Written by Jenn Sadai
The world is full of keyboard warriors and online activists hoping their voices will change the world. They tweet and post their missions, but may not have the courage to act when personally confronted with the problem. That’s normal. I was the same way until recently. It’s easy to preach what you know is right, but it is a lot scarier to actually act upon it.
Recently, millions of women stood up for the rights of all women and it was inspiring to watch. Now millions more are speaking out against new immigration restricts and creating positive change for those affected. It proves to me that actions will always speak louder than words. Although my online efforts to spread peace and heal humanity has had its impact, I need to follow through in my daily life. I need to be willing to voice my views on acceptance and equality when faced with the realities around me.
Knowing When to Speak Up
I’m not saying we need to argue every inappropriate joke or sexist comment. We wouldn’t survive a day without having a fit on someone. We need to choose our battles and know when something crosses the line. For me, the line is crossed when someone threatens or bashes a group based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. The challenge is deciphering between hate speech and ignorant jokes.
Trust your gut, because it will take gut to follow through with it. If you think a person who falls into the category that is under verbal attack would be genuinely hurt by the remarks, speak up. Don’t be aggressive or confrontational, just gently point out that you find their comments to be offensive. Be respectful of their opinion while voicing your own.
It’s a fine line to walk. As someone who recently had to walk it, I will confess it wasn’t easy. Fortunately, the outcome was positive. Hopefully it even opened the eyes of someone who wouldn’t have thought twice about making a joke about gay or transgender people.
If we’re unwilling to stand up for those under verbal and physical attack, there will be no one willing to stand up for us when we’re the ones under fire. No one is exempt from discrimination, which is why as human beings we need to stand up for the rights and freedoms of all people.
Permission to post by author Jenn Sadai
Jenn Sadai is a Canadian author and advocate who’s just crazy enough to think she can change the world. Jenn shares her stories of surviving domestic violence, depression, and workplace bullying in hopes that it will help others cope and heal. She is the author of Dark Confession of an Extraordinary, Ordinary Woman, Dirty Secrets of the World’s Worst Employee, and Cottage Cheese Thighs. Website