Controversial Because You Don't Agree?

Embracing controversial issues does not come naturally to some. It follows that writing about controversial issues does not sit well with some writers. It's easy to write about an issue that you support if your opinion agrees with the publicly promoted “acceptable” opinion. However, it's often daunting gathering the guts to publish a work that deals with your opinion when your view is vastly different from how society says you should feel.

Once upon a time society said women should not go out to work. Women who broke this “rule” were looked down upon and scorned. Those who agreed with the principle of staying home were accepted, those who opposed were seen as being wrong. They were made to feel that they were not allowed to have this opinion and it would have been highly controversial to write an article going against the commonly held opinion of the day.

 These days if you don’t go out to work people look at you disparagingly. Society’s opinion is now reversed. Same problem though. If you disagree, you are frowned upon. These days, would you be game to write a book saying women should stay at home?

Years have passed where society was heavily against gay relationships. If you did not agree with gay relationships you would have fitted in with the expectations of society. If you had believed gay relationships were acceptable you would have been bullied, ridiculed and hated by society.

Suddenly it’s trendy to be gay. Society, movies, books and every form of media you can imagine is actively promoting gay relationships. Its hugely fashionable to add gay characters and gay relationships into your writing.

If you agree that gay relationships are fine, your opinion will not be questioned, no-one will ridicule you or bully you about your opinion. But what if you don’t agree? Once again, you will be bullied for having this opinion as it does not conform with current media/society. Can you write that? Are you game?

What if you have respect and admiration for everyone, regardless of whether people are gay or not, you just don’t agree with the principle of a gay relationship and you want to write about it? You want to tell how you dislike the life-choice, not the people, as love and respect should be shown to all. You can be sure if you write an article saying you do not agree with gay relationships you will be questioned, bullied, ridiculed, intimidated and generally demoralised.

In some era’s you would have been frowned upon if you did smack your children, at other times smacking was promoted as acceptable.

For some bizarre reason, in every era of history people have been allowed to agree with some principles held by society but not allowed to disagree. This right was taken away by bullying and intimidating those whose opinions differ from the norm.

So, what should you do? Change your opinion? Stick to your opinion but shut down the laptop and walk away? Is your “don’t agree” opinion as important as anyone else’s “agree” opinion? Will society allow you to keep your opinion or will you be interrogated, harassed, derided and discouraged from expressing your thoughts in writing?

Know your own mind. Don’t write about a subject unless you are experienced or educated in that area. Stand by your principles. Endure society’s ridicule if you are truly certain of your beliefs. Have the strength to change your opinion if you realise you are wrong. Do not sink to insulting anyone else’s opinion as this makes you as bad as those whose who insult you. Remember, you might agree/disagree with a principle, that does not mean you dislike the people who hold opposing opinions. It is the principle you have an issue with – not the person. You can express your opinion without mocking others. Remember, a little diplomacy never went astray.


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