Rants can be fun, but only if they are laced with humor and restraint. The blog post I wrote last night was neither. I deleted it for a couple of reasons.
If I am that angry, then I'm not coherent, as a quick re-read of the post showed me this morning. I don't think I wasted my time writing the post; I got a lot of things off my chest without being ugly to anyone. That is more important to me than anything. I also feel that if I can't handle a subject with grace and humor, then I'm contributing to the problem rather than offering a solution.
My angry-ranty blog post wasn't inspired by one event but by a culmination of events spread across the Internet within a few days. Online trolls really bother me in that they are an example of the lack of online civility that I've witnessed of late. What bothers me more is when I see women justifying bad behavior toward men under the guise of "liberation."
I think it's terrible that some men feel the need to apologize for their race and gender. I really wish they would stop. Race and gender are circumstances of birth, completely beyond an individual's control, like the behavior of others. Frankly, if a gentleman is sincere and sensitive enough to discuss an issue with empathy and understanding, he has no need to apologize for words or behaviors that are not his.
If I jumped up and apologized every time a white woman said or did something stupid, I might as well run a ticker banner across the top of my web page. In other words, I don't apologize for someone else's mistakes. Neither should men.
Men cannot empower women. When women demand that men acknowledge them, then women hand their power over to men. It is the equivalent of saying that women do not matter unless men recognize them for their [just-fill-in-the-blank-with-the-quality-of-your-choice].
Empowerment, true empowerment, comes from within a person. It is a clear and honest recognition of who and what you are--your good qualities and your bad--followed by a sincere attempt to become the kind of person that you would like to be. That is empowerment.
You do not take it. You cannot demand it. You must nurture it within yourself.
Does this mean that men and women should stand silently while legislators restrict their rights? No. You take that empowerment that you have nurtured within yourself and you use it to constructively combat bad laws, unfair treatment, whatever your personal cause may be, but the one thing you must never, never, never do is resort to the tactics that you cry out against.
If you do that, you lose every ounce of credibility you might have possessed.
Which is why I instituted a 24-hour rule on all angry-ranty blog posts that I write. I know my defects, and shooting off angry, hurtful words is one of them. This is why I deleted the very angry-ranty blog post. What I had to say needed to be said while I kicked my frustration against a wall. It was a private moment that needed to be kept private. I very easily could have hit the key to publish that post and share my frustration with the masses.
After a good night's sleep, I decided I'd rather be empowered.