Do you feel like you can 'safely' chime in on political discussions on The Bee?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: Do you feel like you can 'safely' chime into political discussions on The Bee?
    Yes. : (63 votes)
    34 %
    No. : (73 votes)
    40 %
    Neutral. I don't participate in any of the political threads. : (48 votes)
    26 %
  • Post # 63
    Member
    1587 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2017

    Nope, that’s why I rarely comment on political posts.

    I’d be fine if someone wants to have a civil conversation where I listen to their side of things, give my opinion (without criticizing it) of their side, share my side and let them give their opinion/opposition. 

    It’s the people who comment and say “Well if you’re a republican and/or voted for Trump, you’re a racist bigot and don’t care about anyone in this country”. Reflecting negative views of a candidate is not a proper response in a political debate. This would be equal to me reflecting my negative opinions of Hilary on every liberal woman on this site. “If you are a liberal and/or voted for Hilary, you’re a liar and should be in prison”. (which I am not saying about any of yall, just using this statement as a comparison)

    Me trying to argue my political opinions on this site would be like a liberal trying to argue their political opinions on a hunting and fishing forum. While there may be a few liberals, it would probably be a majority of conservatives, and nobody wants to defend their position knowing that 90% of their audience disagrees and there’s 0% chance that you or they will change their minds, regardless of what is said. 

    ETA: I don’t in any way feel ‘unsafe’ commenting on posts here. I just feel it’s a waste of time and pointless when I know nobody is going to change their opinions. Just thought I would clarify that since others are being called out for similar comments.. 

    Post # 64
    Member
    1754 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I haven’t read any of the comments, but my answer is no. This is a liberal leaning website and some bees will say they want to hear both sides, but it’s not to get another perspective, it’s to explain how the person with the different opinion is wrong and how their opinion is right.

    Post # 65
    Member
    240 posts
    Helper bee

    No. I did once (forget the original topic, but I think you posted it?) and several people responded to my posts by claiming I’m heartless, want kids to die, etc. Now I don’t even click into them. I honestly wish Weddingbee didn’t allow political posts because it seems antithetical to the purpose of this site.

    As for “you shouldn’t feel unsafe if you can back up your argument” – what I see on the Bee, and elsewhere, is a fundamental difference in values. I am a libertarian-leaning conservative and I have different core philosophical beliefs on the role of government than most Bees do. In real life I find that one can often (though not always) have at least a respectful discussion without immediately resorting to name calling and personal attacks. I don’t find that to be the case on the Bee, particularly with three or four common posters. So I just don’t engage with it. I have very strong political opinions but I don’t find it enjoyable or worthwhile to get into a fight with internet strangers in a venue that doesn’t matter very much.

    Edit: it is really interesting to see how many Bees are chiming in on this post. It is a liberal-leaning website but it is intriguing how many of us are here, but just don’t want to enter the fray – but are told there’s no reason for us to feel unsafe. I wonder if it would be different if this weren’t a matter of political differences.

    Post # 66
    Member
    2221 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2018

    futuremrss17 :  Just a note…. I’m liberal and like to fish, and I have a ton of friends who are hardcore hunters and always vote Democrat.  We vote for progressive politicians because they are the ones who protect public land and healthy ecosystems.  Hunters / liberals are definitely not mutually exclusive.  Just saying 🙂

    Post # 67
    Member
    7814 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    collegebee :  I think there’s a difference between actually feeling “unsafe” in the context that the OP meant, and just feeling like it’s not worth your time to engage in political threads.

    I absolutely understand why many people would feel like it’s not worth their time. I don’t feel it’s worth my time to go on conservative-leaning websites and debate politics – it would just be an exercise in futility and frustration for me. Even on the bee, where my political opinions tend to be in the majority, it’s probably a waste of time, but I often get sucked in anyway.

    But unsafe? I’ve said this already but I really can’t get past the irony of conservatives (or conservative-leaning people) saying they feel unsafe expressing their opinion on here, when conservatives are constantly mocking liberals for their need of “space spaces” to discuss things. It’s really quite precious. 

    Again, not wanting to engage because it’s not worth your time? Completely understandable. But playing the victim because on this one random website, your views aren’t popular and people aren’t afraid to tell you so? Lame as hell.

    Post # 68
    Member
    1587 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2017

    KittyYogi :  Yep, that’s why I said a majority rather than all. I wanted to use an example that has a higher chance of being right winged, but still has a mix of left in there. All of my family and friends hunt and/or fish, yet I do have a few uncles and friends that vote democrat. 

    It’s just the best example I could think of quickly that would probably be more dominated of conservatives, without being a complete wash (like a pro-life or 2nd amendment forum or something of the sort would be). This is how I see the bee being – predominantly liberal, yet there are still several conservatives in the mix (with probably just as many that don’t lean either way). 

    Post # 69
    Member
    2052 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I don’t feel unsafe at all. I choose to visit the Bee every day, no one is forcing me to log in and post on the political threads! I used to get so, so into politics but the last 5-7 years I just haven’t. Its depressing to me on all sides. So, I lurk and occasionally comment but I’m much happier debating other topics rather than debating politics these days.

     

    Post # 70
    Member
    240 posts
    Helper bee

    tiffanybruiser :  I understood the OP’s definition of “feeling unsafe” to be hesitating to post one’s opinion for fear that you’ll be attacked or bullied for doing so. That’s my understanding of what it means to feel unsafe on the Internet in the context of discussion.

    Do I feel unsafe on the Bee in that regard? Yes. I have read (lots) and had directed at me (some) comments along the lines of, if you oppose single-payer healthcare or certain social programs, or if you want to subject recipients to some sort of conditions or standards, or if you are pro-gun, you therefore [are racist, are classist, want people or children to die, are heartless, etc.]. That is name-calling and I would say that is attacking someone, or bullying them. Saying someone is a heartless bitch isn’t a point of your argument. It’s a personal attack, plain and simple. Insofar as one can feel “safe” or “unsafe” expressing one’s opinion, I would say that if someone says to themselves “I have an opinion on this, but I don’t want to express it because I will be bullied” then yes, I think that person can justifiably say they feel unsafe.

    As for “safe spaces”. I recall hearing about several universities that offered counseling services after the election to students who were distraught by the outcome. I think that’s over the top and would neither have expected nor utilized such services had they been offered if Trump lost. I do see the point of support groups and small groups for students to feel “safe”, but I am cautious about the approach that some universities take to say “you can’t express an alternative viewpoint because it may make people feel unsafe”. That, I think, is the difference.

    As for me, I know that if I were to comment on a political post, I would likely be attacked/name called/whatever you want to call it by the time I was two or three posts in. I don’t wish to deal with that, so I therefore decide it isn’t worth my time.

    Post # 71
    Member
    2052 posts
    Buzzing bee

    bee123456789 :  I get choosey arguing religion, too. I grew up in the South, extremely Evangelical Christian household, fundamental Baptist upbringing at times and so while I am a total go to church only on Easter and Christmas only type of person– old habits die hard and I do ‘get” where a lot of the Christian Bees are coming from and feel like unless you’re in that culture, it’s hard to fully understand.

    Post # 72
    Member
    7814 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    collegebee : I still think you’re playing the victim with this attitude that it’s “unsafe” though. If I were to go over to a conservative leaning lifestyle website right now for example and write a comment about why gun control is a good idea, I would get attacked from all directions. If I then wrote a follow-up post complaining that I’m being bullied and this website isn’t a safe place for me to express my opinions, that would be nothing more than pointless, self-serving whining. It’s just like…own your shit. If you’re going to participate in a political thread, particularly one on a website where your views are in the minority, you need to have a thick skin. 

    I also feel like it’s disingenuous to imply that name-calling and bullying are the norm on weddingbee. I feel like what many people mean when they complain about “bullying” is more like “two or three people strongly disagreed with me and that made me feel bad.” That’s happened to me plenty of times on the bee in non-political threads where I’ve voiced an “unpopular opinion.” I’ve been called names on occasion and negative things have been implied about my personal ilfe and overall character. It’s not pleasant, but that’s what you get when you voice strong opinions on the internet! 

    As for the “safe space” thing – the mockery by conservatives of “liberal snowflakes” who need “safe spaces” has become commonplace. It’s not just limited to the one instance after the election when people needed counseling after Trump was elected. And for what it’s worth, for many minorities and immigrants living in america, Trump’s election was actually traumatizing because of the devastating consequences his proposed policies would have on their lives. And it turns out they were right to be traumatized in light of the immigration policies Trump began to pursue mere weeks after being inaugurated.

    Post # 73
    Member
    7814 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    fromatoz :  Agree with this. I am so conflicted about a lot of the religious threads because of my own hardcore Christian upbringing. While I consider myself secular/agnostic now, I often really emphathize with where the Christian bees are coming from, and I get annoyed when bees who clearly have NO idea what it’s like to grow up in a culture like that have nothing more than condecension and snark to offer.

    Post # 74
    Member
    1409 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2017

    fromatoz :  Yeah, same here. I think we mentioned before in a post we both were from Alabama so it’s definitely a different upbringing down here than a lot of posters are used to.  I don’t care if people are atheist, agnostic, whatever other religion and express their beliefs but I’ve seen some really harsh criticism of Christianity on here so it makes me wary to comment on anything religious unless it’s a Christian bee asking for advice. Honestly, Christianity as an organized religion DOES deserve a lot of that because the church has become very hypocritical but I don’t like generalized stereotyping of all Christians or when people act like we’re stupid for believing a certain way. I believe people’s religious beliefs should be respected not mocked. 

    I personally feel like I don’t really belong in any political sphere because I consider myself Evangelical Christian BUT my beliefs tend to lean more left these days and it’s because of my faith that I lean this way. Though most Christians down here are extremely conservative so I find myself at odds with most people around me. And on the flip side there aren’t too many Christian liberals that I personally know…. Jesus teaches love, compassion, so I feel like my political beliefs should reflect that.

    Post # 75
    Member
    627 posts
    Busy bee

    I am trying to avoid political conversations here because I have had some really unpleaasant things said about me and my opinions, including by some people a few posts up on this page. Many posters here also tend to gang up on anyone that expresses a different, right-leaning view. I have the credentials and education to know what I am talking about, but have had my opinions and even some provable truths called “embarrassing arguments.” When two or three commenters set their sights on you, it’s no longer worth engaging, even when ridiculous things are being said.

    I think what bothers me the most is that there are many people from other countries that read here and simply don’t understand our system and how it works. It’s frustrating that the overwhelming liberal voice/opinions are most often the loudest, and that these foreigners are getting a one-sided look at an issue, not a two sided, or ideally, factual look.

    I, too, wish this site didn’t allow political discussions. I am planning a wedding and come here for wedding advice and to ocassionally chime in on money/relationship/family posts that people have. But when I see one side completly dominating a political post, it’s hard to not want to chime in and show others that there are some of us here that are conservative. And highly educated, well-traveled, and compassionate. I truly believe that when most people create these political posts, they are not looking for a debate or to understand other viewpoints. They are loooking for confirmation in their beliefs and a sounding board. Not productive, but, not much any of us can do about that.

    Post # 76
    Member
    240 posts
    Helper bee

    tiffanybruiser :  Well, I guess we will agree to disagree then.

    “If I were to go over to a conservative leaning lifestyle website right now for example and write a comment about why gun control is a good idea, I would get attacked from all directions.”

    I guess I don’t think the Bee should have any political slant to it at all. I didn’t make an account on this website to participate in political discussions (hence why I often don’t, as I said from the outset), I made an account to participate in relationship- and wedding-related discussions, and to see such content. Your comment appears to imply that, rather than encouraging respectful discussion, conservative Bees should either tough it out or not participate. I fall into the latter camp, and from a pragmatic standpoint, you’re correct. If we are all truly members of this community, however, it would be nice to see encouragement of respectful discussion in addition to a warning to brace oneself. I don’t think particular political views should be a requirement or an expectation for participating on this website, which at its core has nothing to do with politics.

    I maintain my stance that saying someone is heartless and doesn’t give a damn about dead kids is abusive language and is uncalled for. I’ve been called names on one or two other threads, but politics unsurprisingly brings out the worst in people.

    Post # 77
    Member
    240 posts
    Helper bee

    bear123 :  “I am trying to avoid political conversations here because I have had some really unpleaasant things said about me and my opinions, including by some people a few posts up on this page. Many posters here also tend to gang up on anyone that expresses a different, right-leaning view. I have the credentials and education to know what I am talking about, but have had my opinions and even some provable truths called “embarrassing arguments.” When two or three commenters set their sights on you, it’s no longer worth engaging, even when ridiculous things are being said.”

    I can’t add anything that would be more accurate or eloquent than this.

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