People seem to respond to aggression differently, and they seem to have different perceptions of what being aggressive is.
Well, those who read my blog know me to the extent that I like to keep things as factual as possible. So, here’s the actual definition of aggression:
-hostile or violent behavior or attitudes toward another; readiness to attack or confront.
“his chin was jutting with aggression”
|synonyms:||hostility, aggressiveness, belligerence, bellicosity, force, violence; More|
- the action of attacking without provocation, especially in beginning a quarrel or war.
“the dictator resorted to armed aggression”
- forceful and sometimes overly assertive pursuit of one’s aims and interests.
|synonyms:||confidence, self-confidence, boldness, determination, forcefulness, vigor,energy, zeal
“he played the game with unceasing aggression”
So there we go. That’s our definition. There are three types of aggression. Perhaps more – probably a lot more, if you include most SJW’s perception of aggression (in which case, simply speaking your mind is considered aggressive) – but we’re sticking to facts, not misinformed biases. I leave that for the aforementioned SJW’s, and PC police, and the Regressive Left. We can’t keep skewing the meanings of words to fit our own agendas, and that’s why I feel the need to emphasize that.
I believe in the right to be able to express whatever ideas you hold valid, and believe in the right to have them criticized. No matter how silly, no matter how stupid, and no matter how controversial.
The saddest thing in the world is when a person cannot be, on the outside, the person they really are inside of their mind. When a person’s thoughts are restricted, and not allowed to be free due to social stigmas, or the fear of being ‘offensive’, we create a far larger problem. When we judge people based on a few things they say, rather than their actual actions, we cause resentment and ridiculous feuds amongst people who generally agree in practice.
That’s not to say they shouldn’t be criticized – they should. If someone says something stupid, you should take them to task. But being harassed or censored is an entirely different story, and there seems to be a blurry line that hasn’t yet been defined on what should be considered harassment, or criticism. It should be easy, if you look at intent, but no one is willing to look that far. They base everything on the surface level, which is why that line is still blurred, when it should have been defined a decade ago – and these ridiculous debates on internet violence should be over.
Back to the restriction of people’s ideas.
Isolation, condemnation, and silence, creates inner implosions that can/have manifested into so many issues in the past century. If anything, people should be free to be offensive if they choose, and then criticized but not silenced, and certainly not condemned for simply speaking their mind. One thought or idea, does not justify an entire person’s personality unless you let it – at least, in most cases. You would be surprised how often people are willing to open their minds, when they made to feel as if they are being attacked on a whole level for one thing that they believe or pursue.
But as I’ve said, this has two sides, which is why we are talking about aggression in the first place. The side of the aggressor, and the side of the person who perceives them as such.
There is a quick need in our modern culture, to take offense – to become victims of verbal attack, mainly based on someone’s disagreement with our world view. This has been prominent in the past as well (try saying you’re an atheist 70 years ago, and see how you are received), but it seems to be as common as the cold nowadays; leaning toward things that aren’t really offensive, but are twisted to be so by the social attitudes we form.
The point is to look at intent of what’s being said, and if it’s actually meant to oppress or destroy another person, or if it’s a valid criticism, or even just satire. For example, lead vocalist of the band All That Remains, Phil Labonte, was attacked viciously over Twitter, when calling his friend a faggot.
Now, where I agree faggot is a derogatory term used to oppress homosexuals, I do not agree that it is the same when used with the intent of a joke between friends.
Let’s put it this way. If I called my best friend an asshole, out of kind respect and love, would you take offense to that? Would you attack me for swearing and say that I’m being an insensitive bigot?
Of course not. If you do, I’d tell you three simple words that I don’t feel like saying right now, as I’ve cursed enough in this article.
And I also agree that it was public, so Phil, in that case, should have known that he would be attacked. But that’s not the point here.
The point is: WHY? Why is he being attacked for simply executing free speech, not even in a racist or bigoted manner, but simply by using a word to playfully insult his friend? Do people really need to be that upset about words? I would get it if Phil was saying something like “I don’t think them Faggots should get married. Dey disgusting.”
Then, I would understand taking offense – but don’t let your offense take you over. That person shouldn’t be attacked relentlessly with statements like “You dumb. You should die.” Or “Go Kill yourself” or any number of other troll statements out there. They should be attacked with good ideas and intellect.
Should trolls be censored? No, because that’s inconsistent with wanting free speech. But people should be less encouraged to act like trolls, which is why I made the point. Battle against ideas with better ideas, not with censorship or victim-cards.
Back to the point. We need to look at the intent.
If you do that, then you have a case for your convictions. You’ll know if the person really is a bigot or not, and if they are using it for those purposes. Then you take those fuckers to task with better ideas.
If you go off of how certain letters are organized to create a defined term, then you miss the point. Yeah, we have dictionaries, but they have meanings that change along with the language – according to how people perceive them. In the case, Phil Labonte was perceiving faggot as simply a teasing term – something to bust his friend’s balls with. It’s the same as me calling my friend and asshole, and the same as you calling your friend a butthead, or a goof, or a dork, or so on. It’s just what he chose to use. It doesn’t mean he’s against the LBGT community.
So yes, people are way too offended these days, and jump to conclusions without thinking first – excited to join the social justice bandwagon. This is just one example of that.
What does this have to do with aggression?
A lot. As I said, it has two sides: the aggressor, and the person on the receiving end, who perceives the other person as being aggressive, based on their own biases. If the person who perceives the aggression finds everything offensive, then every statement would be seen as an act of aggression, leaving no room for actual conversation, and silencing the arguments before the ‘aggressor’ has a chance to make a proper point, or even attempt to make the other person see that they understand the other’s points, but have a valid criticism.
This often leads them to become aggressive, in terms of the third definition of aggression (being loud and overly assertive with ones thoughts and ideas), because no one will listen to them if they don’t. They need to be emphatic, which just makes more problems all together. Then we start barking, and nothing gets solved. We just try to talk over each other. Yet, it seems that being emphatic is necessary, as humans are drawn to emphasis and passion, which is portrayed best by mildly aggressive behavior.
Why bring this up in the first place?
Because over the past few weeks as I’ve began to write and speak about more controversial topics – mainly on my person social media pages and through some emails I have gotten from people reading this blog – and I have been attacked on these ideas of free speech and censorship. I don’t care much about that, though. People will disagree and can criticize all they want. But there’s something within that criticism that I find most disturbing.
What I hear the most of, is that I’m too aggressive. I’m too vocal. I’m too set in motion with what I think, and I need to shut up and respect other people’s beliefs – not criticize them. Telling me I shouldn’t speak my mind, simply because I disagree with them on a fundamental level, and they are offended by it.
I don’t name call. I don’t generalize. I do my best to be sympathetic and empathetic to another person’s point of view, while still holding an objective outlook overall. I raise my voice at times, which can be seen as aggressive, but I do so in act of passion, and emphasis – as stated above it can be necessary in order to be heard. I can’t even remember the last time I got into a physical altercation, and though there are times that I lose my temper (as we all do), I keep as calm as I possibly can.
Yet…I’m considered too aggressive. In terms of some of those examples, maybe I am. But I care about the world, despite what most people may think, and I want it to be better. The only way I believe I can do this is by changing perceptions for the better, and getting people to think by speaking my mind about what I think Is right or wrong. My opinions won’t be yours, but that doesn’t mean they are invalid, and you’re open to criticize them if you have a more valid argument. Then we both have the potential to know something better.
What bothers me most is that, if I’m aggressive, why aren’t you? If pushing for change, empathy, human rights, and peace, as well as against social stigmas and close-minded perceptions, with all the passion in my gut, is aggressive. Well then…fuck it. Call me aggressive. I don’t care.
But why don’t you care about it? Why do you stay silent, quiet, and polite; continuing to pretend that the entire world around us isn’t falling apart? Why do you pretend that everything is hunky dory, and we can continue to live the way we have been?
I’m asking you seriously, and I want you to ask yourself this question. Speaking your mind may be seen as aggressive, and having to raise your voice to get your point across to an ignorant audience may seem aggressive – but maybe that’s what we need.
Maybe we need the proper kind of aggression to rise up and take back our planet from those who have destroyed it. Maybe if we combine logic, reason, empathy and understanding with our aggressive behavior – our assertiveness to change the world for the better – then we will actually make real change.
Maybe being aggressive shouldn’t always be seen as a bad thing.
Never be afraid to fight for what you believe in. Never be afraid to be seen as aggressive for speaking your mind, in the pursuit of what’s right.
I don’t condone physical aggression, either. What I’m talking about here is the third definition, the one that talks about thoughts and ideas.
If I could, I would likely X that from the definition, and use a whole new word for those who use their zeal for the good of the world.
Maybe that word can be seen as closer to passionate conversation in that sense, rather than as violent behavior.
But why bother listening to any of this? Why bother listening to me?
I’m just being aggressive.
Phil Labonte Social Media Situation (from both sides):
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