Social media and other online platforms are often abuzz with discussions of all kinds. Among these many times the discussion is often centred around gender issues and the topics under discussion can be highly gender-sensitive. Participating in such of kinds of discussion requires some amount of basic knowledge, given the history of struggles against injustice meted out to a set of communities and individuals under the matrix of gender. Such gender sensitive discussion can often be emotionally charged or exhausting and could be followed up by hate comments and trolling. However, that should never prevent one from participating in such discussions and definitely never to give up such spaces of assertion for one’s identity and convictions.
Therefore, being mindful about certain things before participating in a gender sensitive discussion online can be of some help in order to make the discussion really productive and engaging.
One should be careful only to jump into any gender sensitive discussion online, after one is aware of what the issue under discussion is about. Therefore, raising one’s awareness by reading basic facts or the crux of the issue from trusted sources and fact-checking websites is always a good point to begin with.
It is always a good idea to be informed, not only about the issue in discussion, but also about who it impacts, whose lives are covered under the subject, in what ways can it can affect the lives of those who have a stake in the subject of discussion; what identities could the topic potentially target, for what reasons and how.
Being sensitive to the historical fall-outs that put one community at a disadvantageous position and therefore the set of demands to undo the injustice is imperative to weave the idea of dignity. One should always be mindful of these angles and existing privileges before jumping at any conclusion. It is important to approach any discussion with the idea of learning and the know-it-all approach is never helpful. Beginning or entering any discussion with presuppositions, presumptions, presumptive judgements and biased approach is never a good idea!
We all are fallible beings and therefore some amount of subjectivity is bound to guide our speech, however in order to incorporate some amount of objectivity in our positions, one should analyse the issue before being swayed by random opinions. For this vocabulary is really crucial. Being mindful of what words to use, what words and tones to avoid, refraining from hurling abuses and always staying focused on the issue at hand without getting personal with the other participants is always a pleasant idea.
Finally, remember that gender sensitive discussion often appeal to one’s identities and are relatable and experiential, they often tend to get emotionally exhausting. In such a case, it is never a matter of disgrace to retreat if required or withdraw for the time being to rest one’s mind and to avoid the hate-trolling which can get equally taxing for one’s calm. Digital spaces can be equally unsafe as other spaces and therefore one can refer to resources for #DigitalHifazat and digital safety while dealing with any form of hate-speech, toxic trolling or online stalking, abuse, etc.
Featured Image Source: The Chronicle Of Higher Education