So it’s been confirmed – there’ll be an EU referendum. I have loads of views on the subject, and loads of intention to look up more facts and figures to confirm my view, but this post isn’t about whether I think we should or shouldn’t stay. This post is about student politics, and about sharing your voice with the world.
I still, at the age of 21 and with a degree under my belt, am terrified to speak out about my politics. As much as I declare on tumblr that I hate all Tories and boys who went to private schools, I can’t say those things in public, in real life. Of course I wouldn’t stop being friends with someone just because I found out they voted Conservative in the last elections, because I’m not that bold. I’m too scared of people hating me. And I do think that people can be good friends even if they have questionable morals, and I believe that people can change. I used to be a meat eater, and I’ve been persuaded to change to veggie/veganism.
I’m pretty sure I hate Tories, and I’m pretty sure I could debate my way through an argument about the EU. But I’m scared to share my voice, because people will still think “awh, bless, she think she knows things about the world!” Or worse “I bet she doesn’t know anything, how dare she argue with me, a man who has read TWO articles on the subject?!” I do keep myself educated, and I have read up on the things I want to argue about. But what if someone says “and what about this fact?!?!?!,” and pulls out something I had no idea about, and nothing to retaliate with. In that case, their hypothesis, that I’m a silly little girl who has gotten all lefty at uni, is proven in their mind.
I know a lot of this has to do with sexism, and with men’s voices being louder than women’s and with that factoid about men asserting their dominance whilst women try to make friends. But it’s just as much to do with my fear of being hated, and that worry of “what if someone bitches about me behind my back??”
So I’m here to say this: speak your mind. Be bold. Be hated. Because standing by your morals is a damn sight better than letting the world of politics pass you by.
Oh, and we should definitely stay in the EU.