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A Simple Equal Sign.

26 Mar

Unless you’re a total serial killer, or just a normal person who doesn’t care about social networks (either or since they are so close on the continuum), I am going to go ahead and assume you’ve logged into Facebook today. You have found my blog, so that is usually a pretty good indicator of social media activity, right? I am all over the fucking internet. But anyways, if you’ve logged into Facebook today, you’ve probably seen this all over your newsfeed (unless you are only friends with members of the Westboro Baptist Church on Facebook):

equalAnd unless you live under a rock, you probably know that this symbol stands for marriage equality. I don’t feel like briefing anyone on this, so just Google “Prop 8” if you don’t know what is going on in current events. I don’t normally fall for this social media propaganda that everyone shares. But this time is different. I was perusing Wedding Paper Divas (think invitations and save the dates galore) online during my lunch today, as I do most days since getting engaged,  when it struck me that not everyone can experience this feeling as easily as I can. The feeling I am talking about is the excitement and optimism that I feel towards my future with the person that I love. I hope that everyone (who wants to) is able to experience this feeling in their lifetime because it is fucking euphoric and probably comparable to most drugs. I especially hope my friends can feel this because I am biased towards them of course (thankfully, I live in Massachusetts). Everyone has the right to pursue happiness – though I am unsure pursuing happiness is a wise idea, rather I believe in seeking fulfillment. Seeking happiness can set us up for disaster, but that’s another blog…

Anyways, I don’t usually fall for this Facebook stuff that is shared hundreds of thousands of times without any real meaning. But like I said, this was different. This simple picture of an equal sign represents equality. It’s a basic human right, and though I know it’s insane that it’s still debated in the land of the free, it’s a reality. Some people don’t get it, I’m not sure why. Maybe they are bigoted, ignorant, or just unaffected by it. How silly I feel even typing this but, I have a lot of gay friends. I know it’s just a profile picture that I changed on Facebook and will probably change back to a picture of me and my fiance smiling, drinks in hand, within a few days. I know that this picture of a red equal sign won’t change any laws, or right any wrongs, but when I was busy feeling guilty about planning the day I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little girl, I couldn’t help but put myself in the shoes of someone who is having a pain in the ass of a time planning due to legal issues. I can’t help but think that had I been in their shoes, that I would feel so overwhelmed with support when signing onto Facebook and seeing a sea of red equal signs all of my newsfeed. Hey, everyone says “it’s the small things”, right? I think this is one of those things on a much bigger scale. Of course there is always that token contrarion on Facebook who find something to bitch about, I’ve seen a few ranting about Facebook activism. But it’s not about activism without initiative. It’s about awareness and support, which is necessary sometimes in being heard. Does a sign of awareness and support REALLY bother people? If so, it kind of reminds me that some people are bothered by other peoples’ relationships for some reason. I am not saying that if you don’t post the picture on your Facebook that you are a bigot or not in support of equal rights. That would be as ridiculous as I think it is to debate equal rights in the first place. Do whatever you want to do, on social media or better: in real life!

Anyone saying that changing your profile picture won’t change gay marriage laws, I totally get that. It’s a Facebook profile picture, so I’m sure it won’t. If laws changed due to Facebook trends, I am sure we would be in a lot of trouble in some circumstances (ie: people who don’t like pitbulls would be stoned to death). I mean, wasn’t the whole Kony thing a big lesson in social media causes? Case in point. But if changing my profile picture for a little while is enough for my gay friends to be reminded that I support them and want them to be fulfilled in their lives, then it’s literally the least I can do. Maybe someday we won’t have to plaster pictures of equal signs on social media so that everyone feels equal. In a perfect world, right?

(PS: It’s literally been a day of equal sign sharing, can’t the people who feel gay marriage is “being shoved down their throats” just pretend the symbol is equivalent to the small population of people on Twitter who don’t change from egg default to real picture? It’s just been ONE day and coincidentally all the same people sending me  Farmville requests and blowing up my newsfeed with Candy Crush bullshit are the ones who can’t handle it. Sorry if we mucked up your newsfeed with civil rights support while you were trying to get whatever the fuck currency you need to maintain your virtual farm/city/addictions. Christ…)

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11 Responses to “A Simple Equal Sign.”

  1. Sandra March 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    You must be talking directly about my friend, her status said that yesterday.

  2. Jen Cooke March 27, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    A “simple equal sign”…more like a simple trend. Changing your profile picture “in support” of something is no different than slapping on a Livestrong bracelet. Most people just do it because everyone else is.

    And I really did just want to play Candy Crush.

    -The girl who got gay marriage shoved down her throat when she signed on Facebook.

    • Molly March 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

      Jen,
      Not sure about you but I have a lot of friends who happen to be gay. Imagine being in an oppressed group and signing onto Facebook for a day and seeing so much support. I imagine it would be a pretty good feeling to know that a lot of people are in your corner, whether they as one person can do something or not.Obviously changing your profile picture to demonstrate your opinion does NOTHING to change laws, as I said in the above blog. But to me, it’s about supporting those who I actually know and letting them know even in the smallest way possible that I want them to be able to do what I can do. It’s about awareness, in any cause. That’s what livestrong bracelets are about. Yeah, a rubber bracelet doesn’t cure cancer, but it raises awareness (not to mention money) for treatment. Lance Armstrong ended up being a dick, but the message behind the bracelet is a good one regardless. Not a bad thing, right?

      Even besides the issue of gay marriage, people change their profile pictures all the time. People blow up newsfeeds with spammy shit for games, those stupid “share if you care” photos of things that aren’t even true, not to mention their own hateful words. If it’s bothersome, there are unfollow buttons and what not so they don’t appear on a feed. I don’t get easily offended, so I try to laugh at the ignorance and just keep scrolling. But the fact that so many people recognized that you were who I was talking about anonymously on my blog’s status because your complaint stood out, really shows the power of social media. You can obviously speak freely, it’s your Facebook account to say what you want, but you can’t expect not to get a reaction when you say something controversial. Even if it’s Facebook and just a stupid online site to communicate, people still form opinions on it. Trust me, I get shit all the time for expressing my opinion freely. I totally get that and I EXPECT to hear it. So I guess I’m not following you.

      Also, in response to whoever it was saying I “attacked” you and I’m mean or a bitch or whatever: I literally just pointed out in a nameless status exactly what had happened. That you had either deleted me and whoever was attached to that thread OR had completely deactivated Facebook coincidentally after writing your status. Using no mean names/words, I literally stated what happened, followed by “haha” because I found it to be kind of silly. If that makes me a mean person, then let’s call a spade a spade. But in my defense, I thought your status was a lot more “mean” than mine if I were to compare, and I didn’t even think it was mean. I thought you were being sarcastic. I saw a good 5 statuses that were similar to yours. The only reason yours stood out enough for me to status about it, was because someone told me you had deactivated Facebook because of the response you got.

      I think we can both agree that Facebook is a place where bullshit occurs.

      -Molly

      • Molly March 28, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

        PS: It’s not a “trend” to people who cannot get married because they are gay. It’s life.

      • Molly March 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

        (Don’t take that as being rude, I am genuinely typing calmly and in no way offended or angry and do not want to fight about it).

    • seanconnerysballsack March 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

      This isn’t her first time defending equal rights. Equality in general isn’t a trend you ingnorant excuse of a person.

      • Molly March 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

        …dude.

    • Vanessa March 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

      I have never worn a Livestrong bracelet “just because everyone else does”. I wear one to show support of my best friend, my grandfather, & the countless other people I know who have suffered from or been affected by Cancer. Does it change anything? No, but it shows my friends/family that I support them. Exactly what the equal sign does. Grow the fuck up. Play Candy Crush onyour cell phone if you don’t wanna deal with your newsfeed. And I don’t even understand how your newsfeed affects your playing of Candy Crush. But that’s just me.

      Sincerely,
      Stuck On Level 65 of Candy Crush Saga… and not blaming it on marriage equality.

    • menstrualmonster March 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

      I read this girl Jens blog. Its about as interesting and painful as a period.

  3. . March 28, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    The “simple equal sign” may just be a key on your keyboard but to some people it means the world. It’s hard for you to understand possibly because you aren’t told who you can and cannot marry. This “trend” is more a movement. It’s not a ” like this or grandma dies” post. It’s about love, support and showing people that you care about the issue. A very important issue. Just because I am a lesbian doesn’t mean that I didn’t have that little girl dream of my perfect wedding and dancing with my father. What gives you or anyone else the right to dictate whether or not I am allowed to marry who I love and receive the same rights as anyone else? Even if I were to decide that I didn’t want to marry, that is my RIGHT to choose. I am not an animal. I am an averge person. I sat through the same classes, played the same sports and enjoyed the same movies as straight people. What makes your dreams more important that mine? What if the tables were turned? This equality sign isnt about offending people. It’s about showing the world that you care. It’s showing support and love. It’s saying “I know you’re fighting and I have your back”

    • . March 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      Sorry Molly, I can’t be in your wedding anymore. I don’t want your straight wedding and rights shoved down my throat…

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