I’ve made no secret that I’m an asshole on Twitter. I don’t precisely revel in it, but I do accept that when one lives by the sword, one dies by the sword.
I have a few rules of engagement, though. I limit my name-calling as much as possible to public figures (I know even that’s rude but that’s as far as I can go down the Trail of Nice, and for that, I’m sorry). I try to limit my cursing. so as to avoid a mention in the future book, “The Coarsening of American Rhetoric,” a title I just made up but one that probably will get written by someone one day. And I try to vet the information I share because Twitter is full of nonsense and there’s no need for my input there.
A few days ago, the conversation turned again to Donald Trump’s rhetorical attacks on the Gold Star family, and I let it fly, only to have someone I’ve never met question my manhood.
Instinctively (ready, fire, AIM!), I crafted a smart-ass response and then stopped myself from posting. Why would I be called on to defend my manhood? I’m not a man. And the comment presumes that manhood is the medical model and of course we all aspire to it. And anything I retorted might not take into account that gender identity is not necessarily binary, and whew! I got a headache, muted the offender, and sat and thought about Life and Stuff.
When it comes to civility, politeness, and kindness, we haven’t done so well this campaign — no, wait. I haven’t done so well this campaign. I look forward to the day when we all start behaving again.