Guten Morgen, y’all. Two more days before we jet off to Norway. I will probably bring my laptop with me, but I don’t know how much or how often I will blog. I expect to be busy, and I may not have the best Internet access. And anyway, it probably would be a good idea for me to take a break from blogging. Maybe it would improve my outlook on things.
Yesterday, I recorded a couple of new songs. I think they turned out pretty nicely. I mainly did them because I felt like it. Singing makes me forget my troubles and helps me express my creative side. It literally makes me feel physically better to sing, especially when what I’m doing turns out nicely. This week’s songs are pretty good, if I do say so myself.
I got a comment on one of the songs from someone I “know” from the Recovery from Mormonism messageboard. I have been actively avoiding that site since March, when we lost Arran and I had an unpleasant interaction with a couple of people on the board. Although it certainly wasn’t the first time that had ever happened on RfM, I was feeling a bit “fed up” with being disrespected by total strangers. That was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I decided to take a break from ex Mormons for awhile. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be back to RfM, since there are a few people on that site that I find insufferable and it’s hard to avoid seeing their posts. I did need the break, though, because I was finding RfM a toxic place to be at a time when I couldn’t handle the toxicity. Still, it was hard to stay away from that site at first, since I’d been lurking there for about twenty years. After a couple of weeks of concerted effort, I did fall out of the habit of wanting to visit RfM. I won’t say I completely forgot about the site, but I did find other places to go, and other things on which to focus my energies.
Anyway, I figured that since I got a comment from a prominent RfMer, someone must have mentioned me there. And, because I was feeling pretty strong yesterday, and because I’m about to go on vacation, I decided to take a peek. I noticed that someone did, indeed, link to one of my new songs on YouTube.
One person said they’d thought of me recently, which I found kind of surprising. I don’t think I was one of the more popular posters on RfM, especially recently. Mormonism means somewhat less to me now, even though Bill’s daughter is still a very active member of the church. I used to blame Mormonism a lot for Bill’s situation with his ex wife. I still think she misused the church in her parental alienation campaign, and some of the church’s policies facilitated her ability to do that. However, I no longer feel as angry at the Mormons, because ultimately, it was church members who helped Bill’s younger daughter get away from her abusive and manipulative mother.
On the other hand, although I no longer really care as much about the LDS church as I used to, I have noticed a lot of traffic on an old book review about an ex Mormon that I reposted here, on this blog. I had originally posted my review of Lynn Wilder’s book, Unveiling Grace, on Epinions.com. There was a time when I read and reviewed a whole lot of “ex Mormon lit”, and I had a huge list of book reviews with brief synopses and links to full reviews. When Epinions went defunct, so did many of those old reviews that I worked so hard to write. But I did manage to preserve some of them through the magic of reposts.
I reread that book review yesterday and thought it was pretty good. I guess the book’s author has launched a somewhat new Web site. She’s an evangelical Christian now, and thinks that people who are LDS are deceived. I disagree with her, but I respect her right to share her views, and I appreciated being given the chance to consider and express how I felt about her story. And lot of people do agree with her opinions, even if I don’t. That is certainly okay… especially in supposedly free thinking countries. Unfortunately, I don’t think the United States will be considered a free thinking place for much longer.
Which (finally) brings me to the title of today’s blog post…
I have never made it a secret that I don’t like the trendy “karen” moniker. I think it’s a very stupid and tacky thing to take someone’s first name and hijack it, turning it into an insult. And the “karen” insult now gets thrown around “willy nilly”, to describe anyone who has a complaint, whether or not it’s valid. You don’t like someone’s take on things? Just call ’em a “karen”. I think it’s a lazy, unfortunate trend that ultimately isn’t going to lead us to better places. Silencing people who speak up about issues, whether or not we agree with their viewpoints, is not productive. Moreover, it kind of goes against the spirit of freedom, doesn’t it? Aren’t we supposed to feel free to express ourselves?
Yes, I know that in a free society, a person is always allowed to react as they choose regarding someone else’s opinions, even to the point of name calling. I just think that it’s unproductive to issue a response that is intended to squelch freedom of thought and expression. Instead of having an honest examination and discussion, leading to considering whether or not the views have any merit, a lot of us simply call the person a “karen”, and call it a day.
I think we should be allowed to maturely examine and discuss all viewpoints, even the ones that are extremely unpopular or distasteful. Of course, people should do their best to consider the appropriateness of the time and place when they speak up. But sometimes, speaking out at an inappropriate time and setting is a person’s only opportunity to be heard.
This morning, I was in the Exploring Virginia Facebook group. Someone had shared photos of old coins he found while using a metal detector at a Civil War campsite. I own a few very old American coins from the 1800s myself. I inherited them from my dad. I don’t know where he got them, but he had them when I was a very young child. I was interested in the guy’s coins, since I had a few myself. Then I read the comments.
Quite a few people wrote that it’s illegal to take things from state and national parks. The guy hadn’t indicated that he got the coins from a park, so I have no idea where he actually found the coins (if it was on public or private land). The people who made the comments about the parks– maybe they were “party poopers”. But they were also labeled “karens” for speaking out about the laws regarding taking things found in parks. I don’t even think that was an appropriate use of the “karen” insult, as “karens” are supposedly middle-aged white women of means who act in an entitled way, and demand to “speak to the manager” over something considered trivial. There was nothing entitled or trivial about speaking up about laws regarding national parks. I guess if I were going to criticize, I’d say that the comments about “theft” from the parks were kind of negative, which was a pity in a group about the beauty of Virginia. But the people who made them weren’t being “karens”.
But then it went further south, when someone brought up Joe Biden. Below is a sample…
Another example of this “anti-karen” no complaining trend has to do with Christians. Over the past couple of days, Katie Joy on Without a Crystal Ball has posted two videos about reactions to the new Amazon docuseries, Shiny, Happy People. I get the sense that Jim Bob and company are terrified that more people within their repressive belief system are going to wake up to the truth about the IBLP and abandon the movement that keeps them in power and money. So, in response to the new docuseries, “pastors” within the IBLP movement– one of whom is Jim Bob’s son-in-law, Ben Seewald, are preaching about how it’s wrong to “gripe”, “complain”, or “whine” about problems in the church, or life itself. However… that message is one of “toxic positivity”, which is the idea that a person must be positive at all times, even when a situation doesn’t warrant it.
I dare say that being a child sexual abuse victim of one’s perverted brother is something to complain about! But these folks in the evangelical movement are saying that the abuse should be forgiven and forgotten and swept under the rug. As I have pointed out before, sweeping stuff under the rug will eventually make a mess that people will trip over.
Speaking up about being mistreated or abused is NOT being a “karen”. Being silent about abuse is not a sign of strength, and it isn’t helpful. These pastors in the IBLP are saying that good Christians turn the other cheek and maintain a “contented attitude”. But when doing that means submitting to being exploited and harmed, it’s simply WRONG, and it allows abusive predators to keep doing evil things to good and innocent people. It amazes me that, to these supposedly Christian people, Jill Dillard is “toxic” and “dangerous” for speaking up about being abused, but Josh Duggar deserves grace and forgiveness for doing the abusing!
Even people who follow Duggar Family News have criticized Jill for speaking out, claiming that what she and her husband, Derick, are doing is just a “money grab”. Well, first off– what the fuck is wrong with that? Jill and her siblings were exploited for YEARS by her avaricious father, who didn’t even deign to pay them for their work! People need to make money to live! Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar did NOT prepare their children to be able to have thriving and fulfilling careers. They were trained to be Jim Bob’s SLAVES! Most of Jill’s siblings are still practically enslaved by Jim Bob.
I have absolutely NO ISSUE with Jill making money off of her story. She totally deserves whatever windfall comes her way, especially since she and Derick had to live on food stamps for awhile, thanks to her greedy father. I don’t understand people in the USA– especially those who are Republicans and all about making money– calling what Jill is doing a disgraceful “money grab”. Isn’t that kind of the way of Republicans? Especially the Christians!
Anyway… I’ve ranted for awhile now, so I guess it’s time to close this post. I just wanted to point out that sometimes it should be perfectly okay to complain. No one should fear being called a “karen” for speaking up about legitimate issues, even if speaking up does spoil someone else’s fun. That doesn’t make someone a “karen”. But “karen” is a stupid insult, in any case, and it needed to go out of style yesterday. People should be allowed to complain if they feel so inclined to do so. And then we can all determine for ourselves if we believe their complaint has any merit. We can’t make any progress if everyone acts like things are always “hunky dory”, when they’re clearly NOT!
If you want to see someone who epitomizes the stereotypical “karen”, you can watch the below video… I wouldn’t call her a “karen” myself, because I hate that term. But she sure is acting like an entitled bitch.
Have a good day, y’all.