It seems that for the past six months my Facebook feed has been full of one contentious debate after another over topics relating to women. First there was the whole bikini debate, then the graceless-mom rant against teenage girls, and now the two articles double-timing Facebook called something like "Men and Woman Are Not Equal" and "Why Not to Educate Your Daughter" (full disclosure: I have not read any of the first and only parts of the second). It seems every time I open Facebook, some intense feud is raging between my friends concerning issues pertaining to womanhood.
My intention is not to address all of these debates right now. In general, I think they are all old, worn-out, and ridiculous. What I do want to talk about here is an observation I've recently made. It seems the vast majority of people posting these articles (and often writing them) are male. And what's more, they seem to always be posted with the express desire to get both men and women riled up. They are posted with seemingly benign introductory comments about discourse and soliciting opinions. After intense debate follows, the person posting makes an obligatory comment concerning his original good intentions and hoping nobody's feelings are hurt.
But I often wonder if that's really what is going - is the man posting these things is really aiming for meaningful conversation or is he really just trying to collect kudos for how many people pay attention to what he posts? I know many men who are intelligent, gifted in conversation, and think very carefully and respectfully about the issues facing modern women and none of them post divisive articles to Facebook. If they truly want to see what people think about something controversial they have read, they do what any other grown up person does and have an actual face to face conversation about the issue. They are not motivated by clicks or likes or comments, but rather by the desire to edify and encourage both the men and women who struggle with these issues.
Women, if you are wondering about modesty, education/career, family, and the millions of the other things that furrow our brows, please stop paying attention to the young male blogger or Facebook-er who just wants to see how many people he can get to stop by his page and turn instead to the person you respect most and ask his or her opinion. Please just pass over the pointless post because these men do not own the conversation on these topics. Honestly, they probably even barely had a voice in it until you helped give it to them!
Men, please consider your motivations in posting these things. Honestly, what do you hope to gain? Are you trying to actually act for the good of others or are you just using these difficult topics to create more traffic in your corner of the social media world? Are you treating these issues like the extremely serious and weighty issues that they are for women the world around or are you flippantly stirring up emotions and hurt? What are your motivations? Until your motives are servant-like and gentlemanly, please stay away from the post button. Please.