Are We Too Nice?
Are We Too Nice?
By Nicole Nutting
Yep, it’s in our blood—we “bleeding heart liberals” are famous for our caring attitude. We want life to be better for everyone and we’re not ashamed of that, although it earned us the nick-name “libtards” from conservatives who think we’re just dumb and weak!
Of course we aren’t dumb, but our stance might be considered wimpy by some. In 2016 we got our hats handed to us by opponents who had no qualms about lying, cheating, and fighting dirty. We played by the rules and lost—weakness, by their immoral standards.
The “Resistance” takes many forms, and we generally rely on the peaceable ones— we are doves, not hawks. Our gentle weapons are marching, boycotting, petitioning, maybe addres-sing our legislators at town hall meetings. There is another venue at our disposal though, and that is our personal interactions. Sometimes we can open other people’s minds in a one-on-one setting.
Two weeks ago I killed a car purchase transaction right in the middle, because the chauvinistic salesman could not stop being patronizing and demeaning. Women are not OBLIGATED to tolerate that. He learned a lesson, but it cost him his commission.
I was telling that story to a nice older Black gentleman at my local store, and had to explain that the car salesman’s remarks were NOT compliments—they were phrased to belittle females and bolster male “superiority”. He didn’t get it, so I asked if he’d never been insulted. Maybe for the color of his skin?? Well, of course he had, but on those occasions he had just let it go.
Well, why would we allow this?! The concept of “turning the other cheek” is a lofty principle but, in practice, the offenders don’t learn anything—it just gives them permission to continue their bad behavior. Unless we’re about to get beat up or shot, we won’t make progress by simply letting it go. Rewarding hatefulness by not calling it out is the very reason it persists.
Are we afraid we’ll be considered bad-mannered by someone who actually IS bad-mannered? That really is TOO nice!