Original depiction of fictional anthropomorphic rabbit from the first chapter of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I would like to thank Amanda Marcotte for inspiring this post with her wonderful article about misogynists in the Atheist community. More importantly I want to thank her for her handling of people like that. I often find myself drawn into pointless arguments with people who have dug in their heels on an issue and refuse to do anything but hurl invective at me and build up walls of rage and delusion around themselves to “defend” their positions. I do believe most people are not like this, and can be reached with honest, humble dialogue, but some refuse to give an inch. Some are so full of themselves that they can never be convinced they are wrong, and before you know it, you find yourself butting your head against a wall.
You can find them in almost any debate you enter. They have no interest in learning from the other people writing or speaking, they only want to shout loud enough. They are desperate need of attention, or of affirmation of their victimhood at the hands of those that disagree with them. They can be gun rights advocates who believe any rational discussion of gun control is an attack on their freedom. They can be gun control supporters who fetishize fire-arms in exactly the same way as gun owners, just coming to the opposite conclusion. They can be people who hate the President no matter what he does. They can be people who love him, despite the same. Their logic, if there is any, is almost always weak and when you expose that, they lash out, often viciously.
It would be amusing if dealing with them was not so frustrating. You end up tied in knots, sometimes literally nauseous. You want to believe you can get through to them, but the verbal acrobatics they engage in to sustain their willful ignorance leaves you dizzy. Ultimately you find yourself tense and in a foul mood. Exposing yourself to these kind of people is toxic, and not engaging in very good self-care. I hate to say it, but sometimes it is better just to walk away.
I am not suggesting, and I am pretty sure Amanda is not either, living in an echo chamber. That is how you end up like these people. There are some folks, however, who add nothing to the dialogue, who actually enjoy the fact that they can wind you up with their foolishness. Frankly most of them are pathetic little misanthropes that do not have the wit to realize that even on their side of a debate they are in the minority. Most people ignorant of the good of feminism aren’t anti-feminist, they are just people who have not had a chance to be shown what feminism means. Most people who don’t know climate change is real are not climate deniers, but folks who have not had the facts presented to them. That small minority that does live in a bunker of rage and denial, however, love to tear others down to make themselves feel strong. Really, they are not worth the time.
It is not worth my time, or yours, to go down that rabbit hole just to be turned all over the place by folks making nonsensical statements. They are in love with hating themselves and others, and with getting a reaction out of us. There are too many people out there willing to be convinced, given you have the patience to cut through the conditioning, to waste your time on the haters. I think I’m going to start shattering all those looking glasses, pruning my Facebook friends list and such, so I don’t have to walk in Wonderland any more.