A common feeling I keep taking away from class is that society is very toxic to itself. Learning about Judith Shklar and her view of citizenship as standing through the right of being able to vote and a person must earn a wage. Looking at Alexis de Tocqueville and understanding that he thought exclusion was tyranny of the soul and tyranny of the majority but it was necessary. Reading Ralph Emerson with him talking about how you must detach yourself from society to reach a kind of nirvana or enlightenment. Disguising Fredrick Douglas and how he was a slave who was freed who would give speeches about Independence Day saying “It is a white mans holiday. I understand what you are celebrating but I myself have nothing to celebrate”.
There is no reason as to why everyone should try and act like other people. You are going to be in your own skin for a while, you might as well get comfortable in it. But history has shown us that if you do not like act like everyone else and conform than you will be excluded, shunned. In my class we have had discussions about ways that things could be different, better. And I don’t think people just have open and honest discussions any more because people are so afraid to voice their opinion.
It is a bite sad to think about how detrimental society is to itself. We cannot function as a whole and we cannot function apart. We have talked about whether society is mainly collective or mainly individualistic, and I have come to the conclusion that society, as a whole, is almost entirely individualistic. I know some people might not agree with me, but even when someone is participating as a group for a certain cause they are still individually putting their needs or interests above someone else’s. To put it plainly, “we want everyone to know about the anonymous charity work we are doing”. It is because of this unhealthy society that we have such things as justifiable rape and delirious groups, such as the Westboro Baptist Church, going around protesting soldiers funerals.
I do not see the harm in always going against the grain, always being exactly who you are. I know that is overused and cliché. But telling little girls that they don’t have to like princesses and they can find G.I. Joe to be cool isn’t something spoken about.
I believe that if you be yourself, and that means you don’t have any friends. Good for you. People shouldn’t pretend to be nice or sweet to get by in life or to make friends. I’m not saying that you should act like Regina George from Mean Girls but don’t beat around the bush when saying something; most people value bluntness.
For as long as humans are around we are going to be debating moral rights and legal rights, but if you think about it if a word has the word ‘rights’ at the end of it, it shouldn’t even be debated. I realize that there are many flaws within my argument, but isn’t that what our society is all about?