by Megan M. on January 23, 2009 · View Comments (Blog) |

Sometimes even the most reasonable people make some pretty unfair assumptions.

Assumptions about motive, background, pastimes, lifestyle, character.

I guess it’s the usual error (isn’t it always?), but in this case it’s particularly unfortunate. Assumptions can put others into difficult positions, weaken diversity, and tend to shut down communication. Once you make that assumption out loud (especially if you follow it up with a harsh opinion), you may never get to hear the real story.

Men, women, Christians, pagans, citizens of every shade and sexuality, Trekkers, strippers, tree-huggers, sex workers, hackers, kings, queens, burners, raw foodists, furries. (Lenses, Rick would say.) This applies to anyone and everyone. The trim femme at work isn’t who you think she is. Neither is the practicing submissive across the street. Your cousin Jan isn’t polyamorous for the reasons you’d assume, and she hates it when you call her a swinger. (The swingers don’t like it when you make assumptions about them, either.) That completely “normal” dude in your car pool who mentioned a favored fetish while drunk might be a little embarrassed, but don’t jump to conclusions. You might be surprised at what you really don’t know.

These are all real people with real lives, doing the best they can to find peace and happiness in a complicated world. Some of them have made mistakes (just like you), but chances are their preferred lifestyle isn’t one of them, and none of them deserve hasty judgment from a badly-informed source. Do you really think your uneducated opinion is doing them a favor?

Please think hard before you publish.

  • Kiki
    Awesome post!
  • James | Dancing Geek
    Mmmmmm, tasty brain food! (As opposed to tasty brains - I'm no zombie, but I will do my best not to prejudge them).
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