Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Line on Secrets

60 summarized posts+13 musings+26 somethings+this post=100 Posts

To start with the simplest way I can think of to say it: Any person should be able to keep secrets that do no harm. No person should be forced to keep a secret.

What I mean to say by the first is that I am not writing this as a part of a crusade to completely do away with secrets. I recognize that saying something like, "Ugh, you are [insult]" is something you might want to keep to yourself. Particularly if there's nothing constructive about the insult--"Your clothes are messed up" is worse than, "You're tag's sticking out," for instance. I also recognize that some secrets are simply difficult to communicate. I...obviously can't give an example of that one.

And, simply, I believe people deserve a certain level of privacy. Unless I am interested in a relationship/one-night stand with you, I don't need to know your orientation. I would say I don't even need to know that, only if you're interested, but there's an entire part of the courtship ritual devoted to winning over a potential mate so...gray area.

Simply put: maybe it's none of my business. I'm fine with that. As one of my goals is to know everything, I want to know, and as a friend I hope that if my friends wants to tell someone they can tell me, but I would not intentionally force an invasion of privacy.

And here comes the flip.

All that stuff I just said about being forced to tell a secret? Combine that with a need to communicate and understand, and a reflexive feeling of wrong about anyone being forced to keep a secret, and you begin to have how I feel about a person made to keep one.

Then there's the more conventional way to force: make it unsafe. If I have no particular thing standing in my way, I personally am open about my bisexuality. If I would become a target...well, I personally would probably be fiercely open out of spite, though that's not exactly the healthiest way to be open, but someone else might hide, and it certainly makes things more difficult. If I would be putting my family (or friends, or partner) in danger...that would stop me. At least for a while. And that lack of choice is not healthy.

There are multiple methods of force, of course. The simplest is one I've alluded to in talking about the right of secrecy: intentionally creating a situation where people are incapable of saying it. Back to sexual orientation--if a person does not know the word bisexual, nor that such an orientation exists, it suddenly becomes a lot harder to recognize that orientation in one's self, never mind explaining it to someone else. It's not as flagrantly dangerous, and yet...

If I'm under threat, I'm under threat, but if I lack the ideas, then I have no idea what is happening. I cannot speak for more than myself, but I would rather understand.

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