When I joined on August 2nd and had a look at the site’s trends and suggested images in DISCOVERY, I was mortified. All I could see were hundreds of semi-naked women! I wondered if I had stumbled onto a soft porn site. I couldn’t see many pictures of men with their bits hanging out like the women’s, so I wondered whether there was some element of sexism among the site’s admin and predominantly male users, or even covert misogyny operating. But one persistent thought kept nagging at me throughout the month, and it was this: If all the images men have to see of women on the site are just impossible fantasies of their objectified naked form, how can they ever have any respect for women as a group? For their talents, their feelings, for what they represent, or their actual capabilities? In short, how can they ever be taken seriously, and treated with due respect, when they are constantly paraded as idealised playthings bearing no relation to the human flaws, diversity, and fallibility common to all of us, and which men enjoy as a right?
I am no prude. I revel in my sexuality and being female. And as a very sexy, shapely high achiever, that question was important to me, because, though I tend to attract tons of attention for my looks (even at this age!), that has never been more important than my talent, or being a mother, or an empathetic human being, or as a potential contributor to the society I inhabit. We live in a male dominated world, and unless males change their attitude to how they perceive women and treat them, particularly in the trivial and disrespectful way they are viewed, there will be constant conflict between the sexes. Most important, such images put women at risk through the suggestion of them being freely ‘available’ mainly for men’s pleasure. I also wondered if some of the men who had tons of those pictures on their channels would be happy for pictures of their daughters or sisters being paraded like brainless, inanimate, unfeeling dolls catering for men's singular needs.
However, I had a look again at the trends and suggestions yesterday and I didn’t see many of those kind of pics, so could this be a definite change, or just a temporary fix? It would make a huge difference to the impression given to newbies if it was permanent.
For me, it has to be the idea of a FREE SPEECH site where free speech appears to be limited to the bullies who can shout loudest, name call, verbally abuse whom they don’t like, and be truly obnoxious with THEIR entitlement to freely speaking their minds. It is desirable to have such freedom of speech, but when it is simply hate-filled vitriol being spewed out daily to readers, it can be really depressing and debilitating. It does nothing to attract, inspire, to uplift or build. It simply creates division, and destroys positive thought and creativity.
Moreover, there is no such thing as truly free speech. That's a misnomer, because all speech has consequences for someone else, whether good or bad, especially for the vulnerable who might even be afraid to use that freedom for fear of repercussions! In fact, any form of TRUTH is culture, gender, and race referenced, in particular. It all depends on how we were raised, our ongoing experiences, what priorities we CHOOSE to have (which decides what we focus on), how we each see the world - whether positive or negative - and our perceptions of other people's behaviour.
Thus one person’s truth in China is likely to share nothing with another person’s truth in America, or even Tibet! Ipso facto, there is nothing called absolute truth (that’s just opinion and perception based on beliefs and experience!), but there are facts that pertain to actual happenings and events. Like the sun is shining today (that’s a fact). The sun will shine tomorrow (thats an opinion, and projection, based on experience, posing as 'truth' because we might all be dead tonight with the world destroyed!).
So Minders should chill a little with their various aggressive ‘truths’, because each 'truth' is based on how the world is being perceived by each individual, how confident or fearful one is in viewing their world, and how they wish to treat others, whether to be in perpetual conflict or to compromise. Hence why I deliberately CHOOSE to be positive in my approach, because being kind and considerate gets one much farther in life than being unkind, close minded and selfish.
Wow! Where do I begin? There are LOTS of things on Minds.com that will keep me here, like the:
- ease of posting, using images, and interacting with subscribers
- ease of making friends
- sheer variety of eye catching blogs and images
- support we can give each other through voting and commenting
- the positive atmosphere
- points system and Wire facility
- the easy way to share Newsfeeds we like with the REMIND feature
- ability to develop a channel or group in our own unique way
- possibility of making some money for hard work (though can’t see any real evidence yet!)
- instant help available in the Help & Support group from other savvy Minders
- managing the news feeds to keep out unwanted stuff, while still being exposed to other opinions
- managing offensive commenters
In short, Minds.com has the ability to be a great site, because it is a fun place to be with interesting features!
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