Recently two subject matters really caught my eye in my Facebook feed.
The first was the whole drama related to Facebook Status of Sahana Bajracharya, Miss Earth Nepal, 2010 which quote “Ronaldo should consider acting as a career change! #NoOffenceFans #Calmdown” referring to the injury the Portuguese and Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo suffered from in the Euro Cup finals 2016. This status was found offensive by Ronaldo fans and the whole football lover community.
(Link to the post: https://www.facebook.com/bajracharyasahana/posts/1061846847214091 )
The second was an article published in the editorial section of the renowned newspaper, The Republica titled as “Ignorance Kills”. The editorial focused on the systematic segregation of the Muslims residing in the Terai belt of Nepal and how it is a threat which could be labeled as terrorism. The article refereed to the intensified battle for secularism and how young Nepali Muslims might feel more alienated along with the vulnerabilities to radical Islam and somehow getting education from only the Holy Koran could convert them in Islamic militants which were quoted as terrorists. As per expected it caused a stir among many Nepalese people and it was offensive not only to Muslims of our country but also a person with appreciation for diversity and secularism of the country.
(Related links to the articles: http://www.myrepublica.com/news/2098
Due to the responses of the people that had read the article, the article has been now replaced with another article “Celebrating Diversity”. I have collected few quoted phrases from the articles:
“… most Muslim families in the Tarai
send their children not to common schools
where young boys and girls of other
communities go, but to Islamic schools
(Madrassas). In other words, these
children, when they grow up, will have
next to no knowledge beyond the Holy
“.. Thousands of young Nepali
Muslims are now migrating to the Middle
East in search of work. It is reasonable to
assume that at least a few of them there
will come under the sway of radical Islam…” )
Both of the events were labeled as offensive and equally upsetting but I couldn’t help but notice the difference in the way people reacted to it.
In the whole Sahana controversy, most of the people were bashing on her, calling out her names, calling her prostitute, showering her with hatred instead of discussing the key matter that one defeat, one injury won’t ever define a player. Although I do agree how Bajracharya worded her status, was in fact really vain and ignorant. Her status did deserve disagreement.
On the other hand, in this offensive article, there were equal people who disagreed. But rather than calling out on the editor, the offended people showed the real picture. They showed how the racial diversity in our country and the religious tolerance we have is the reason there are no terrorist attack here, and how from a place of that height of national communication, the media should portray a positive version of the society rather than over analyzing about a hypothetical situation; giving a birth to an idea of how things could be worse by a blatant racial profiling.
However, there were some people who focused on what Sahana Bajracharya had to say rather than digging up in her past career experiences. And there were people too who bashed out on the editor rather than giving a constructive criticism.
I don’t mean to carry a beam balance and measure which situation was more offensive, but rather I’m focusing on something completely different.
My focus is on the way to disagree.
With the right to speech given to people, the right to be offended is born, naturally. But that doesn’t mean that we shower hate on anybody. Now, I know that there will always be haters. But why can’t we just politely disagree, share our opinions and broaden our horizon. I know that everyone as different opinions. And it’s not necessary that we have to agree in every opinion available. But why not respect what they have to say and give constructive criticism rather than just bashing out negatively when there is a way to disagree which is not hurtful and is meaningful to the conversation.
People when get offended, instantly goes in a defensive mode in accusing tone saying, “What did you say?!” Instead of maybe saying it as “No, I understand what you’re trying to say but I feel like this is offensive because…”
And I’m not saying this as an expert who has mastered the art of not disagreeing in the right way but I am stating this fact as experiential process. I have experienced how people react to the right way of disagreeing and the wrong way of disagreeing.
One instance for example;
I was listening to the ‘Lush Life’ by Zara Larsson and as a normal human being; I was scrolling through the comment section. There was this comment:
Everybody loves some Internet Drama, including me. But as I was scrolling down looking at the bitter replies by both the feminists and the person who commented, the feminist part of me made me realize that this was the chance to make this bitter person really understand what the concept of feminism was. I decided that I should take a different approach than what other fellow feminist commenters did.
So, this is what I replied and what I got as a reply:
(I’m Shripa Pradhan. Hi!)
And this went for a while:
Pretty long arguments, eh?
Anyways, beside the guy’s amusing arguments, what really caught my eye was the way he was responding to me vs. the way he was responding to the other people.
In one hand, he was being really polite and respectful to me, giving out his point of view that wasn’t in an explicit way. And on the other hand, he was very rude and swearing to other feminist fellows did dare to comment. This wasn’t because I was special or something, it was because of the way I responded. I came to this conclusion by the way this guy responded to some other people who were disagreeing politely.
(You can read the full comment and the replies here: http://goo.gl/ijj5gb
I have highlighted comment so, it will come on the top of the comment section. You’re welcome.)
Maybe just maybe, when we word ourselves in a proper way and find a polite way to disagree, it won’t hamper the right to speech we have got. In fact it might shed some light to a person who is offensive into thinking, “Maybe what I did was wrong” instead of dwelling upon the hateful comment he/she has got.
There will always be haters, butt-hurt people and ignorant people but if only there was a way people could be less jerk to one another.
Before this ends,
I’d love to hear what you guys thought about my blog and send me some feedback here as comments.
- The first draft of this article was written 2 months ago, hence the use of ‘recently’ in beginning.
- The concept of this article was inspired by my queen; iisuperwomanii’s video “How to NOT Be a Jerk on the Internet”:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EO6jKhaYT94
Until next time,