I love it when people say that San Francisco is liberal, as if it was a given, obvious fact that no one ever can or should doubt. It makes me laugh. I guess their definition of “liberal” is quite narrow nad limited to political views and a few other social issues. However, just because there are more freaks roaming around Market street and its vicinity with mismatched or plain weird clothes, tattoos and piercing and other signs of desperate desire to stand out and in all the wrong ways, including walking naked during gay pride and similar parades, and just because so many homeless people sleep and pee on the streets doesn’t mean the city is truly liberal. In fact, in many ways it’s quite conservative and uptight. The best testament to that is people’s strong aversion to be criticized, or judged or receiving advice. They are so afraid that, god forbid, someone will give them some kind of suggestion or will point out something negative about them and their behavior, that at any hint of that kind of feedback they immediately become defensive, exclaiming: “why are you judging me?” They act like that girl you met who challenges you on everything you say and who tries to do the opposite form what you ask her to do, just to show you that she can, because she has been oppressed for so long by her parents of ex-boyfriends, and now she is on a mission to prove to you and the rest of the world that no one can ever control her in any way ever again. My favorite question in that context is “who are you to judge me?” I have a clear and simple answer to this question: I am just another fellow human being with a few views and opinion and I must trying to share one or two with you.Judging has a huge value. Judging or criticizing one thing that makes us reevaluate our actions and the world around us, and as a result – hopefully making certain changes and improvement. Judging is probably one major, essential component of most achievements and developments.
Contrary to what some people think, freedom does’t mean not judging or not being judged. In fact, the opposite is true. True freedom means being free to express an opinion and judge whatever and whoever you want and being free to hear words of judgment from others that are directed at you without being necessarily offended or hurt, and then deciding whether you want to accept them or not. We have a lot of work to do toward getting to that kind of freedom, so lets not get ahead of ourselves and not call this city liberal just yet.