Defending the indefensible

I lost a Facebook friend today. Not someone I knew that well, more a “friend of a friend” that I only met once in Buenos Aires, but someone who’s views I had come to respect from their posts and blog writing, even if I didn’t always agree with them (Quite resolutely on some occasions actually). I’m hugely appreciative of people who are actually brave enough to have strong opinions, even if we disagree completely. It’s the people who have strong opinions that bring about change in our world, not those who sit back and mutely watch the world pass them by.

This person took offence at an old blog post of mine, one that I had reposted onto Facebook along with some amusing statistics on what Google search terms people were finding my site via. Seems many of my visitors come looking for photos of, or information on, Argentinian women. And seems my post on my personal experience of Argentinian women is ranking quite high in Google for a number of related terms.

Is the post offensive? Quite possibly (probably?) yes. And to women especially perhaps. Does that mean there’s no value or truth in the post? In my opinion, no. To be offensive does not exclude the potential for also being informative.

I dated a couple of Argentinian women in my first couple of months in Buenos Aires, and on both occasions they acted, well, a little crazier than my usual experience with women. In my opinion. And during this time I heard from a number of male friends of mine (both expats & Argentinians) about their similar experiences. It was from them that I learnt about the term “hysterica”.

And funny enough, I had a few Argentinian women friends of mine laughingly agree with this point of view. And check out a comment from an Argentinian woman on that post:

Look, I am an argentinian girl and I have to say… sadly most girls are really crazy!
…Barney Stinson was right about the crazy-hot scale.

So it seems that there is a body of opinion – personal opinion – from a number of men (and women) that many of the Argentinian women – at least the “porteñas” – are a little less, umm, predictable in their behaviour than women from some other countries.

But just as many women I know in Buenos Aires have commented on the misogynistic nature of the Argentinian male, while on the other hand I have a number of expat women friends who are absolutely in love with their wonderfully non-misogynistic Argentinian man, we can but talk about our own experience with others, and hopefully over time, from a range of opinions, form a fuller picture – even if we continue to disagree.

And that – I would hope – is exactly the type of discussion, debate, exchanges of opinion I would hope such an opinionated blog post would elicit.

So I’m a little disappointed that my former FB friend chose to “unfriend” me rather than put forward their own viewpoint, their own personal opinion & experiences. As it says above the comments section below, “Speak Your Mind”. And as I mentioned earlier, there were a number of their own posts that I had strong, opposing opinions on – some of which I commented on, others I chose not to. But in every case, I could appreciate that two people’s viewpoints would never align each and every time, and that anyone with strong opinions and a burning intellect would have many shades of grey within their psyche.

I could write a blog that was only about the “nice” things in life, sugar and spice and all things nice and all that. But that’s hardly what life is about, it’s hardly what I’m about. Life is brightness, darkness. It’s good and bad. Ups and downs. And everything in between. And I would hope that however good or bad my writing is, that my blog posts cover all of this and more.

But I respect their decision, each of us chooses out own path. I made the choice to write that article in the first place, even while appreciating it’s ability to potentially offend, so the outcome I wear as deserved. I’m just a little disappointed we didn’t have the chance to discuss the issue further, it had the potential to be enlightening, confronting, argumentative… and ultimately – hopefully – informative.

All the best my former Facebook friend.

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