Opinions Are Like…

Bellybuttons, sphincters, armpits, etc.

Everyone has one.

When is it ok to have an opinion?

I have been told that I am opinionated.  I actually think it is a nice way for people to call you a bitch who don’t share your opinions.  As a woman, it is something we sometimes hear from misogynistic men who think we should all just keep quiet and get to that ironing that’s waiting in the laundry basket.  I mean when was the last time you heard someone call a man ‘opinionated’?

Is it ok to have an opinion when you don’t have the facts?  I think it depends on what you mean when you say ‘facts’.  If I have read something or observed something I might have an opinion.  It’s ok to share that opinion as long as I am ok with someone disputing it with more information than I have.  For instance, I feel pretty good about calling Tom Cruise a lunatic.

I mean Scientology and the whole put your kid on a boat thing so they can be brainwashed into being a devout Scientologist…  Um…run Katie and Suri…RUN!  It sounds like extreme CCD (for my Catholic/recovering Catholic friends).  That is my opinion.  If someone came to me and said that Katie was the crazy one, they have disputed my opinion and I expect them to back it up with why they think that way. If it is because they liked Tom in Top Gun, I’ll simply roll my eyes and change the subject to something they can handle, like ice cream flavors.   (We all love the volleyball scene and all but it’s not like Tom is even tall enough to carry off a good overhand serve.)  If it is because they are a Scientologist I would back away slowly…then start carrying garlic and a switchblade in my pockets (those people are crazy and I hear they don’t like garlic).  Bias plays a part in opinion forming and that’s OK because your opinion might have to do with something you strongly believe in, just make sure that you have more information to back it up.  You should anyway if you believe that strongly.

When someone tells me that I am not allowed to have an opinion because I don’t have firsthand experience of a situation, just information, well that is a different matter, one that boils my blood.  For instance, if I am of the opinion that the Colorado wildfires are a terrible situation, I am forming that opinion from the knowledge that the reports have shown people’s homes burned to the ground, thousands of animals killed and terrible conditions faced by our brave firefighters.  That is a horrible situation.  If someone has a different opinion and they live in that state and I don’t, why should their opinion be better than mine?  I have not even gotten to the actual information but they consider their opinion more realistic than mine because they live in Colorado. I mean seriously, out of control wildfires = bad, in any state.   The only reason I can see otherwise is if for some reason all the zombies of the world were concentrated in that wildfire area and it was started to prevent a zombie nation.  Even then it would probably be a controlled burn like they do in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, you know, so they don’t kill the New Jersey Devil considering how important he is to tourism.

 

Sounds ridiculous, right?

To me it is about as ridiculous as telling me I can’t simply have an opinion about the wildfires because I am not a firefighter fighting the wildfires.

  • http://www.KidFreeLiving.com/ Amy

    Opinions are opinions and statements of fact are statements of fact. In the past I’ve been afraid to have opinions for fear someone would point out why I was an idiot and have better opinions or (gasp!) FACTS to prove me wrong. Now I’ve just gotten used to saying, “Oh… hm… well, you might have a point there…”

    • http://www.scargosun.com/ Scargosun

       It has gotten to the point with both print and news media that I don;t know what to believe anymore so I go with my gut AND the info I have that I believe to be reliable.  When you have media outlets like FOX NEWS out there, it is about all you can do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=772048280 Tara German

     I say go forth and be opinionated!  More people should be brave enough to offer their opinions on any given subject.  The general public is often so afraid of what others might think that they won’t say a word.  I for one don’t want to be overrun by those doing wrong in this world just because I didn’t stand up and tell them what I thought.

  • http://logyexpress.com/ Tracy

    Ice cream flavors…yum. Oh sorry, you were saying?

    I’m a researcher, so I’m big on facts and I care a lot about the strength of the evidence supporting “facts.” I like to call myself the evidence police (usually when I’m getting annoyed at the media’s botched portrayal of research findings). Like Amy, I have a tendency not to want to share an opinion unless I’m pretty damn sure I’m right. I hate looking like a moron.

    Speaking of looking like a moron…yes, Tom Cruise is a loon. That is a fact. And I didn’t like Top Gun (ducking)…