatly affecting his behaviour, and this played a big part, though of course not all, in our interaction and resulting friction. But mental and physical health are just one aspect of this topic. As Homer Simpson once said, "No time for that now, the computer's starting!" Will he and I converse again? Half way through, I did not think so, but we both stuck it out, and I now, tentatively say, 'yes, probably.' And that's better than the alternative. At one point he even somewhat challenged me to block him, and that only lead to a deeper conversation down the rabbit hole. Ergo, this mytake.

I am not perfect. Far from it, and I am well aware of that. I am still figuring out the best way to go about things and where energy is best spent and exerted. Everything that is in my head right now is difficult to encapsulate. And with every word I use to attempt to say that, I am wasting words. So perhaps I should make a list of some of the ideas and concepts that I have been thinking about, as of late.

And they are:

* Conflict

* Biases

* Aggression, both overt and passive

* Image vs. authenticity

* Ideologies vs. beliefs

* Ego

* Censorship

* Civility

* Avoidance

* Blocking

* Trendy words like 'gender war', 'triggered', 'snowflake', 'free speech', SJW, incel, and basically all the -isms (sexism, sexuality, racism, and bigotry)

* Compassion

* Acceptance

* Mental health

* The disenfranchised (I wrote a mytake about that too, 'The Joker')

I should probably stop there. That list could go on a long time. I've written some mytakes, and some questions, and maybe Area 51 and Google knows just how many comments about some of these subjects. And right now, it feels like it's all coming to a head. I'm pissed off. Some of you are pissed off. Some (okay, many) of you just want to relax and have fun on GAG (me too sometimes), but I honestly do not even know if it's possible or feasible to be on GAG, or to exist on the internet, without eventually (if not intermittently) coming to face these issues.

While I was conversing with this particular guy, I was seeing notifications come up and catching glimpses of the threads. So adding to this are these other things - conflict, heat, disagreement, and by god, resolution. I could tell you the story of how I publicly declared I unblocked everyone (okay, all but one) on my block list very recently. And so I'm seeing a lot of stuff I wouldn't have previously seen. One of those guys, I've labelled him in my mind 'the nightmare' for his absolute commitment to his cause (another political issue - no point talking about it), also had an exchange, but deciding it was futile to persist, I moved on. You may or may not believe me, but I have never been flippant about my decisions. That's probably my one and only dealbreaker when it comes to people in my life. When I have blocked, it was rarely because a person attacked me personally. I witnessed multiple instances of cruel and/or unreasonable behaviour, and I blocked. I've spoken about this before. No point repeating. Read my other mytakes etc if you're interested. But what I have changed is that I am facing all sorts of issues/people that I would have, at any other time in my 47 years, walked away from. For six months, I've been exploring GAG. I started out quietly, observed a bunch (that's my typical M.O. I guess), but slowly I have become more and more vocal. Why? Because I've figured some shit out and I am not feeling like there's any point in remaining silent anymore.

I like men. I think I always have. Now don't go jumping to all sorts of quick conclusions and deciding that I must have been burned - cheated on, abused, mistreated, taken advantage of... what have you. I would not use any of those terms to describe my life's experience. As I said, disappointed at times, seems to fit the bill the most. Undervalued? Underappreciated at times? Fought with? Broken up with? Yep, yep, yep, the 'ays' have it. But that's a given, right. Applies to everyone. So it's moot. Boring to talk about. Irrelevant.

What I'm talking about is the realization that there's a whole bunch of crap going on out there right now, and though in many, many ways and justifications, I should really give two shits about it, because I'm married, 20 years together as of this spring, I have returned to Canada (a veritable bastion of progressivism and inclusiveness) and I am, shall we say, somewhat insulated from the problems going on out there. But for some perhaps inexplicable reason, I feel the need, or desire, to look and watch and be engaged in what is going on. I've been through quite a few passions in my life. In full honesty, none of them really panned out, financially speaking (and this is a very real concern for me), but what it all seems to be amounting to is the fact that I now want to write about it - both what I now understand to be truth (perhaps, my truth, though I do think it is more than just an insular point of view), and how I see the connectedness of it all.

Well maybe it doesn't matter, my interpretation. Probably so. But how it manifests is that I am in some sort of strange, yet impassioned state where I am figuring this out here, on GAG. It has hit me like a tonne of bricks (yes, that's tonne.) We are all here, these sentient beings, brushing past one another, floating in the ether, as it were, and we all have the capability to make a difference, however small, in the lives of others. So it probably doesn't sound believable to you when I say that I am not here to change anyone's mind. I am, however, here to change society. There, I said it. Not sure if I'll leave that sentence in, or delete it. Ha. But what hit me is that each and every interaction (the ones which are teetering on the edge - you know the ones) have the capability to affect someone/people. Both myself (put me in a bad mood, make me angry, or potentially... inspire me, and give me hope that we're not all just fucked.)

I wrote about women and conflict. I did not expect men to be so up in arms, thinking that a rally to the majority silent girls on GAG was actually a carefully constructed backhand to men. I must be a closet feminist, apparently. Maybe she's thinks she's not, but she is. Ah, biases. I wrote about them too. Well at the very least, you can say that I posted a Harvard questionaire that listed several tests so that you can test your own implicit biases. The main point being, that we all have them, and I admitted to that myself, falling in line with the majority, on each category listed. Truth be told, I took the tests about four years ago or so, roughly (which also illustrates the extent of my interests on these matters), so I don't remember the specifics of the tests all that much, but I do remember I had biases. And yes, as argued with another user, biases can be both for and against. And they are not always following just exactly what you are, yourself (whites for whites, gays for gays, etc. etc.) And there are infinite degrees to them. They are on a sliding scale of... rigidity. This, I think, being key. And what irks me is not that someone would dare to proclaim that I, like all, do have them, but that I am not able to use my mind and detach myself, to a reasonable distance, so that I may also see another point of view, or angle, etc.

What's my point? My point is that I'm tired, and this isn't easy, and I'm not entirely sure if it's all worth it, tbh, but I will say again, for anyone who cares to bother reading this far down, that I am not speaking out of my ass when I am interacting with you. Sometimes I ask ridiculous questions, of absolutely no significance or importance, like 'which rabbit are you', and you can just pass those on by, of course, or maybe I want to marvel a little at some beautiful models and black&white photography, stuff like that, but for just about everything else I write on GAG, and even much of those in private message, I give a shit about what I am saying, what you are saying, and whether or not we both walk away from these conversations, or questions, or comments feeling either better, or worse, or the same. And I'll accept 'same.' That's fine. But I'm not trying to insult anyone, or kick you when you're down, and most of the time (yeah, most) I'm not trying to attack your character. I am working through something here... should I call it a social experiment?

I have also written about confidence. Confidence is over-rated, over-emphasized, in my opinion (yep, there's a mytake about that.) But I am [okay, confident] that I am a pretty reasonable person, with a decent head sitting up there, and even with my implicit biases, I am a lot less judgmental than I thought (everything is relative though, right.) So here it is, the crux of it - if you're reasonable, sensible, have half a brain (I'd prefer a full one, chock-a-block full in fact - and secretly I kind of relish a little chaos), and are interested in stimulating conversation, exposing me to some views I may not have thought of, and are willing [and happy] to do it in a mature, open, and logical way (and you can add some emotion and feeling in there too), then I may be interested to chat (public at first, then if we mesh, pm.) There are thousands upon thousands of questions on GAG, and as you may notice, I'm trying to snuff out the deeper or more complex ones. I don't know everything, and I don't expect you to either. I don't want to fight, or debate, and I don't have a mission to change your mind. Come at me peaceably, with an honest, earnest heart and intention, and who knows what could happen (variety is the spice of life, right.)

Some of you have no interest in this type of stuff (if you feel that way I'm sure you are not reading this still), and if you want to sext and do all that other stuff here, have at it, go for it. I, personally, see a fair bit of boredom here, and some disillusionment, some anger, and quite a few backs up. But each and every day that I have yet another conflict, or tense back-and-forth, or private messaging with someone, and we stick with it, and turn that sucker around... I think hallefuckinlujah. Success. Andd that was my day today, 2/3 ain't bad. And over these months, I have received quite a few apologies and I have made quite a few concessions, and I am more than happy to use key phrases such as, "I understand that...", "I take responsibility for...", "I am sorry that...", "I agree with you on...", "You are right that..." It's not that difficult.

It is not that I want to constantly be in a state of battle, or distress, or conflict... definitely not (and I can't stress that enough.) There is a big difference between a completely closed mind, unwilling to concede on any points, and one that is willing to slow down, take a beat, read carefully the words in front of them, and look for the kernel of goodness, an innocent mistake in a choice of words, a display of common sense, or to find compassion for what the other person may have intended but with too much brevity, did not accomplish. (In that vein, thank you to @LightEnd @msc545 and @roland77 for your reasonableness and understanding and commitment to find a resolution. I am impressed with and respect you all for how you handled that.) Finding common ground, on which many of us stand, is always better than focusing on only the differences.

Since opening up my account (well, I was never Private, but you get the gist), seeing all comments (some of them still suck, admittedly, and I really don't enjoy being reminded of some of the anger and hatred in the world), and engaging when I would have previously written people off, I have now seen, time and time again, that we can mend these fences, we can clarify the misunderstandings, we can improve our language and writing skills, and we can tell someone when we disagree, but in a calm and reasonable manner... and they do, quite often, appreciate this. A famous person says (I'll keep their name to myself, because of, cough cough, you know, biases), after interviewing countless people, both great thinkers and average Joes, that they all have one thing in common. Just one. And that is, they all want to be heard. Secondarily, they also wanted to know, "Did I do okay?" So I'm here to tell you, the moderate majority, I know you are out there, I know you are decent human beings, I know you have been through things, that each journey is unique, and I know you just want to believe that people (especially anyone who you think is probably opposing you), have heard you, understand where you're coming from, and are willing to consider another's point of view, even if just for a moment. And I'm telling you, I hear you loud and clear. Your words matter. Not all of them, not all of mine, not all the time, but this forum has an amazing potential to make things better, or to make one individual feel a little better, and if I know one thing about life it is that - change starts with one. Day by day by day, I am refining my ability to listen better, and to at least consider an alternative. I'm not sure if we actually owe each other anything, us strangers around the ether. Maybe we don't. But I know I do want to feel that all this time that we have on Earth is not futile, completely meaningless (admittedly, sometimes I think just that), and at the very least, can be more enjoyable than it is painful, builds us up rather than destroys us or our spirits, and makes us want to stay another day. Let's hang out, think, talk, share, and remember we have far more in common than our differences. If you respect me, I will respect you. It's really that simple. We all have things we can learn from one another. I do believe that.

So, see you around the water cooler?

Not me. But I relate to this image in feel. And I wanted to end on something nice to look at.
Not me. But I relate to this image in feel. And I wanted to end on something nice to look at.
Calling All Moderates Out There
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Most Helpful Guys

  • Insightfull
    First of all, love your writing. Don't mind its length. Second. How did you put so many characters in? I wanna do that 😋

    "(I'm not crazy about alliterations, but there they are.)" hehehehe that was awesome

    "Are you aware of how rude you can come off being?" To which he replied, "Do I care? Not really."
    Wow. That's a rude reply..
    How about, "oh. sorry.. I didn't mean to be rude" (how I would respond)

    Even without the jab, "Liberalism is rude." (ok there buddy)

    "men, I am not your enemy. I am not against you. Far from it. I actually sort of think that you have been both one of my greatest passions"
    Hooray! and awe! We love you too! <3

    "but the men are far, far more engaging, [...] women are disinterested"
    hehe I think that's because you're a woman. I find women more engaging. I think it's that we pay more attention to each other. At least I do.

    "And right now, it feels like it's all coming to a head. I'm pissed off. "
    Sending you calming happy vibes! 🤗

    "I like men. I think I always have."
    "feminist"
    These are not mutually exclusive categories. It's ok with me if you're a feminist. And you're a man-loving feminist! Hooray! A moderate. <3

    I would like to do a test to discover my implicit biases. Do you have a link?

    "proclaim that I, like all, do have them, but that I am not able to use my mind and detach myself, to a reasonable distance, so that I may also see another point of view, or angle, etc."
    Omg that's annoying.

    "I'm not entirely sure if it's all worth it, tbh,"
    It is worth it. It's a worthy goal to help change society for the better. Thanks! :)
    Keep giving a shit!

    "if you're reasonable, sensible, have half a brain (I'd prefer a full one, chock-a-block full in fact - and secretly I kind of relish a little chaos), and are interested in stimulating conversation, exposing me to some views I may not have thought of, and are willing [and happy] to do it in a mature, open, and logical way (and you can add some emotion and feeling in there too), then I may be interested to chat (public at first, then if we mesh, pm.)"
    Hi! That's me! Nice to meet you!
    I don't want to fight either. I actually haven't gotten in any.. but ok. You sound like you engage with more extreme topics and kudos to you for trying to moderate :)

    "'I'm not sure if we actually owe each other anything,"
    I'm not sure either, but I am sure that if we up our sense of responsibility to our fellow humans, we can live in a more meaningful community. I want to live in a world like that.

    "we can mend these fences, we can clarify the misunderstandings, we can improve our language and writing skills, and we can tell someone when we disagree, but in a calm and reasonable manner... and they do, quite often, appreciate this"
    I find this too (I used to try to moderate too, years ago, but all the anger got to me).

    "Did I do ok?" I hope so.
    You did with this post, and probably with whoever you were arguing with, judging by the content of this post. And your words matter.
    I respect you.
    Is this still revelant?
    • NTL;RE
      lol
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      (Not Too Long; Read Everything) :)

    • AmandaYVR

      Thank you so much, Insightfull 💛. I really appreciate it. It's nice to feel that someone gets you. There is so much negativity. The loud other voices can be overwhelming at times.

      Here's that Implicit Biases tests link:
      Do you have any implicit biases? ↗

      I look forward to see you around.

  • Lliam
    You're beautiful, Amanda. I really felt that MyTake.
    Communication, itself, is difficult. In print, we have the ability to think through our thoughts, edit, etc. For me, it's more precise than trying to form cogent thoughts off the cuff. But body language and tone of voice comprise 93% of communication compared to 7% words. So communicating in print can lead to a lot of misunderstanding and conflict.

    Another problem that I run into is the inability to express all the complex points of view and back stories on a subject that are in my head. A person may start out with an opinion - take a certain tack - and try to flesh it out. The listener often assumes that it comprises your full opinion on the subject. They respond to that opinion and the two of you end up debating one single aspect of the issue as if it's black and white. I've even used a metaphor to exemplify a point only to have the person challenge the metaphor. Then the conversation swerves to a completely different issue. I can get frustrated when I feel that all a person wants to do is argue. I would rather flesh out all sides and nuances of an issue. I am more than capable of grasping complexities. In fact, NOTHING is simple.

    Whatever inadequacies we face in communicating are compounded by ideology. Ideology is encouraged by politicians and media who set the worst example of how discussions should be conducted. They are terrible role models, yet people watch them every day on TV and listen to them on the radio and emulate their attitudes and behavior. The role models appear so polished, knowledgeable and self assured, yet they are either complete idiots or lying con artists. There is no other explanation. Their goal is to tell people what to think rather than providing information so that people can formulate their own opinions.

    As a result of these role models who promote ideology and spew sarcasm, derision, divisiveness, sound bites and disinformation rather than, reason, truth and complex thoughts, our society has devolved. People have become less respectful. They are less tolerant and open minded. There are more angry ideologues who refuse to listen to other points of view. They define themselves and others with labels rather than engaging on-on-one in reasonable, rational discussion.

    You are an empathetic, perceptive and open minded person, Amanda. And you have the patience and skill to peel back people's layers to discover their humanity - who they really are. We need more people like you in this world.
    Is this still revelant?
    • kymberz

      @Lliam - what a lovely response! thank you!

    • AmandaYVR

      Bravo. Enjoyed every bit of it.
      Thank you, Lliam.
      I know some people probably see our exchanges and think that you're just a kiss ass to me and vice versa. But they'd be wrong. I was impressed with you from the moment we first crossed paths. You do dabble in the sexuality category more than me but you are a dynamic person with a long history and broad tastes and interests, so it seems that the potential for conversation between you and I bottomless. I really enjoy your takes on things, and your writing. It just so happens that we agree on many things, but more than that, I believe you know how to think. And admit fault, and imperfection. And are intelligent, and wise. How many people can we say that about online (some, but not even close to all.) We are both strong-minded, independent thinkers, who call out 'Uh, are you seeing this? The emperor has no clothes.' You, maybe more in the political arena, me slightly more in the gender one. I don't want to good people, the voice of reason to leave. I hope that ones of us who are troubled by what we see can find a way to stay, and not in an ostrich head in the sand kind of way. Good things can happen here. Besides all the light entertainment stuff.

    • Lliam

      Thanks, kymberz. :-)

    • Show All

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • Pink2000
    I’m a bit confused... I’ve been a moderator for a couple of years now and I’ve seen my fair share of heated discussions and I’ve even had a few of my own.
  • normalice
    The divide is a tricky thing. It is the nature of liberals to generally assume that no side in any conflict should ever take all of the blame. The problem with this is that conservatives found this as a convenient way to a lot themselves what could be described as "an inch of pardon." Conservatives in the U. S. rely entirely on scams to survive, and the problem is if liberals are basically saying "okay maybe one scam is valid," then the republicans just pull the old wishing for more wishes tactic until half the government is ran by scammers.

    This gets complicted for at least two reasons. For one thing, no one likes to admit to falling for a scam. So pointing it out to any Republican voter isn't going to go over well, on general premise. But the other reason is because a lie can be as big as it needs to be. And if a lie is so big and intricate that it's indistinguishable from truth, then what is even the incentive for preferring dull reality over the vibrant fantasy? Remember it all starts by liberals conceding that just a tiny lie isn't necissarily the fault of the liar.

    But anyway, I think most of the vitriol we're seeing from the right is really just a defense of the lie. And to be fair it is working for them, in regards to keeping them from panicking. Indeed, even telling them it is unsustainable would require them to think planning for the future is important - but a major component of the lie is to insist that it isn't important. And as long as their media only tells the success stories while keeping a lid on the failures, they can go on believing it.

    But yeah. I think both sides just want the other to admit to being useless. The right want the left to admit that intellect doesn't win elections. The left wants the right to admit that winning elections doesn't make them intelligent. But the left doesn't want to admit that winning is important. And the right doesn't want to admit that intelligence is important.

    Both are right, of course - every company needs their salesmen just as much as they need their engineers. Neither is more important than the other. But the flaw in all this is that the right is ran by salesman - the actual Republican voters are usually pretty shitty at it. This is why the left wants them to admit to being useless - they aren't even any good at the things they claim to value. But the spite conservatives feel over liberals being aware of that fact only drives conservatives to the polls in greater numbers. If were going to assume them stupid (though we're calling them hypocrites - not stupid: that mix up is an intentional manipulation tactic of the right), then they will show the power of stupid people in large groups.
    • AmandaYVR

      Hmm. Some intriguing theories and thoughts there.

  • alleng12345
    I need to re-read all of that to absorb it all.


    Two things I will say.
    1. Have you considered blogging or maybe even vlogging to reach an audience and possible change the world?

    2. Everyone is biased in my opinion. Its hard not to be, but I think growth comes from not allowing those biases to rule us.
    Politics always cause heat and I am on both sides of the fence depending on the subject, but all my friends appreciate one thing about me: I WANT YOU to change my mind. I'm not going into a discussion to see if you can change my mind. I am going in hoping you can change my. mind, otherwise I wouldn't be interested in your perception.
    The way I see it, is the internet is a beast amongst itself. it allows people to hide but find others with their same thoughts and beliefs and then gives them the strength 'gang' up on those of the opposing side. I notice a majority of the time those people are there just to 'troll' and cause those they targeted discomfort and anguish. Why? Who knows. Maybe they weren't loved enough or maybe they just believe so heavily that their opinion is the morally sound opinion that everyone should have. I don't know. Those type of people are not there for meaningful discussion and debate. They are there to be heard but not listen.

    If you want to be heard but not listen then the internet is perfect for you. If you want to have conversation and do both... well... good luck.

    Find strength in the fact that there are people out there that want to have conversation. We DO exist, but unfortunately you have to walk a mile to reach your destination. You have to go to the other side of the tracks to get a different perspective. The internet just makes that a difficult task because there are no police keeping it safe as you move through the neighborhoods...
    • AmandaYVR

      Thanks for your comment. I enjoyed reading it. A fresh face and a new angle, always appreciated.

      It seems to me that this discussion, my mytake I started, could easily veer off into 'what to do about trolls', but I hope it stays on track and focused a bit more on 'how we can communicate with each other, the reasonable ones, when we disagree', something like that.

      Sadly, this morning, I woke up to the person I referenced in this, near the beginning, the pm guy, he sent me a brief but very nice and heartfelt apology for our exchange yesterday, citing lack of sleep as one of the main culprits (and anger issues from PTSD, which I found out about last night through our exploration). He feels "really really bad" about it. Then he sent me the question, which he had originally messaged me about - he finished it - and then, strangely, said, "I'm blocking you now. Bye."
      He could be angry at me, which is alright, but I do think that it's more complicated than that. I imagine he's feels awkward, embarrassed, and just doesn't want to face seeing me 'around the water cooler', but with everything that he and I talked about for 2 1/4 hrs, and this mytake, which he read, etc. etc. etc., I am so disappointed that that was his final action, his final takeaway. It is not what I wanted. I told him, "I'm saying this stuff to you not out of anger but to be constructive, give you some feedback on how I saw this conversation, which has been quite unpleasant, not fun. I just wanted to help brainstorm with you, but you took the fun out of it." The reason I put so much work and time into messaging with some people, is not out of enjoying, but to see if there is a reason, or I can come to understand their actions better - not so much towards me, but out there, around on GAG. I fear this will only dig him deeper into a hole. If you are reading this [x], the olive branch is still extended.

      Anyway, alleng, nice to see you here, and I look forward to crossing paths again sometime.

  • SomeGuyCalledTom
    I speedscrolled through this but i think i got the gist.

    I consider myself a left leaning moderate, in both temperament and politics.

    Whats interesting is that the word "moderate" itself is not just a noun; its also a verb. As in, "to moderate a heated debate". And thats always been in my nature. Whenever two friends had a dispute with each other as a kid/teenager, I would listen to both sides but not take sides with one over the other.

    But people with extreme political or ideological positions dont like the idea someone moving between them and their "enemy".

    They want to categorise us as either "with them" or "against them". The uncertainty of "is he friend or foe?" makes them physically anxious in my opinion. So they resolve that anxiety by trying to shame us into taking a definite, hard position on the left or right. Then they will know how to "deal with us".

    Sometimes I play into this just out of curiosity. Far right wingers will become very "open" to discussion if I slip in a "SJW libtard cucks". Far left wingers will embrace me if i throw out a "sensitive alt right manbaby troll" in reference to their rivals. I just find it funny how the same person could instantly embrace or shun me just by the language i use to refer to people they disagree with.

    But I'll never throw myself fully into one camp or the other. I vote my conscience and my own pragmatism. I stay detached and observe, analyse, notice patterns. Its why i can criticise both left and right without "owing anything" to either side.

    Funnily enough, the one thing both sides seem to agree on is how much they hate moderates 😂 they're so dug into tribalism and ideological rhetoric, they actually think moderation is some kind of mental disease.
    • AmandaYVR

      Damn. You’re right. 💯

      Well I wasn’t planning to engage in essentially political arguments, but with everyone so quickly trying to profile each other it’s extremely difficult to remove that component from even some casual conversations. The guy I referenced in the pm did get irritated I mistakenly referred to him as a centrist.

      Anyway, thanks Tom. Well said, again. You are consistently an intelligent voice of reason.

    • Thanks, thats what I aim for 😊 and yeah tribalism in todays climate goes beyond politics for sure.

  • shimmeryns
    I can completely relate and I understand how you feel. The exact same thing happened to me before with a user on here, I decided to stop talking when he said "What makes you think I care about how you feel?" when I question about rude opinions he left on this site.

    Recently I saw a question pop up talking about him harrassing women on this site. Not surprised at all as I saw him doing the same thing here and there but I do wonder why he always got away.
    • AmandaYVR

      Yes, it's a reflex isn't it? ("What makes you think I care?")
      The really, really difficult part is trying to differentiate between trolls who are only in it to instigate a pointless fight, the unreasonably rude but are maybe having an 'off' day, and the justifiably angry from a past experience (misdirected, though it is) who do honestly deserve to be heard. I am walking a tightrope here, trying to find these answers. I am not a war with anyone. I think there are some great people here, like yourself, and I want some stability in this environment so the good don't get fed up, disillusioned, and leave (including myself.)

    • shimmeryns

      To be honest, I've been thinking about leaving... But then what if I want to come back and just kill time? I might regret deactivating later lol!

      A few users who care to explain about why they think a certain way, example "money is the most important thing in the world" or "women only date rich men" - I do appreciate their insight. When I understand their world view from their perspective, it does make a lot of sense. There are people out there who had gone through a lot than I could ever imagine. I'm always glad to learn from them and at the same time helps me to appreciate my own life, to be more thankful.

      But this one particular user, he could not give me a good reason why. I tried so hard to try to understand but the more I tried the more rude he became. To give an example, a question asked about what do you do if you saw a homeless person begging on the street. His response, waving a dollar note infront of the person and as the homeless about to take it, snatch it back and throw some insult (I can't remember the exact word he said). I don't know if he's trolling or if that is how he actually treat other people? He also answered a question where he seemingly proud to state his mom as the person he would kill if he could kill someone because she is too overprotective. Hmmm... Trolling or not, I really can't tell, sigh.

    • AmandaYVR

      You're a good woman.
      I feel your frustration.
      Don't leave. ? No, do what you have to do, I guess. But man, I wish you'd stay. We need balance in the force, ha. It's a jungle out there.

    • Show All
  • LightEnd
    Wow that was loooong and I read the whole thing. Thank you for the compliment. I really agree with you this is an awesome forum. Its helped me learn things about myself that I didn't know and writing about things that affect me and others is very rewarding for me. Even if nobody listens or agrees, it feels good to write it. Cheers
    • AmandaYVR

      Yeah, sorry. Brevity is a weakness of mine. I really try.
      Cheers to you as well. You're one of the good ones out there.

    • LightEnd

      I tend to be quite wordy myself, and thank you.

  • bella4eva
    Way too long but did get half way through & in many ways I agree with you. I try to ignore the obvious trolls, but some of the things you read here does make you question life, love, politics, humanity, etc I'm a positive person, generally so I'll keep going on. Hope you feel better getting some of this stuff off your chest 😀
    • AmandaYVR

      I appreciate the comment. And agreed, it was too long. I did my best, but I often fail at brevity.
      But I do think if your takeaway was that I was just venting, and in most cases it's best to ignore people online that give you grief, I think you've missed the point.
      I wasn't just ranting about some completely hopeless, antagonistic trolls, for which there is no point spending time engaging with. It's really about a much more complicated, nuanced situation with the moderate people, who may be angry or bitter or feel wronged in some ways, yet do make some good points, and have a modicum of respect and reasonableness in how they express these ideas.
      The purpose of me writing this is to encourage other users to not default to either attack, or a situation of complete disengagement, as this solves nothing in society. We make mistakes, all of us, myself included. What I am working on, a decision I have come to at this point in my life and after years on the internet and six months on GAG, is to look for kernels of authenticity, honesty, maybe pain, etc. but also context, and not dismiss people, just because of an initial difference of opinion. Ignoring, therefore, is not the answer. I'm not speaking of the extremists, on either end. I'm speaking of the ones who also care, but have differing experiences, and a different take, and we would all benefit from hearing these people out more.

    • kymberz

      @AmandaYVR - i think the point of your post - which you can't appreciate unless you read ALL OF IT and not SKIM kinda' got lost somewhere here? and are people allowed to comment on things they haven't even bothered to read all of? like what does that mean? and who does that? so sorry and not trying to be antagonistic but i think one of our biggest challenges facing the world today? people being able to grasp the concept that your opinion only matters if you have taken the time to bother and if this sounds superior? ya bother to read the post before you leave a comment! it just makes me cringe how many BAs are out there thinking they have a right to and opinion and breathing fresh air. can't be bothered to read? why are you commenting? geesh!

  • 0112358
    I found all the political and cultural stuff here was becoming really toxic - like more toxic than other social media type sites I use that have reputations for being toxic, so that's saying something.

    So I blocked a whole bunch of topics a few weeks ago.

    I've been happier.
    • AmandaYVR

      Really, that surprises me. Good to know.
      That's a great idea. I like that much more than blocking people per se.

  • Sensmind
    Great take - I think certain people will feel your every word because they go through a deeper experience - I think for me it is cycles, evolution - When I was younger, I could use words like intense, a debater, willing to wade in all the time to battle but as I get older the will to fight is waning and I have become strongly moderate, I have "Cycles" like say for me 2015/2016 I thought everything was brought to the surface, was it the US Presidential Election but this seemed to cement the chasm that had developed, insisting everyone take sides and fight their corner - I started off believing that essentially both sides want better for the world just in their own way but reasonable flies out the window within 2 seconds.
    So I probably came out of a 9 month/1 year period a bit mentally bruised and battered. I have had mild to somewhat serious issues with mental health for a long time from my teens to my early 40s. On my winding road to awareness or adaption, I think the number 1 thing I thought myself is to ask yourself "Is it really worth it?" like the old cliche the only person who gets hurt when you are banging your head against a wall is you.
    To talk about your take, I am and try to be a moderate online but I don't engage unless it is constructive. Honestly on GaG, my number one hope is to be helpful whether in giving advice or give someone a boost when they need it. In a way that is my help or boost that I am helping other people, it reminds me of the Friends episode of when Joey challenged Phoebe to do a selfless act but of course by proving she was doing a selfless act makes it an ego trip thus negating it as a selfless act so I freely admit I am not being a 100% selfless, there is a touch of an ego trip about being known as helpful and constructive.
  • kymberz
    oh wow. you are so very insightful. and meaningful. and full of a whole pile of other stuff that if i listed off - based on my readings of you from your other posts? i would have to leave a comment as long as this post. and i just have to say "hallefuckinlujah" in the loudest voice possible? please people don't hear any blasphemy but i am tired too! i believe in the world and everyone of you! and i am new here and i have been loving this site - some of the people here make me laugh, make me think, make me a better person! but some of what i witnessed tonight made my skin want to crawl off of my body and run away with my soul! i was crestfallen and couldn't believe that in a place that i just learned to feel safe was so ugly and unforgiving? but you know what? that was a just a post that set people off for some reason and i hope that the authour will not be affected cuz he's such a brave, lovely nice guy! oh and i'm a fighter like you and i will not give up my belief that this is a beautiful world and even those that we completely disagree with still have something to teach us?
    • kymberz

      and wouldn't it be so much better if we dropped the armour that we carry in order to shield us from everything so that we could grow and become better? this world is evolving and it broke my heart to see such vitriol and violence in a post that only asked for recommendations? but then i came here and you are like a voice of sanity! getting me back on path? because my goal in life is to just try to be the best that i can and if i have to get knocked in the head more than once? i've got big shoulders and carried a weapon when serving in the Peacekeeping Forces and it wasn't always easy. but it taught me to serve and protect just like you are doing. so lead the way and i will gladly follow. but i only ever follow those with big enough hearts! i am so blessed that you wrote all of this because i paid attention and i learned. so thank you for taking the time and see? my comment is almost as long as your post. probably gonna have to break this in 2 sections but can we all just try to band together and get us to the next stage of evolution? we have been fighting for too long! and i would never identify with a label or category or box! but i understand what you are saying and i think that you are a truly brave and beautiful soul! so don't you shrink - you stand and you be tall! and lead the way and some of us will follow with brave hearts and souls too! thank you for setting me back on track when i was feeling miserable! no way not gonna happen not on my watch! and not on yours!

  • COMMODOREII
    Damn!! I feel like i just sat through a TED podcast. 😅 I think you meant "sentient" beings but not important. I love the use of "hallefuckinlujah". But yeah the only thing i want to say is you always had my respect and i stand by what you say. In short:
    Standing Ovation
    Standing Ovation
    • AmandaYVR

      Thank you so much ElCommodoreii, DreamerofDreams. I appreciate it. I respect you too, very much.

    • kymberz

      @COMMODOREII - dude! i quoted "hellefuckinlujah" in my comment too! hang on - are you stealing from me or am i stealing from you? it makes no difference my friend! you have always been so sweet! and your comment rocks! and yes @AmandaYVR deserves a standing ovation! so good call there! i always love your comments on posts! they are always well-thought out and maybe you ain't right all the time there DreamerofDreams! but i totally respect and admire you!

    • @kymberz why thank you. I think? 😕

  • wankiam
    i must admit i haven't read all that but i have two points i would like to make based on what i did read... one moderators do not moderate private conversations in dm and two there's plenty of women here use that exact same language.
    anyway your message about how the site should be used is correct and clearly covered in the guidelines but if you tried being a moderator just for a day you would see we are hobbled by those above us plus there is an element of ''free speech'' as frustrating as that can be. you have a choice... challenge opinions you think are wrong or dont feed the trolls but you can only decide which path to take once you establish what is driving the user which isn't always the easiest of things to do.
    basically i couldnt agree more with what you said but we aren't here to act as thought police... we are too busy removing dick pics and spammers
    • kymberz

      yikes! is that what moderators do? i was a moderator on the American preppers network and Canadian preppers network and our job was to moderate as defined by the definition!

    • wankiam

      @kymberz and was that a site for kids as young as 13 but also used by paedos?

    • wankiam

      someone doesn't understand mods here are just fellow site subscribers like anyone else... comparing us to a paid role in a countries intelligence agency is ridiculous but since i was just removing yet another dick pic from the site i would appreciate it kymberz if you keep your attitude problem to yourself

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  • lightbulb27
    Amanda, I think you are too nice sometimes! Trying to not ruffle feathers. I think I am moderate, that is I can listen to both sides and argue both to an extent, but I do pick a position somewhere. It is a mess of emotion... and that is what I think will help to understand.

    This is how I understand what is going on... emotions... are what is in control, not logic. People argue with logic, but the underlying emotion controls... that is our sub conscious mind. Whatever is in there, is an 800lb gorilla... and no logic is going to defeat it. Somehow, we've become emotionally detatched from others and divided, and that is a question for social science... frankly... they were probabily involved in the division.

    What is it you are really trying to achieve... and is it realistic? I recall this scene in a WWII film at 1:55. It reminds me of you... trying to be a rational minded, clear thinking saint in between a bunch of polarized people fighting it out. It's not an easy role.https://www.youtube.com/embed/T0nqF2slRBsThey have to choose to stop and play nice or fight to the death.

    Prius... haha... I never heard that one. Yea, I drove a prius recently, that is something americans are not used to... absolutely no power. The rest of the world runs on 3 cylinders and we have 6. were filthy rich, or think we are because we have a printing press. These are the "good times" me lady, just wait til the debt bubble pops... if it ever does.

    all is fine in oz, pay no attention to the "man" behind the curtain. And just love people where they are at and try to empathize. they have a reason they are so screwed up. If we only knew how many people were in pain, hurting, on meds. We don't knkow people reality, so just accept for what it is and don't take on their stuff because you don't own it.
  • Czaxi
    After reading your summary of your different views and your problems you have on different subjects, I believe that many points of disagreement people have in the 21st century is an "us vs them" mentality that people don't like to admit they have but absolutely do. E. g "feminists are terrible!" And "anyone on 4chan is a racist asshole!" And the like. Of course people are always gonna have their differences in opinions, but time and time again when I find myself talking to people from different generations I continuously see similar patterns. When I talk to someone from my generation (gen z) it's often that them and I share similar moderate views about global and local politics. When I speak to millennials (like my older brother) they tend to be leaning closer to the extreme lefts. When I talk to gen x they are usually dead set in their ways that are either set far left it far right depending on upbringing and life experience. The baby boomers are often far right and up, and the WWII generation like my grandmother (rest her soul) seemed to be moderate lefts or rights. Of all these groups the real open-minded generation seems to be gen z. The newest in a line of generations and have all this sample space from in depth history classes, older siblings, grandparents, and even the world around them that is soon to be taken over by the gen xers and millennials before we've grown up. The millennials, generally, seem to try and be open minded and accepting the point of oppressing those in their own generation who have differing viewpoints from what they deem to be "politically correct" enough. I'd go into detail about all the other generations but I hope by now you're getting what I'm putting down. It's not so much that men are more arrogant, untrusting, and toxic than women (which seems to be one of the first points you bring up, despite saying that you don't dislike men) but to me it seems that you, like many others, are a victim of us vs them mentality. Claiming to be reasonable and caring about others opinions even though you end up blocking people you find to be too arrogant and unmoving in their opinions. Do you see where I'm coming from? Blocking people because they're a little rude to you and have such extreme/different viewpoints is just as immature as becoming radical in the first place. Also, this "female moderate majority" you were talking about I do not believe exists on this app. Many of the questions on this app are FROM girls wanting to know how to better themselves for the opposite gender so they can improve themselves and how they live. Anyways, I'm getting off topic. To rap everything up, the real issue with politics and arguments in the current age is that all the generations are victims of us vs them mentality programmed into them by a society with a history of it. E. g WWI, WWII, Vientam, Civil War, etc.. and the first generation who finally is starting to break the formula, generation z, is being targeted as immature because of it.
    • Czaxi

      Sorry for the impossibly long reply but, just reading all these claims by someone who (not even knowingly) is absolutely a victim of us vs them mentality rant about how theyre the exception and everyone is just wrong just eggs me on

    • AmandaYVR

      I'm not sure what to say here. Did I fully understand "everything [you're] putting down"? No, not really.

      I agree with you about Gen Z. While in one way, it is dangerous and futile to speak so abstractly that there appears to be no focus, in other ways anecdotal stories that are too specific tend to alienate, or bore, some readers/those in the conversation. So I am fairly purposeful in not singling out specific issues here, as some people will wander off, get triggered, by those specifics.

      I understand what you are saying about the varying generations and how there can seem to be some patterns within them. Not disagreeing with you there, it's just not my area of interest. I believe, very strongly that life has to have a balance of wide angle and telephoto, when looking at life, and especially overarching culture.
      Like, for instance, statistically speaking, I can confirm that Gen Z is said to be the most progressive, inclusive, etc. - meaning the most open to interracial dating, alternative sexualties, etc. That will upset some people, who are in a war against those things. I am not.

      And the only other comment I want to make right now is I really don't see how you can accuse me of being a victim, knowing or not, and exception of the 'us vs. them' seems quite ludicrous to me, since I bet you [whatever bet you want] that I am the only user on GAG who specifically created a question about the destructiveness of it. I am offended by that and I think you are wrong. (Did you catch the fact that I have unblocked everyone? How many people, as well, can you say that about on GAG right now?)

    • Czaxi

      From my experience in real life, dealing with people from generation x like yourself (parents, teachers, mentors and the like), that while maybe victim isn't the right word, that many people are affected by us vs them mentality in one way or another. And while it is definitely a step in the right direction that you unblocked all but one of your blocked users, ask yourself why you blocked them in the first place? If I can read your mind (which I cant) I'd say you're thinking that *they* were wrong and that *they* were rude and mean in an unjustifiable way to me. Which is a very Us vs Them way of thinking. "Us" being you, and "Them" being the people you're accusing of being so unbelievably disrespectful that you need to cut all connection with them instead of just moving on with your day. Many gen z members I know just don't at all have a block list unless they were personally threatened and/or attacked be it physically in real life or with derogatory words that are, determined by society, to be 100% unacceptable. (Be it things like the N word and the like). And again, let me restate, that unblocking them all (however many) is definitely a step to overthrowing an us vs them mentality put unto you by the society you grew up in.

  • HOAAH
    I think if you can get over a conflict and learn to tolerate someone, that's love.
    On the other hand if they offend you so much, you block them than there was no love.
    Some guy on here blocked me because of my icon.
    Also, i thing gag is for moral and emotional support but some use it to deny people's feelings and opinions. Which is sad. Why can't we all be loving to each other? I'm thinking it was the way we were raised.
  • Jjpayne
    Very thorough and detailed. All great stuff!! I really do hope we can all learn to communicate better. We as a society need to learn how to do that
    • AmandaYVR

      Thanks Jj.
      If only everyone was like you.

  • blutwolfe
    Not all of are like that, however there is a number of guys like that on here so I understand that, not to mention the real world. I have the memory of a goldfish sorry to say I can't remember everything you said.

    Just keep in mind a lot of these guys aren't typical guys you'd meet in the real world, don't let them get under your skin too much.
  • winterfox10
    hot diggity that was a novel! Yeah, people generally don't understand the correct ways to express and challenge other peoples' view points without offending them. The problem starts in schools, where we don't educate children on how to think critically.
  • roland77
    My emotions are augumented... (I listen to Deus Ex - Human Revolution Soundtrack), so here is my unsorted list of words I have in mind:

    - "Company's name I work for" (don't want to spoil it)
    - Factorio (played it a lot)
    - Daedalus/Helios (I like him a lot!)
    - MGTOW / feminazi (I don't agree with any of them)
    - "Daughter's name" (not spoiling it)
    - JSF/EJB/JPA (I like those 3 together a lot)
    - Cunnilingus (high sex-drive)

    And maybe more. Sorry, you really wrote her to much. :-/
    • AmandaYVR

      I may have wrote too much but you wrote too little. I don't know what you're trying to say here.

  • soleil2666
    You are using plural which implies infidelity. How much more insulting can you get?
    • soleil2666

      We are not a pool of sperm, security and money donors for you to avail of liberally - each and every one of us is a PERSON, an individual, that gets jealous, offended, doubts, etc.
      If men started viewing women as ovens for children to freely avail themselves of, you'd go up in arms threatening full annihilation of the species.

    • AmandaYVR

      Respectfully, wtf are you talking about? How does that in any way relate to what I wrote?

    • soleil2666

      It simply comes across that you view the world as full of these 'men' you demand are made interchangeable for you - and with no anger about it. If you wanted that, we'd all have to be monks - so the good guys then end up geeks, and the bad guys get to rape you - and you can go hate yourself over that. That's why liberalism is abusive - that whole demand for free access to everyone essentially requests men be abusive if they want a woman - because otherwise she'll be forever busy plucking flower after flower (on the cock carousel). There isn't a state in between - as a man you can either go in by force or be a monk, when you generalise it. The one way out is to make it PERSONAL and treat every connection as what it is, and give it some priority - and stick to fidelity if respect is what you hope for/expect.

    • Show All
  • loveslongnails
    It's been a while since I've read a novella... thank you. :) Nice pic at the end too !
    Good take. Nicely done. Personally, I wouldn't have your stamina or patience to tolerate some of the things you do when in a discussion !!
  • honestGUY45
    I sincerely tried to get as much information as I could but after 2 or 3 pages, I lost interest and started speed scrolling to get to the end. Not your fault, mine. Sorry
  • hobbledehoy
    You called him rude. He doesn't care. ... Find someone worth talking to. Problem solved.
    • AmandaYVR

      Actually he did care. He is not a troll. He’s had a hard life and it’s affected him a lot. The conversation was awkward and difficult but eventually we came out on the other side and things are much better now.

    • Ahhhh okay. People are complicated. Good to hear things are better now

  • OpenNudist
    Just A Hint from the Male Perspective. I don't Necessarily Disagree With You. JUST that YOUR OPINIONS are SKEWED. DO NOT EVER LIE TO ME.
  • Plitty-Tank
    Totally agree. I don't know why the moderators don't act fast on certain serious issues.
  • LEADFOOTboi
    Hold dayum... You are against us
    • AmandaYVR

      That's not true.

    • It's very true... You write some post... So long that us men's can't... Help but get distracted before getting through... Half of it... You have unrealistic expectations... Of us

  • ahhang
    ☝️😦
  • mk200195
    Uh-oh 😶❤️
  • FatherJack
    Well put , good take.
  • standingUP
    The water cooler evaporated
    • AmandaYVR

      You stay away from my questions, I’ll stay away from yours.

  • SamirahD22
    Way too long. Just get to the main points
  • UnknownGagsUser
    Wow quite a long mytake
  • bulletbob555
    It was long I stopped 4 or 5 paragraphs early
    • I think people are really changing. So much of it is not for the best. People can't have but one opinion otherwise they are awful and the problem of everything. Just remember you both can't be right but you both can be wrong so there is definitely more than one opinion. I'm not disagreeing with you at all. I'm just trying to say things that won't get me attacked.
      I was just telling my son how it started off looking like the 60's before the election and even more so now. I lived through it and people tend to remember the people trying to change the world. I'm seeing the same thing happening now that what people were trying to change coming back

    • AmandaYVR

      I don't really understand your paragraph so I'll just leave that one.
      But come on, is there really any point commenting on something you haven't read? Might as well just pass it on by then. I understand. I am not offended.

      Regarding the length:

      I do quite often apologize for the length of my writing.
      Expressing oneself concisely can be important (depends on context.)
      The longer something is, the less people will read it.
      I am aware of all these things.

      However:
      Literacy rates are declining.
      High school graduation rates are declining.
      Tiny keyboards and character limitations are degrading language skills.
      Emoji 'pictures' now sub in for words. That's recessing back to cave man days, if you look at it.
      Writing extremely short answers leaves the door wide open for misinterpretations.
      Complex subjects cannot always be summarized in sound bytes.
      Groupthink and tribalism are arguably at all time highs.
      The gender war is very real, and in many feels I feel I am representing 55% of the population, and I do not want to be misconstrued and expand the already existing divide. Nuance, detail, examples supporting an idea are all, at times, vital in explaining one's thought process.

      So am I really sorry for writing sometimes long, detailed comments? Not really. In my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the detriments.

  • SecretGardenBlood65
    Good take
  • Gsm24diecast
    K...
  • ericpardon
    Way to long your right
    • AmandaYVR

      Maybe so; but 2 mistakes in 5 words? At least I made effort.

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