We need to STFU and listen to each other.

I have not been the most fantastic person in the world.

I have definitely had my fair share of rude moments. I’ve been mean to some people before, especially online.

I’m not proud of it. I am working to be a better person.

I was Googling myself today (you should try Googling yourself sometime) and I found a screenshot of me in a tweet from a woman I don’t know. It was a screenshot of me saying something on Facebook. Her comment says I was harassing her. It was from over a year ago.

I don’t know Christine Estima and I harassed her in a Facebook group in September 2016.

I am at a loss for what the right thing for me to do now is, other than apologize (which I did; you’ll see below) and try to explain to others what I did wrong so they can learn from it.

I know that I did not intentionally harass her. Though I was single at the time, anyone who knows me can confirm I wouldn’t intentionally harass a woman I don’t know on Facebook. If you want to be cynical, you could even say I wouldn’t do it especially with my name and face on it.

But clearly for this woman to post both her Facebook comment and this tweet, my actions affected her. I hurt her, and that’s wrong of me.

I wish there were context (update: there is) so that I could see a little more into why I would have said something like this. I’m sure I was intending to get an “lol” from her. I’m confident that I meant it as a small joke and that hitting on her was far from my mind at that moment. I know that my intentions were harmless.

I mean, there must have been some sort of context for me to even feel comfortable saying something like that.

But it doesn’t matter. We don’t get to tell others how they should feel about something. We don’t get to choose how they interpret our intentions.

However, we do get to learn. First, we need to listen to each other.

If someone says something we did bothered them, we shouldn’t be pushing back. We shouldn’t be arguing with them about it.

We should be seeking to understand why, and then vowing not to do it again.

I want to learn. I want to be better. I want to find my little zen center of the universe. I want to grow. I want to help people.

It’s also important that when we listen, and share, we don’t speak over those who are less privileged. It’s important that we act as amplifiers for their voices.

All of this doesn’t just go for men listening to women. It has to do with any majority listening to a minority. It has to do with anyone who isn’t oppressed listening to anyone who is.

If we shut the fuck up and start listening to each other, maybe we’ll get somewhere.

It dunno, it’s worth a shot.

Anyway, here’s the apology email I sent to Christine Estima. I haven’t received a reply at the time of writing this, and I’m okay with that. She doesn’t owe me anything.

Update 2017-10-12

I found the original post, and here’s the context as well as all of my comments, with timestamps.


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