Politically bent … that’s me!

No, I don’t mean I’m on a political rant, or that I’m thinking politically, or anything like that. What I mean is I’ve figured out I’m just politically bent, as in twisted, as in “don’t try to label me ‘cause it ain’t gonna work.”

I was flipping through my little (and growing) list of blogs and other places I visit, and in the space of minutes had seen everything from radical feminism and uber-liberal ideology to borderline arch-conservative (I say borderline because I don’t think I can ever quite cross that line and delve into territory that includes people like Rush Limbaugh and that awful Coulter woman… Nor can I identify with the so-called “religious right” of which my Ex is a card-carrying, Bible-thumping member for life.)

And so I decided, after viewing these rather strange and disparate links on my very own blog, it could certainly leave a person with a rather odd impression of Yours Truly.

So for those curious, wanting to know where I really stand on things, I’m plagiarizing myself from an earlier post on an Internet café that shall remain nameless.

I am generally a politically moderate woman who believes that anyone taking an extremist view is, well … extreme. That includes liberals and conservatives, religious and non-religious, as well as men and women.

I am a proud gun owner and supporter of the right to own and to carry guns. No, I don’t think this conflicts with my otherwise moderate political views, in fact, I think it goes hand-in-hand with them – I don’t think the government has a whole lot of business getting into my business.

I believe abortion is a personal and moral issue, not a legal one, and as such, the government has no business legislating it – for or against, and they certainly have no business funding it. See my point regarding gun rights.

I don’t think it takes a village to raise a child – it takes parents. Sure, I hope those parents have a village of support around them, but a whole damned village isn’t going to take the place of one involved parent. And for the record, I don’t think it matters if the parents are single, divorced, together, apart, straight, gay, bi or even pink with purple polka dots. None of that changes the fact that as a parent, they love, care for, raise and teach their child.

I am a parent, and while I, like most parents, suffer from a major case of Mama-Bear syndrome, I don’t believe my children are perfect little angels who can do no wrong.

I am a member of the working class. I have to work for a living to make ends meet; I understand the difference between want and need and I know what it’s like to not be able to afford the needs, much less the wants.

I vote in every election, and I vote the way my own mind and my own conscience say I should. I do not take the opinions of others as my own or vote straight down any party line or agenda. I do what I need to in order to educate myself on the facts of an issues and I don’t buy into propaganda or party line. I also tend to believe if you don’t vote – and you have the right and ability to do so – you have no right to bitch or complain, so sit down and shut up, or get out and vote.

I am a feminist, in the sense that I believe in equal pay for equal work and that the best man for any job is … the best person for the job regardless of sex, race, creed, color, sexual orientation, etc. I am not a man hater, nor do I believe that either sex is better than the other. I believe it is possible to be different but equal.

I am also a feminist in the sense that I believe, thanks to painful personal experience, that equality has not been reached, that women are still struggling in a man’s world and that “feminism” really should mean “choice” – as in, it is equally valid to choose to work, or to stay home. I struggle daily with the fact that I am a woman, in a man’s environment. I have lived with a glass ceiling above me. It was very real, and very annoying.

I am a realist, and I accept that there are places where it is just not possible to be completely egalitarian – and you just can’t force something like that.

I do not believe in quotas, or reducing requirements in order to achieve better diversity or for any other reason – academically or professionally. Years ago, when I joined the Fire Department, I passed the exact same test the guys did, thank you very much, and damn it – I really don’t care who or what you are, if you can’t do the job, you’ve got no business applying for it then whining that the test was too hard and it should be changed.

(Think about it – If you were caught in a fire, rendered unconscious or incapable of moving yourself, would you really want a firefighter who couldn’t pick up and carry a 150-pound dummy? I know a lot of MEN who can’t do that…)

I think that many office environments house women who are harder on men than the men ever were on women. The effort to reach true equality does not mean inflicting upon men the same indignities which women endured.

I am a spiritual person, yet I do not adhere to a particular religious practice or belief. I don’t have anything against organized religion in general; just my own experiences have been such that I chose to avoid it from now on. I encourage my children to do what feels right to them when it comes to religious observances – I will not foist my beliefs, good or bad, onto them.

As a dear friend says: It’s not God I have an issue with, it’s some of His fan club that I can’t stand.

I am fed up to my eyeballs by all the talk of tolerance that always seems to come from those who are intolerant of others. Tolerance, like love, should be treated as a verb – it’s an action, it’s something that you do, it’s a way of being. Anything less is just talk.

I love having friends to turn to in a crisis, and I love being there for my friends, but there are times when all I want to do is shout, “Grow up!” “Build a bridge and get over it!” “Get a life!” or some other equally rude thing. I’m human. Even my patience can be tested. I think there is a large segment of our population that needs to grow up and quit whining.

I find people who believe there is only one way to skin a cat – or do anything else for that matter, really, who wants to skin a cat? – are incredibly annoying, very hard to deal with and impossible to argue with, but it is often fun to push their buttons.

I believe that for any problem, there is a myriad of answers, all of them equally valid, some are just more practical or applicable than others.

I also believe that there are always at least two sides to any situation, and somewhere between them is the truth. It may be somewhere in the middle, closer to one side or the other, or anything in between, but I can promise, there is no such thing as a one-sided story.

I am opinionated, and I don’t mind speaking my mind, but I will try to do it with grace and consideration. I do occasionally have a rant-on moment when something just gets me so hacked that I can’t help but vent. I’m human. Go figure.

I do not get upset, angry, frustrated or anything by lack of typing skills, bad grammar, poor spelling, etc. I chalk it up to a combination of education (or lack of it), environment, the relative anonymity of the ‘net and those lovely things: being in a hurry, trying to do many things at once, and simple absentmindedness. We’ve all done it. Mea culpa.

I do get upset at those who claim “education” or “superior intelligence” and then pepper their own posts with such blatant mistakes that my children would see them and snicker. I do get upset at those who make deliberate typing and spelling errors, thinking it looks “kewl” – grow up already. Thank you.

I also do get a bit upset with those who automatically take offense to anything that gets under their skin – assuming that offense was deliberately intended rather than figuring maybe they took it the wrong way, or it came out wrong, or some other at least semi-innocent reason.

Equally upsetting, those who will gladly rant about their own pet peeves; get hacked at people who disagree with them, then blast someone else for peeving about something they like.

And if you like, yes, I am a divorced and remarried working mother of two, former Managing Editor of several firearm magazines now working as a copywriter, a writer, sometimes poet, a romantic, dreamer, organizational nutcase, and oh so much more…

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