Have you ever tried starting a conversation with a person you have never met before?
Are you someone who only trusts the people you know?
And on a different but related note: do you feel you cannot be anonymous in this world anymore?What if I tell you, in reality you have only ever spoken to people who you don’t know and don’t know you, because when do we ever really know anyone? Heck, do you even know yourself?
And even if that is a far too philosophical point of view, still at some point every person you now know and who knows you, was initially a stranger to you and you to them.
Being able to google someone or check out their profile on Facebook before even spending time in person definitely helps to get to know more about someone. If I would put my name here, you could google me and draw positive, negative or neutral conclusions about who I am. Or you may be googling another person with the same name and get a whole other view.
(At least, that’s what I would want people to assume if I’d express misogyny: not that I would say such things to prove the world my view is right, but rather that the person or people I express it to realizes it is a shout out, hoping for a good woman out there to stand up and prove me wrong in my generalisations and frustrations, not by words, but by action. Showing me with kindness and good intent.)
In contrast, if the fictional woman in the example would be really passive aggressive, manipulative in person, out for personal gain at the expense of others suffering, and generally unapologetic, then I would interpret her misandric writings very differently. In that light I would see such writings very much as an attempt to convince the world men are bad, and that the underlying message is that because she is a woman she is entitled to more rights than a man. I would simply assume she has no intention of assuming another perspective if it doesn’t serve her personally. But I’m digressing way too much.
My main points I already wanted to express in the first paragraph are:
1) no stranger is the first stranger you interact with.
2) Actually, everyone you know, you don’t really know.
That kind colleague you used to hang out with and who seems like the kindest girl in the world?She may not really care that ‘circumstances prevent her from doing her work properly’, (maybe she could easily do it) and might not care she is being an inconvenience and waste of money to the people who took her in and trusted her. She might not care as long as she gets her income and fancy job title…
That girl that ‘deserves’ a good guy?
And that quiet guy who supposedly did something really shitty according to a rumor?
How about your closest friend, or your long-term spouse?
And what about yourself? Do you know yourself?
How are you so convinced you know you are good and others aren’t? Because you ‘know’ yourself, and you ‘know’ others? Have you never wanted to get back at your ex, showing off how good you are doing and what (s)he is missing, just wanting to rub it in, hoping that deep inside (s)he will be at least a little hurt for losing you or doing what made you feel less than special? How do you know so sure that the shit (s)he did was with the intent to hurt you, and not because you made them feel less than special and hurt their feelings without knowing it would hurt them so much? And have you never broken, or will you never break anyone’s heart? Are you really that fucking good as you ‘know’ you are?
And who you were at 14, at 24, are at 34 or 44, yeah, that is the same person on a continuum, but those four yous are still very different people with vastly different experiences and views. That 14 year old may have thought: “once I am grown up I will…”, and the 44 year old ‘same’ person may think “If only I were in my early 20s again, I would…” Same person, but not the same person. Get it?
We all spin our own stories around the people around us, about ourselves. When people don’t know eachother, don’t know themselves, they automatically fill in the gaps. Basically, we are always filling in gaps with assumptions, even if we ‘know’ someone, even about ourselves. Because really, when do we really ‘know’ anyone?
(This blog post is adapted from an email I wrote to a now friend I met online)