"Hi, I\'m writing in response to your penpal ad since I think we have so much in common! I saw that you say you\'re really in favor of equal rights and treatment for all races and thought I should admit that I\'m virulently racist and believe blacks and whites and all others should be kept separate, and no, I really do not think we all deserve the same rights, BUT, if you\'re still reading this…I believe that friends should be able to agree to disagree! And if it\'s such a touchy issue, we can just avoid it. Here are my interests…*fill in interests*…I hope to hear from you soon! 🙂 "
No, I did not get an e-mail like that, precisely…but I did get one that said, in response to my caveat that I\'m very much in favor of GLBT rights and it\'s a very sensitive issue so I really doubted I would get along with somebody who completely disagrees, "I\'m very much against gay marriage; I guess you could call me a homophobe (their word exactly), BUT…I believe friends should be able to agree to disagree!" etc. etc.
Needless to say I will not be replying. I fully admit I am hypocritical in that I believe in being openminded toward gays and minorities and other religions and whatnot, whereas I\'m so intolerant toward anti-gay rights that I can barely stand to communicate with people who are vocal about it. But that\'s just the point–I can admit it. And make a point to try to avoid people who are virulently homophobic. Like, for example, making a point NOT to reply to a penpal ad that says, "I\'m virulently homophobic but I hope we can be friends!" because truthfully, I do not WANT to be friends with such a person.
That makes me narrowminded and intolerant in a way, yes, but at least I see the irony in that it\'s perfectly fine to write to somebody, "I\'m against gay rights, but I think we should agree to disagree!"–like we\'re talking about our favorite color or movie–whereas if somebody were to reply to your penpal ad with, "I\'m virulently racist, but I think we should agree to disagree!" that would just be seen as nuts. If I had posted an ad saying something like I\'m very active in civil rights and equal opportunity and whatnot, I really doubt a Neonazi would reply to me to say that hey, he totally disagrees on the racial equality thing, but perhaps we can just agree to disagree, and still be friends?
No. I do not WANT to be friends with a self-admitted "homophobe," because to me, it\'s that important. I realize I might be on moderately okay terms with some homophobes as it is, but 1. I\'m not terribly close to them–we\'re certainly not friends, and 2. if I were to find out their exact stance, I admit, I would lose some respect for them, and distance myself. I would not hate them, but I would not want to be friends with them. That\'s my choice and it makes sense to me, because it\'s that important. I wouldn\'t want to be close friends with a virulent racist, either, and as a woman, I would not want to be friends with a virulent misogynist.
I really doubt it would be seen as kosher to reply to an ad to say, "I completely disagree with all you believe in and find your worldview totally repulsive, but hey, couldn\'t we just overlook that and agree to disagree?"
I guess we\'ll have to "agree to disagree." And not bother replying or being friends.
Along with all the horny foreign guys, shallow girls collecting dozens of "pals," and people who reply to you once and then forget you exist, yet another reason not to do penpal sites.