I came of age during the era of both the Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation movements. I think those of my generation who were a part of that moment in history have a different perspective than the current “cancel culture” generation. “Cancel culture” (CC) for those unfamiliar with the term, means intolerance of those who disagree with their opinion on an issue. Thus they silence someone by “canceling” them.
That bothers me tremendously. I grew up in a world where various perspectives on any situation were permitted and even encouraged to be voiced. But those of the CC generation won’t even listen. They are so super-sensitized to any and everything, that a college professor calling them by the wrong name devastates them.
I had an interesting discourse online with one of them. We were going back and forth regarding news stories from the past several weeks. Those stories involved a multitude of women who have been murdered by their boyfriends. One look at any of the boyfriends’ backgrounds and you had to wonder what these women were thinking to even date them. One of the women was a brilliant, young college student. Several others were mothers whose boyfriend was the baby’s father. One was a middle-aged woman. In each case, what all of them had in common, was the lack of common sense in their choice of the men they dated.
I must admit that I, too, had my silly moments as a young person. I fell into the trap of telling certain guys that they were “too nice.” At the same time, I never wanted, nor was attracted to, dating a “thug.” Like many in my generation, I grew up hearing that, “if you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.” I respected those words and took them to heart.
Getting back to the discourse, from my perspective I wanted accountability from the women for their role in dating men who were of questionable character. In my opinion, although those women may be victims of abuse, they were not innocent victims in the relationship. I felt the women were akin to that legal description of mutual combatants, or willing participants. The young lady disagreed and countered by accusing me of blaming the victim. In her mind, men were misogynists and dastardly deeds was the expected outcome. As the woman and I went back and forth, posting our opinions, she never directed any response to my post but rather kept to her opinion. That too is part of the cancel culture. I acknowledged what she wrote, but she could never acknowledged what I wrote.
We are too far into the 21st century to portray women as helpless creatures as if it were the 19th and early part of the 20th century. Accountability for actions not only has to be on the men, but also on the women. My position is not a popular one for certain generations, but it is a reality.
As old folks also said, it takes two to tangle!