And Only 66 Days Later, the Exodus Begins

Back on January 11th, I started a Facebook group. It was a proactive move to encourage thoughtful debate among the diverse women with whom I share a community. The only requirements for membership were: living in my zip code and being a mother. Our only rule mimicked Fight Club’s first rule, i.e., You don’t talk about Fight Club.

Topics have ranged within the breadth of national politics to more focused local issues. The discussion has also ranged from cerebral to snarky.

Just the other day, a member expressed her concern over the Fight Club rule being violated. So I felt the need to reiterate the rule and ask the women to be careful about speaking of the members and/or their opinions.

And as of this morning, several of the women have left the group. Some did so loudly with a post detailing their rationale. Others did so quietly. Their departures are their own. In a show of respect for them, I’m not going to chase after any of them.

Image result for open door


But the exodus leaves me wondering whether having established the discussion group was worthwhile to begin with. The purpose was specifically to bring women–to bring mothers–together to talk about controversial matters.

Because it’s so easy to rant and insult on social media when you’re hiding behind a screen and shouting at strangers, I figured that because we all see each other on a daily basis (at the grocer, gym, pharmacy, schools), we’d temper our commentary with that awareness.

Somehow though, that didn’t seem to work for everyone. In fact, it seemed that some women decided to leave because we share a community and have to see each other in all those public places. This makes me very sad, as it was the opposite intention to the group.

Without vigorous discussions, we cannot hope to learn from other. Without the opportunity to hear how and why someone else sees what she does from her perspective, we cannot hope to grow.Without an open heart, we only let in that which is already comfortable and welcomed.


10 thoughts on “And Only 66 Days Later, the Exodus Begins

  1. I really think it is worth it to continue. Many of us have list the ability to discuss and consider without giving or taking offense. We need places like this to practice and perhaps relearn the etiquette of partipating in a lively debate. It is hard that people are leaving–some of them because they feel that their trust has been violated. But, the bumps in this road are a part of the learning process. It is hard to listen when a person doesn’t feel they are being heard, but our country and our community is facing large issues and changes. We must try to keep the channels open.

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  2. Let me start by saying that I hope you don’t mind my response, since I’m just a dad. The old line about never discussing religion or politics with peers has gone out the window in this age of social media. I love a meaningful discussion about issues, learning about others thoughts, and clarifying my own (even when my own rationale for my beliefs are…weak). As someone who has often had the minority opinion within my professional circles, I admit that I have often bit my tongue during discussions. Not because I believe any less strongly in my opinions, but I recognize that those who often speak loudly don’t really want to have beliefs challenged or want to critically evaluate their own beliefs, and rather than accept new ideas, chose to work to further marginalize the “other”. It is a personal weakness on my part, but survival in a workplace or community is sometimes better than being further ostracized. Meaningful discussions have to come from places of trust where differing opinions are met with meaningful responses and acceptance of differing perspectives, in our modern social media age with leaders who preach hate and violence, it is hard to find safe places to expand our understanding. I commend your effort in trying to move our communities forward to a place where, even if we have different opinions on the route, we all want to make a better future for all.

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    1. Thank you, Dan. I agree with you and have bitten my own tongue many times for the “greater good,” i.e., preservation of civility. Maybe you should start a page for dads in our zip code. Might be fun. You know, the sort of fun feeling you get from stabbing yourself in the eye with a fork.

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  3. Kudos Dan. I believe that if you can’t take it, don’t give it. In all regards though, it should never be personal. Differences of opinion is part of what makes us an engaged community. One thought though…………What would we be called if we were a closed Mens Group? Hmmmmmmm. Happy comes to mind. JK

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  4. I find this page very useful, and I thank you for the creating it. I believe the written word is a flex able being…with no facial expressions to go with it. I find sometimes what one person writes might mean something totally different from what another interpretes it to mean. Therefore I find it useful not to take things personally, because more times than not, it is not meant to be. I have seen conversations where one person is feeling attacked, but the other person in the conversation was speaking generalized and the interpretation got personal. We have to be able to debate the issues and keep in mind it is the issues we are hot headed about and not the individual we happen to be discussing them with. I hold no malice for anyone who holds a different opinion and can throw down a good debate, even full of sarcasm, because it is a chance to grow. I think once you can understand that it is the issue under attack and not you as a person, things seem less hurtful. Opinion are just that…opinions and they may differ, but one maketh not a person. It’s too early…I hope I am making sense 😃

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  5. Don’t close the group, please. It’s a great idea, and while I’m one of the people who left (quietly), I really appreciated being able to talk about all sorts of important issues with other group members, especially those who had views opposite to mine but didn’t get offended that someone disagrees with them and took time to explain their positions. I hope to be back after the election, if anyone is still left in the group, and continue talking.

    Liked by 1 person

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