I saw this tweet today from movie-maker Pepe Diokno and being the “opinionated millenial” that I am, I just felt the need to retaliate because that’s what I do best according to people who hate my guts.
Maybe he means well, maybe he’s a bigot who, when losing a debate or an argument, doubles down on the shame and blame game. Nonetheless, let me try to dissect his tweet for clarity and for my interpretation. I’m entitled to scrutinize other people’s opinions and interpret them, just as others are entitled to scrutinize and interpret mine.
- Pepe Diokno is a millenial. What he has is an opinion. Posting his belief on social media is him telling other people his opinion, which is a contradiction of his original position. What does that make him? Yes. A hypocrite.
- The use of “millenial writers” in this tweet reeks of ageism. So just because someone is born in the late 80s or the 90s, they can’t have an opinion? That’s practically saying women cannot have an opinion about men because they lack the experience of being men. So only the old have substantial wisdom? The Catholic Church is an institution laden with old folks in its ministry. Should we make the Catholic Church our go-to? Is this what he’s saying?
- “Everyone has opinions.” Not necessarily true. And even if it is true, not all opinions are equal. Not all opinions have the same value.
- “Tell me about your experiences.” Opinions come from experiences. If someone tells you his opinion, he’s practically sharing with you his life experiences manifested through his value and belief system. Having said that, some opinions are also the product of prejudices. But if you’re an intuitive person who also has this thing called “research” at your disposal, you’ll distinguish an opinion borne out of reason & experience from one that’s out of mere prejudice.
- Finally, Diokno is probably forgetting that young people–despite their lack of experience–have the power to change the world for the better. Malala Yousafzai was only 11 years old when her diary captivated the world and spoke publicly about the importance of education for girls.
It’s not wrong to have an opinion. This kind of shaming has got to stop. Having an opinion means you think and you have creativity, and that’s a good thing. It’s all about balance. If you don’t like an opinion, you have the right NOT to read it or listen it. If you think an opinion is of no value, then you have the right to move on.