This entry is going to be very long, very personal, and filled with a ton of pics. Strap in.
After the 2016 election, I “came out” as “slightly right-wing.” I know. Gasp! Horrors!! A female conservative. Boo! Hiss!!
I ended up writing a post on my Facebook page that basically said (paraphrasing): “I’m a proud American, and I’d have supported whoever was elected. And while I don’t agree with everything President Trump says and does, I’m cautiously optimistic that he’ll do a good job.”
Not too unreasonable, right? Or, so I thought. I lost twenty “friends” immediately after posting that. Go figure.
Worse were the private messages (DMs) I received after posting that statement. One, in particular, said I was a “Nazi racist homophobe.” Ouch.
First of all, calling me a “Nazi”… I’m a quarter German, and I have relatives who actively fought AGAINST the Nazis in World War II. Saying that is an insult to me and what my family fought for. As for “racist,” that’s just balderdash. I have friends of all colors — always have, always will. And “homophobe?” My two best friends are gay! Not to mention, Jesus said to “love everyone.” Jesus didn’t say “love everyone…except the gays.” If He did, I doubt He’d be such a beloved person so long after His death. In my opinion, His message of love and acceptance was pretty clear, and included all of us.
However, admitting that I lean even slightly to the Right brought out a lot of skepticism from the people I thought I knew. I got messages like “I thought you were a good person: what happened?” Um…nothing. I’ve been on the conservative side pretty much my entire life. I just wasn’t open about it until recently. If you liked me before, you should like me now. Literally nothing has changed.
But, from there on out, nearly everything I said was met with private messages deriding me for my opinions.
“Some people are just angry and unreasonable.” was met with “You’re a cunt and you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Some feminists seem to have forgotten what feminism is actually supposed to stand for.” was met with “You’re a disgrace to women.”
“I’m a Christian.” was met with “Then you must hate gays.”
“I’ve experienced racism.” was met with “That’s impossible. You’re white.”
And even super innocent, silly, statements like “Queen Latifah is a beautiful woman” were met with comments like “You’re a closet gay.” (Huh?).
It seemed like everything I said was either ignored or met with derision. Many people who had been chatty before were no longer so chatty. And it wasn’t just me; other “right-wing” friends were feeling the scorn as well. Even my leftie friends were starting to fight amongst each other, seeming to forget that we’d all gotten along previously.
It was depressing. It felt like everything was falling apart around me. I kept asking myself, “Why can’t we all just get along like we used to?” We weren’t all CLOSE friends, but, before, we’d all had just enough in common to be civil to one another. I wanted that back.
And then, recently, something changed…
I Got a Doll of Myself
On a bit of a whim, and as an odd way to keep me motivated to reach my fitness goals (which you can read about here), I bought a doll of myself. Or, rather, I bought a Barbie doll and customized her to look like I do. (My mom painted her eyes. Thanks, Mom!).
I posted some pics of my doll on my Facebook page and Instagram, just doing silly things. She was casting some spells, dancing with my Monster High dolls, vaping, and generally having a good time.
But something happened. People were connecting with Little Me (my doll self). Suddenly I was getting messages about how “cute” Little Me was, and how clever I was for creating her. Hmmm…
Little Me was making strides communicating with people where I’d failed time and again in the past months.
This “activated my almonds,” as my roommate likes to say. I started thinking that maybe, through my doll self, I could FINALLY say all the things I’d been trying to say and not receive hate for it.
I hopped on Amazon and started buying up doll friends for Little Me, creating my own little universe in the vein of Twisted ToyFare Theatre.
I was going to talk to people: Through DOLLS.
I got a diverse cast of characters: Six on the Right and six on the Left. My “nemesis” was Samantha Jane Weinersmith (yes, her initials are “SJW” — I’m not subtle).
From there, I started posing my dolls and posting pictures of them in various situations. Each included a caption explaining my thoughts on what was going on in each picture. And, miraculously, I was finally getting through to people. It was all stuff I’d said before; however, since it was said with silly doll pics, I was suddenly understood.
It felt wonderful. What a relief!
The Pictures and What was Said
For this next section, I’m just going to copy/paste the pictures and their captions for you to inspect and evaluate for yourself. You’ll get to know me, through dolls, just as my friends/followers did.
I probably shouldn’t even bother explaining this, but enough people asked that I figured I might as well… I’m straight. Admiring women aesthetically, or hugging female friends (even if they’re DOLLS), doesn’t make me a lesbian. To my understanding, to be gay, that admiration would need to be accompanied by sexual desire. I don’t feel that way. I admire women (and men) as God’s works of art. To think someone is gay just because they said someone of their same sex is “beautiful” is silly! Would a man who admires the statue of David suddenly catch “the gay” because ol’ Dave has his wang hangin’ out? Or what about a guy who thinks Keanu Reeves looked super cool as John Wick – is HE suddenly gay now? What about the ladies I know who admire their lovely mothers? Lesbians and incest?! No. Of course not lol. Not EVERYTHING in life is sexual. It’s fine if you ARE gay, of course, but it’s also perfectly normal to be straight and be comfortable enough with who you are to admire people aesthetically 🙂 If you’re a lady, you should be allowed to tell your female friends they look beautiful. And men should be able to tell a fellow dude “Hey, Man: you look nice today!” Not every compliment has to have the subtext of “…and I’m only saying that because I want to bang you.”
This is our liberal friend, Kate. We don’t agree on everything, but she’s pretty nice and isn’t super pushy about her beliefs. She writes Pinkie Pie fan fiction in her spare time.
Gave Kate a gift. I don’t understand the fandom personally, but I will always support my friends’ interests (so long as they’re not harmful). You don’t have to “get” everything your friends do in order to accept and love them.
My friend Jenny. She’s very short. She’s a HAPPY lesbian (yes, those exist) and she’s very proud of her brother (Marine) and her dad (police). Love her freckles!
My cutie boyfriend, Night. I named him after the main boyfriend in the manga series Absolute Boyfriend.
My “nemesis”: Sam Jane Weinersmith. She thinks everything I say and do is “problematic.”
This poor beta male with an unhealthy level of “white guilt” is Justin. He’s in love with Sam, but she treats him like dirt. But he will continue to be her white knight forever.
Sam walked up and called me a racist out of nowhere. She seemed grumpy, so I offered her a hug. Then she screamed that I was a rapist and ran away. Dana was very baffled by the entire exchange.
Sam thought she could convince Kate (half Cuban with pink hair) and Jenny (lesbian) to be as angry about life as she is. The conversation ended with Sam screaming at them that they have “internalized misogyny.” Go figure.
Even a self-described “feminist” like Justin gets shot down for “mansplaining” when he tries talking to Sam. Poor chump.
This is my friend, Young. She’s half-Korean and very tall. Young is a sensible feminist (not a mean, scary one) and loves video games.
Talking to my friends about feminism. I actually wrote my Senior Essay in high school on why modern feminism sucks. And, up until recently, I still held those beliefs as all the “feminists” I knew were angry and unreasonable man haters. Now, I know some GOOD feminists who actually believe in equality – which means acknowledging that men are human beings just like we are and they often suffer in similar ways (abuse, rape, etc.). It also means acknowledging that we, as American women, have got it REALLY good, and that our “sisters” in other countries aren’t so lucky. TRUE feminism isn’t about hating men and relishing in having an anger-driven victim complex: it’s about genuinely caring for the rights of ALL human beings and making sure we’re ALL treated fairly. I still think many so-called “feminists” need to learn that (and that’s why the word has become tainted), but I feel fortunate to have met some true women advocates who are decent human beings 🙂
My friends and I were having a peaceful discussion about the latest New York Times’ best seller, when this maniac in a black bandanna started wreaking havoc! Thank goodness she lost her bike lock on the way over or there might have been real trouble! But seriously: It’s just a BOOK, Lady!! Jeez.
I was around three when I first saw a black person. I exclaimed “WOW! You’re REALLY tan!” and the man ROARED with laughter (which is what cemented it in my mind as one of my earliest memories). And, to be honest, I still can’t quite wrap my head around “race.” I was brought up being told that “There’s only ONE race: the human race. We just happen to come in all different colors.” That three-year-old who thought people were just varying degrees of “tan” never left me – I STILL think that way! Though, as I’ve gotten older, I try to acknowledge that those different shades also come with cultural traits that are important to them, and try to respect everyone’s heritages and unique customs. But, honestly, I don’t understand racists at ALL. I’ve experienced racism personally, as many people I’ve met have disliked me immediately simply based on my lack of melanin. It hurts. And I know many of my friends (of all shades) have had similar experiences, and that sucks. And, hey, my parents weren’t perfect, but I think this is one area where they got it absolutely right – and I wish everyone could have been raised the way I was when it comes to “race.” There are certainly reasons for humans not to get along, but skin tone isn’t one of them.
This is my friend Junko. She’s a VERY devout Christian and she plays the violin at her church. She loves painting and appreciates all types of art. If you’re having a bad day or financial struggles, she recommends reading Psalm 23.
This is Maria: Proud Mexican, prouder AMERICAN! She’s a legal immigrant and a total foodie. She’s going to own her own restaurant someday 🙂
This tall beauty is Nikki. She’s a vegetarian and Animal Rights Activist. She used to be pretty hardcore (splashing people with fake blood and trying to set lab animals free), but she’s mellowed out a bit. Now she volunteers at an animal shelter and advocates for “no kill” policies. And, no; you can’t touch her hair – don’t ask.
This Latinx is Rosa, Sam’s best (only?) friend. Unlike sweet Jenny, Rosa is a very ANGRY lesbian who blames the patriarchy for everything. If you aren’t on her side, you’re a racist homophobe. She and Sam embody that old saying: “Misery loves company.”
Top pic: The Right versus the Left.
Bottom pic: Friends versus people with no sense of humor who scare me a little.
My point: You don’t have to agree on EVERYTHING to be friends with someone – you just have to be reasonable human beings with good hearts. You can’t please everyone, but MOST of us can find common ground if we try. Be kind to each other – you’re more alike than you might think!
Can’t We All Just Get Along…?
Turns out, posting pictures of dolls talking about “sensitive” topics is not only a great way to get a conversation rolling, it’s also a great way to cull your “friends” list.
Yes, I lost some more “friends” and followers after posting those pictures. But I’m fine with that. You can’t please everyone.
While I believe that MOST of us can find common ground and get along, there will always be haters who have no sense of humor and can’t be reasoned with.
My goal was never to be friends with everyone. That’s impossible. And trying will only lead to you becoming wishy-washy and ultimately compromising on the beliefs you hold dear. I’m not about to do that.
My goal was to get people talking, and to encourage everyone to be civil to each other despite our differences. My goal was to remind a group of people who had formerly gotten along that they could STILL get along.
For the most part, I think I succeeded.
At the very least, I have a ton of new dolls for my collection.
Until next time,
Update (8/13/17): Why I stopped calling myself a “conservative”: http://laurentharp.net/slightly-right-maybe-wrong/