This past week I did something I said I was done with- I got into a “discussion” online about something political- specifically the question of DC statehood.
I freely admit this isn’t a topic I know a lot about and I am genuinely interested in learning more about it. I saw a post on it by a long time friend and asked a couple questions. Not only were my questions NOT answered by my friend or anyone else, but I was insulted by several of this person’s friends for asking questions in the first place. There were also comments questioning my intelligence for not having my mind already made up. I will admit I did get a little snarky by the end of the exchange myself, and I’m not proud of that. But the entire thing really made me sad.
I should add that I was the only woman in this thread. My friend and all his friends who piled on are men. I would like to think that is not why I was treated this way, but unfortunately I don’t think I can say that with any degree of certainty.
I know that politics were involved- apparently the very fact that I am asking questions about DC statehood in the first place means I am a pinko commie liberal. Which is laughable, but apparently a belief deeply held by this group of people.
It’s also worth noting everyone involved is in their 40s or older. I wasn’t dealing with some dumb kids who are too young to know better.
But why did this happen at all? Why did my asking a question lead to a laundry list of assumptions about me personally and the insults that followed? I wish I knew. I blame the pandemic for much of it, but this tribal “us vs. them” mentality was around before COVID hit and I fear will be around long after it ends.
I don’t have a good answer other than that. I wish I did. If you have any thoughts I’d love to hear them!