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I Don’t Get to Be Me

This is just a rambling rant. Try not to read too much into it. If I actually have a problem with you personally, I’ve already told you. If not? I don’t. See? That’s easy.

The worst thing about WordPress is that I can no longer be ‘me’ in public.

I don’t get to talk about how I feel about stupid code, or bad behavior, or really anything at all anymore without it becoming a “Big Deal.” Now some of you might say “Well just don’t talk about those things online, Mika.” but that’s the thing. YOU get to rant and rave and fangirl and a billion other things about stuff you like or hate on Twitter and Facebook. I have to grit my teeth and shut the fuck up because my opinion carries weight.

All the damn time.

Do you have any idea how frustrating it is? I have lost the right to speak my mind, because apparently everything I say reflects on either women, Jews, lesbians, CSI, or WordPress or anything else I happen to be a part of. Like saying I support the Cleveland Indians means I’m racist… I’ll get back to that.

Look, I know this gets me in a mood. I was already seriously frustrated when I wrote this initially back in August, and then sat on because of exactly the problems I’m outlining here. But for fucks sake, why is it my fault that people are so insecure they want to take every little thing I say as is I’m wearing a pope hat sitting in my pope chair?

So listen up.

Everyone, your idols and your peers, have opinions that don’t always mesh with yours. Sometimes they have foul language. Sometimes they have thoughts that aren’t perfectly fully formed or worded, like this blog post. Sometimes they just want to be able to say something stupid, or without having to put in a million qualifiers so someone else doesn’t get all butt hurt that I think using your own jquery is daft. (This was not actually what set me off in August, it was unrelated to WordPress entirely, but it’s an example.)

Oh wait, let me make that sound better: If you are an experienced plugin/theme developer who is using your own jquery instead of the one provided by WordPress, you are being shortsighted and creating a high probability of complications down the road.

There. Was that better? Probably not. Someone out there is still probably pissed at me for saying that.

I don’t care. No… I do care, actually, and that’s the problem. If I didn’t care, I could “whatever” this and move on. The fact that I do care is what makes this so goddamn annoying to me.

This is nothing new. I’ve always resented having to “represent” all the time. And I’m not kidding when I say “all the time” either. I don’t get downtime to be me and express a dissenting opinion on things without being judged by everyone. I was told, not all that long ago, that liking Blazing Saddles made me a racist because the movie made fun of black people. I postulated that maybe my friend needed to re-watch that movie, as one of the many points was to point out exactly how fucked up racism was, and pretty much the movie makes fun of just about everyone. I wondered if not liking Schindler’s List makes me antisemitic or pro-nazi by that extension.

My friend complained I was taking her argument too far, and I agreed. That was, I said at the time, the point. One can argue anything to an illogical extreme, as proven by 90% of the idiots blabbing on TV about how some other group is totally wrong. Liking or disliking one thing isn’t blanket approval of all things. And I do get it. I was seriously conflicted about Enders Game before the movie came out because of the logical extreme. But that’s why I have to remain aware that while everything is connected, I cannot, and you cannot, be expected to blindly follow everything just because. Yes, I like Blazing Saddles, but it’s a movie I quote amongst friends with whom I’d play Cards Against Humanity. I would not quote it publicly in my outloud voice.

It’s tiring. And it’s really annoying that many of the same people who tell me “You know, you represent XYZ now, so tone it down” are the same people who don’t tone it down themselves. Look, I may represent things to your mind, but I’m the same person I was five years ago. I swear, I’m inappropriate at times because I put more weight to getting the conversation started than getting hung up on the perfect way to phrase something so no one is offended. And yes, that causes me problems now and then. It always has, and I spend about as much time clearing up those confusing moments as I do when I chose to spend the time couching everything in padded words.

Which is better? I don’t know. But having to throttle and limit myself for the world is getting old.

How come I don’t get to just be me?