I know that I believe and say things that other people disagree with, strongly. I know that if me from 10 years ago could hear me say these things, she would think that I am absolutely f***ing insane. But I have seen things, and heard things, and experienced things, that I guess other people haven't. I have lived among the rednecks like Jane Goodall. I've heard people say that those who don't believe in God should leave America. I've seen people who aren't ready to be parents, who never meant to have children, who really shouldn't have children, but keep on having more anyway. I've met 5-year-old girls who "don't want to grow up to be big and strong, I want to be skinny". I've had barefoot two-year-olds chase my car down the middle of the street while their caregiver watched and didn't even react. I've witnessed firsthand obvious racists who cover up their racism with the fact that they are a minority. I've seen how nobody calls them out on it because if they did, then they would be accused of racism. I've been accused of racism for even pointing out that racist black people exist. I've seen women get special treatment because they're women, and come to expect that special treatment, and continue to receive it because their bosses are afraid of the discrimination charges that would undoubtedly be filed if they didn't give that special treatment. I've been refused employment because of where I grew up, I've been called a haole (and not in the cutesy, non-racist way that the travel guidebooks assure you the word is used nowadays), I've been ignored by store clerks when I was the only white person in the store. My opinions don't come from out of nowhere. They are based on things that I have seen, heard, and experienced. And I'm tired of keeping my mouth shut about them because somebody might be offended. F*** that. Like Brian is always telling me, "You're from New York, start acting like it. You shouldn't give a sh*t what anyone thinks of you!" But at the same time, I'm so sick of people getting hurt or offended because what I think is different from what they think. I can promise you that if my views are different from your views, it's not a personal attack on you. And expecting me to keep my mouth shut in order to not hurt your feelings isn't fair to me. Because I never, ever, ever say anything specifically to be offensive or hurtful; on the contrary, I am often wary of saying anything at all because I know it won't be taken well. So if I actually do say it, you can be sure that I must feel pretty strongly about it in order to take the risk. You have the right to be offended by what I say but I damn well have the right to say it.
I believe that women's lib means I can live however I choose - even if that means staying at home, baking cookies from scratch and knitting baby booties all the livelong day. I believe that discriminating against anyone based on their color is racism - even if they're white. I believe that the bad auditions on American Idol are the end result of twenty years of focusing on self esteem - "you are perfect no matter what" - piled on top of a century of growing up consuming music rather than making it together as a family. I believe the children are our future. I believe in miracles. I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.