compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
... that are agreed upon by the majority of people, such
as marriage, the sense of nationhood, biological gender
differences. I really believe that these structures are now
being torn down in the alleged name of freedom.
“Gender is a construct”, “nationhood is inherently racist”…
these new ideas are not based on a rational discourse, but
a trend of feeling and groupthink among a minority with
a huge influence.
Out of this lack of scrutiny and fear is emerging a new
totalitarianism. Those of us who don’t agree with the
‘woke’ orthodoxy are quickly understanding that it has
become too dangerous to say what we really think. If we
ever do go there, it is likely to be on a trusted and closed
To be honest, I hate myself for caving in so easily. I feel
humiliated and patronised. The moniker “opinionated Kate”,
that one ex gave me, affectionately, would be one I would
relish at this moment. I was brought up in the free-speech
Seventies. Back then, being interesting, having something
to say, meant you were welcomed in artistic circles. I
remember one late-night debate when I drunkenly wrote
my opinion on someone’s kitchen wall – we are still great
Fast-forward to today, and I often find myself sharing a
pertinent article on Facebook, only to take it down minutes
later as I get the familiar knot of fear in my stomach. It is
simply not worth the stress. But why should I self-censor
out of fear of reprisal from who, exactly? It makes me angry
that these people feel they have a greater claim to higher
intellectual or moral knowledge.
This kind of bullying behaviour brings out our most
fundamental fears of rejection. “You are not one of the
gang,” the voice in my head says, as once again I find
myself biting my tongue at another Leftie-leaning dinner
party. If I do ever recognise a fellow traveller, it feels like
we’re in a secret resistance group quietly giving each other
the thumbs-up and trying not to trip the minefields that
litter the new social landscape.
A magazine editor friend, who was robustly for Brexit, told
me how a recent catch-up with an old university friend
descended into a slanging match. Her Remain companion
took to thumping the table and accusing her of ruining the
country. She was nearly in tears.
Where has the respect and tolerance
for other people’s opinions gone?
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