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Pickle Me This

September 14, 2020

An Epiphany

I had an epiphany back in the summer when I watched in a man sitting on an ATV on the side of a rural road taking a moment to smoke a cigarette, and it was that he is allowed to like the things he likes as much as I am allowed to like the things I like, even if I think the things he likes are really stupid. Things like ATVs, and cigarettes, and ugly shirts, which sounds harmless enough, but, I guess, what if he also likes guns and conspiracy theories and racist stand-up comedians, and even in drawing these inferences, I’m revealing that I am kind of an asshole who deals in stereotypes? Possible the guy on the ATV was a pansexual vegan who’d just spent last week on Twitter railing against gender reveal parties and forest fires? And oh my goodness, as much as I hate gender reveal parties (with all my heart, I promise), I must confess that people hating on gender reveal parties is just as annoying. Possibly I am a bit sensitive about this because I once got a bit miffed at someone on social media who claimed that parents who referred to their children as sons or daughters were being abusive, and I guess I just feel like the whole problem is that imposing your own notions of gender onto other people is totally annoying (oh, HELLO, that lady who wrote those books about the boy wizard) even if you know you’re right, but everybody knows they’re right, which is the problem, and maybe what we all need to be interrogating right now, even though all these ideas might cause my poor brain to explode, but we need to figure out how to live together amidst all that tension—and also solve climate change.

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