Debating abortion rights in the public domain: to Tweet or not to Tweet?

How I fared in a Twitter fight about women’s abortion rights with, ironically, an egg

I’m no stranger to online trolls. I think I used to BE one when I was a teen and the internet was new. I’d spend HOURS on forums fighting about this and that (which member of Hanson was the best) and the stress and frustration of never being able to reach a conclusion was hard to bear.

From boybands to abortion, naturally

Nowadays, we have bigger things to debate. I started the journey I’m writing about today with a desire to really understand what was going on in the minds of American women. Those who voted for Trump AND agree with his actions restricting abortion funding. It did not turn out the way I expected or wanted, but I did learn that there is a point at which you should recognise your ‘discussion’ is no longer benefiting either side and you are wasting inquiring spirit on someone who will never have their mind changed. The most frustrating part is, WHY CAN’T THEY SEE?! Walking away from that is bloody hard.

As an aside, I was surprised at the amount of US Twitter users, who support Trump and his recent actions, respond to anyone who wants to discuss what’s going on with the following kind of response:

stayoutofourbusiness

America, I’m not trying to say we have it sorted, I’m not trying to fight you, I want to UNDERSTAND YOU! We’re allies, we’re meant to care and show kindness and class towards each other. Is it SUCH a surprise that the UK has had such a huge reaction to what is happening to our friends in the US? So don’t tell us to mind out own business. It hurts.


Days of getting nowhere

I engaged with a tweet by @carrsnoop who posted the following image:

I then got responded to by and egg called Lois who informed me:


At this point I decided to share my opinion as I believed that funding cuts would significantly affect women and families who could not afford to another child, women who had health issues that meant a pregnancy could kill them, teens not ready for parenthood, victims of rape and women who JUST DON’T WANT A BABY AND HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE. Ahem…so…


Rach1

RACH2

RACH3

RACH4


Should I have known this was something I should walk away from?

I didn’t know and so I let it get to me and I had a good rant to BDW women about it with much RAGE:


SLACK1 SLACK2


When my friend Lois started relating need VS want for an abortion to the need or want for a car. Allegra was like, ‘nope’:


allegra1 Allegra2 allegra3


I got a bit petty…

But in the end and by changing the whole subject we came to an agreement on something totally unrelated and decided to end it there…


So, what did I learn?

  1. Don’t be afraid to engage

    But proceed with caution and care. It may not go the way you want but you might end up connecting with someone and making a difference in the world. Or ya, know…maybe not. Decide at what point you’ll step away.

  2. Remain passionate; do not be ashamed of it

    It’s the only way shit like this doesn’t get normalised.

  3. Do not be rude or facetious. It will make you feel like crap

    If someone is trolling you or genuinely not getting your point of view or being abusive, block, report and/or walk those Twitting fingers away. Live to fight another day.

  4. Tell the other person you are asking or engaging to learn or express an opinion

    They might react defensively at first thinking you’re out for a fight.

  5. When they go low, we go high

    It’s really tempting to gang up on someone. There’s nothing wrong with voicing your opinion or backing up a friend but there is a line. Be the better person and blow off the steam you have with someone you trust privately and keep your cool.

I’m the founder of Brighton Digital Women and love being able to develop my knowledge by collaborating with other digital Brightonians. I’m a rare born and bred Brightonian and will NEVER leave!

I love to be an active part of Brightons wonderful culture, in particular The Great Escape, Brighton Digital Festival and enjoying a flat white in The Laines whilst listening to the melodic stylings of the birdy whistle man.


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