When arguing just isn’t worth it
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
Recently, I recommended a movie to a customer on behalf of his six-year-old daughter, as part of my job. It was Small Soldiers, a kids’ movie about toy soldiers that come to life and start blowing each other up. He shot down my suggestion, saying that it was “for boys.”
Naturally, the feminist in me was outraged. Media, toys, music, or any other product should not be considered exclusively for one gender. The idea that a girl, particularly a child, should not watch a movie because of content traditionally considered masculine enforces gender roles and does not contribute to creating an equal or tolerant society. A large part of me wanted to argue with him about the damaging patriarchal views he was enforcing on his daughter.
Of course, I ended up recommending Alvin and the Chipmunks instead rather than telling him off for gender stereotyping. This was partially due to my customer service role, where one is naturally expected to not argue with patrons or in any way suggest they are wrong. But I also remembered that some battles just aren’t worth it.
It is very important to stand up for what one believes in, particularly if these things involve social justice and equality. We are all responsible for making the world a better place and challenging convictions that involve racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, etc. But there is a time and place to challenge these preconceptions, and sometimes, it’s better to just let it go.
It is important to confront discrimination in instances where it is being displayed head-on, or in cases when it is a loved one who we know is capable of being better. But with things overheard in public or on the Internet, particularly with people we do not know, it may be wise to quietly disagree and find more concrete ways to express our values.
People do not change their minds because of arguments with a stranger on social media. They do not become more inclusive based on petty arguments. Individuals hold beliefs based on years of preconceived beliefs that are a product of the environments they are raised in, as well as the values of those around them.
The world will always be full of evil and of beliefs that are truly harmful to society. We can all do our best to fight these beliefs, and some ways are more effective than others.