Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch
I wonder a lot if posting the things I post, here and at Geek Girls Rule!, and owning them with my real name and all, hurts my chances when I’m looking for jobs. I wonder if I should tone down the rhetoric and play a little nicer, take out the swears, and be more “friendly” to my detractors and the system as a whole when it’s screwed up. I wonder a lot if the reason I’m still working where I am is directly related to the fact that I try very hard not to censor myself here, and to say what I mean.
And it is fucked up that I have to wonder about that.
I’ve posted before about teachers who have been fired because once upon a time they did porn to survive, write “erotic” novels under a different name, or even just posted a vacation pic of themselves in a bikini.
I put my name on this site and on Geek Girls Rule! because I mean the things I say on these sites, and I own them. I am angry about the way the world is going, what our leaders are not doing, and how corporate America is really running the show and running this country into the ground. I am angry at how women are treated in this country, that there are six year old girls who think they’re fat and need to diet. I’m not afraid to say the things I say, not even when I talk about rape and sexual harassment and it results in hatemail and death and rape threats. I’m really not.
And I refuse to be afraid to say these things that need saying because someone might not hire me.
My work persona and what you get here are completely separate beings for the most part. In part, because I’ve done a lot of customer service, I figure that a good chunk of what you’re paying me is for a pleasant demeanor and to interact nicely with my co-workers. Also, I’ve found that even the most hardened grump cannot stay grumpy at you if you appear glad to see them every day. And I genuinely do like people as a class.
What you get here is me infuriated by injustice and greed. You get the me that has had to deal with jerks and read, yet again, about the fucked up shit that is going on in this country because much of the population cannot pull their collective heads out of their asses long enough to see that voting for the men bankrupting you because they hate bitches and faggots and brown people, too, is not exactly a sterling survival strategy. Nor is this magical belief they seem to have that if they vote for things rich people like, then someday the Blue Fairy will come down and magically grant them those millions the bitches, faggots and brown people have somehow been cheating them out of.
But periodically, when I’m looking for work again, because while I love my co-workers, my current job has zero advancement prospects and I’m not terribly engaged with it, I start to wonder if I should dial it back a notch, maybe take some stuff down. Because they might Google me.
And that is fucked.
It is fucked when companies do things like run credit checks on potential applicants, it is fucked when they Google people and decide that since they don’t like their politics, or their swimsuits, or whatever, that they shouldn’t hire them.
YOUR JOB SHOULD NOT OWN YOUR FREE TIME.
What you do on your own time should not impact how hire-able you are, unless it involves breaking actual laws and hurting people.
This is not the Middle Ages, we are not serfs. And fuck, perhaps this rant is making me even more unlikely to get a new job, but I need this off my chest before I burst. As long as I come in at agreed upon times, do the agreed upon job (and “other tasks as assigned”) and am not an asshole to my co-workers, once I leave that building, I should be able to do whatever the hell I want with my time without worrying about posting something to Facebook or a blog, and then getting fired because someone doesn’t approve of burlesque, comic book conventions, gay marriage, feminism, or punk rock.
I don’t write these blogs at work. I don’t write them using company equipment or internet. I pay the rent on this house, the internet bill, and I bought the laptop. I earned that money with my labor, making it mine. What I do on my time with my stuff, so long as it isn’t impacting my performance, does not concern my employers.
If I were blogging company secrets, then, yes. That would be actionable. If I worked at Microsoft and blabbed about upcoming super secret ninja products. Or if I blogged patient information in the medical field, or leaked research before the researcher could publish, then yes. Those are all actionable.
But having opinions is not actionable.
Or at least, it shouldn’t be.
And yes, there are all sorts of hypotheticals that people can pull out of their asses and say, “Well, what if someone’s a huge racist but hides it at work?” or “What if someone really DOES hate men, but hides it at work?”
There are outliers, or as I usually say, assholes, in every field. There may in fact be virulent racists who are really good at playing nice in mixed company. I’ve never met one, eventually they blurt out something boneheaded and stupid and out themselves. But it’s possible. And, dirty as it makes me feel to say this, yes, I think as long as they can behave themselves it shouldn’t matter.
Ok, I need a shower after saying that. But I’m not a fan of double standards. If I think I should get to have a job while espousing my screaming pinko, commie, tree-hugging, liberal ideals, then they do, too.*
The First Amendment does not protect all speech. You cannot threaten people or yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater. But it does cover having opinions. And I don’t think we should have to live in fear of that when trying to support ourselves and our families.
*Pssst… I’m not really a commie. I’ve studied too much Russian history for that.