I can say whatever I want to

Canadians are strange. We live in an age where the majority of us want to be protected from opinions we find distasteful.

Over the years many people have taken issue with some of my opinions because they somehow reflect their own personal choices and insecurities. And for some reason they believe I should care about this.

For example, I’m not allowed to have opinions about face tattoos, which I don’t like, because someone reading or listening to this particular opinion has a face tattoo, or a neck tattoo, or a skull tattoo, and will have their personal feelings hurt. The idea is that I may hold these views and opinions but should not be allowed to express them verbally or in the written form. To do so gives permission for them to childishly lash out at me.

I will admit, I have a tattoo and deeply regret it. I got it at a time when I was too young to understand what it was that I was doing. It was a youthful indiscretion. I look to a lot of youth these days, and not even young people, but adults in middle-age, who have the most grotesque tattoos. Knuckle tattoos, these kind of stupid things. They think that it makes them interesting, edgy, cool, that it gives the impression that they have personality, character.

It has always been my belief, and I say this to young people all the time, that one’s outward appearance does not make them interesting or give the illusion of character. It is what and how they think, the mark they leave on society, how they treat others, the ability to have robust and fulsome conversations, putting themselves last, not first. People who make sacrifices, compromises, who can be selfless and altruistic.

These are characteristics that make a human being interesting and intriguing. Not their physical appearance or their self-indulgent interests. Not their hair style or their hair colour. Not their knuckle tattoos and unusual dress. It’s mental substance that make a person interesting. Substance is something that many these days have precious little of.

I’ve never seen anyone genuinely interested in the story behind a person’s sleeve tattoo.

Now a person who has a sleeve tattoo could read this and get angry at me for expressing such an opinion and feel that I am deserving of a telling off. They would probably tell me that I shouldn’t be allowed to say or write what I think about the issue because it impacts them personally. It offends a choice they made.

I reject this for many reasons. Here’s an example why. I have thinning hair, and I understand that many find someone who loses their hair to be less desirable or attractive and that makes them worthy of ridicule, jokes, insults, etc. I’ve seen it happen many times in my life. I’ve watched people whom I’ve been reunited with after years of absence stare at my hairline when they think I am not looking. They may think to themselves what a pity that I no longer have my looks. How sad it is that I’ve aged. I could get angry at this, I could take it personally, as I probably did when I was younger.

But wisdom tells me that they are allowed to think and believe whatever it is they want. Only insecure people, those who are not confident in themselves allow such things to impact them. I happen to like my head, my hairline, my hair, my face, I enjoy looking in the mirror. It does not matter what anyone else thinks, because my opinion about myself is the only one that matters, and I do not live to appease anyone other than myself.

It is insecure and delusional people who want to control what it is I can think, and how I can express what it is that I think. And I have little respect for these people because they do not have any confidence in themselves, and for that I have pity, but it is not an excuse for me to censor myself to spare their feelings.

Many will read this and think that’s a rather cruel, or short-sighted view to hold. But allow me this: do you think you hold opinions that aren’t offensive to others? Do you think about every little word you utter and censor your speech for the sake of others? Every time we speak we risk offending another person, but that isn’t enough of a risk not to speak, not to express yourself, not to be yourself.

I’m allowed to think that obese people aren’t attractive. I’m allowed to think that trans women aren’t women. I’m allowed to say these things out loud and your job as an adult, is to deal with it on your own, at your own time, not to police the thoughts that verbally exit my mouth. Not to gather the online mob to take me down because I’ve said something you personally don’t like.

Your idea of normal isn’t my idea of normal and vice versa. It’s a rather narcissistic person to believe that everyone must consider them personally, and their own private or not so private insecurities before speaking. To expect that of others is to be constantly disappointed and to marinate in resentment, grievance and anger.

People now think there should be consequences to free speech, unless it’s they who’ve made the offence. People on the left abuse words all the time. They call anyone who disagrees with their narrative, and dares to challenge said narrative a Nazi, bigot, racist, homophobe, transphobe, fascist, hate-monger, etc., without any consequences whatsoever. It’s a rather bruising assault to be labelled a bigot when you’re not, but the left doesn’t seem to mind making such offences.

If you want to cover your whole body in tattoos by all means, please do, if it makes you happy. But I’m allowed to not like it, and I’m allowed to hold opinions and express those opinions.

And you’re allowed to not like it. This is called being an adult.

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