I've blogged about my dislike of memes before... I think I have! I really dislike those cute little pictures with sayings / witticisms. The encouraging ones are OK. It is the political ones that get me going. Why? Is it because I dislike the sayings of groups that are contrary to my political leanings? I'm not keen on those, but I realized that all flavors of political memes have a common issue and I saw one today that illustrated their challenge.
A Facebook friend posted a meme that stated the following:
If they make abortion illegal, they should make men deserting women who they got pregnant illegal as well. Because if a women can't back out of a pregnancy a man shouldn't be able to either.
The meme led to remarks about baby killing, ponderings on what if a person was in a coma for nine months and then wake up, and so on. Sigh... the typical trigger remarks. I stated the following:
This photo is about choice and offers a stark example of what non-choice would look like it if where extended to men. All choices have outcomes, and I embrace that women should have the right to make a choice and then live with whatever consequences come of that. That is between them, their conscience, and their sense of the divine. Noble moral discourses by non-supporting third parties only go so far when a woman's life, all aspects of it, is impacted by an unplanned pregnancy. Kudos to my friend for speaking her mind with this photo.
So, I supported my friend posting her mind and support the sentiment of choice.
Here is the part I didn't post. The meme was a take no prisoners statement that guaranteed feedback, be it supporting or attacking. Though I support their goal, the meme took a path that struck me hard. It did so by stating a “solution” that could not work, and in my opinion, should not work. Let me explain! People should not be forced to interact. Sometimes it is healthy and preferable to have a person very far away from you, even if the connecting thread is a pregnancy. I have my own heart breaking experience. My only daughter was stillborn at nine months. She would have been 21 this year. This saddens me, but there is a saving grace in what happened. My first wife was big trouble and my daughter would have kept me connected to a very bad thing in my life. We would have been both messed up and it is possible I would have taken my life somewhere along the way. The thought of a law that forced me to remain connected to my ex-wife would be bad bad bad.
Back the philosophical aspects of this blog. The meme shares the challenge of offering a statement in short bullet form. At best this is a slogan that rallies the truth. At worst it is a shit bomb thrown into a mixed crowd. Why? A political meme is like taking a bath in an inch of water. There is liquid there, it is bath tub shaped, but there isn't enough to shape a conversation around. There are so shades of gray to really contentious topics and a meme can't do justice to any topic. They instead make Facebook a landscape of strife. I would prefer if people just stated their beliefs instead of turning to the flawed meme.