I am sure that most CSULB students know about the protesters that come on campus and preach their bigoted ideas on the lawn between the bookstore and the Hall of Science. These people bring signs that list off sins and attack Feminism and LGBTQ rights. They also say incredibly misogynistic things about women and insist that a woman’s only role is to make babies. Usually, students argue with these people, which devolves into name-calling and shouting matches. I want to suggest a new approach to dealing with these people, which is to ignore them because engaging with them makes them come back and arguing with them is not going to change their views.
In his song ‘Sissy that Walk,’ drag queen Rupaul sings “Unless they paying your bills, pay them bitches no mind,” which is what we need to do when these protesters come on campus. Remember these people are not paying for your education, so we do not owe these people a shred of our valuable time as students. These people are saying these misogynistic and homophobic things to make you angry and so they have a reason to come back. When they get that angry reaction, they will keep coming back because they think that their message has an impact on us. Just ignore them because ignoring them does not give them the response they want. If we keep ignoring them, they will eventually leave because they can no longer use their words as a weapon against us. I understand that it’s hard to ignore them because they have said truly vile things, but getting angry at them is feeding their desire to spread hate. Lastly, ignoring them denies them the ability to paint themselves as victims and exposes them for the bigots they are.
My second reason for why you should ignore these protesters is that arguing with them is not going to change their views. People assume that having a debate between two parties is going to one, or both sides see the error of their ways. However, when someone is so committed to spreading hate and waving signs that degrade that women, pointing out the faulty logic of their arguments is not going to change their views. Instead, debating with them is going to make them double down on their position because the election of Trump has confirmed to them that their beliefs are okay. Additionally, even when students try to debate them they resort to ad hominem attacks that do not make an argument against their claims, and reinforce their beliefs. Dialogue with these kinds of people is utterly pointless because you will not make them change and they will still come back because they feel more sure of their beliefs.
You do not have to resort to fighting either with words or with weapons to enact change that you want. Sometimes ignoring the people hurling hateful words towards you is the most effective because they will realize that their words have lost their power. We do not want to confirm their views by engaging with them; rather we want to disprove their opinions by doing nothing. As long as they keep getting the reaction they want, they will come back and say horrible things. I think we can all agree that we want them gone, and ignoring them will fulfill our want.