Gender, Race, Political Affiliation, and the Wide-Open Field

By Holly Lisle

Right now, the world I want to live in is being destroyed in front of my eyes by the people who think they’re saving it.

Being different and trying to force people to respect how different you are by agitating for laws to require respect for your difference has become a cause célèbre.

Problem is, we are ALL different.

I don’t mean just a little different. I mean “holy shit, are you kidding me?” different.

Because no matter who you are and no matter what you want and love and think and desire, you are on the polar opposite end of the universe from not just one person you’d consider a freak, but by a whole lot of folks who think YOU’RE the freak.

Everybody is different. Hold on to that, because I’m going to come back to it.

And BECAUSE everybody is different, I think the case needs to be made for Real Individual Freedom, which is obtained by MYODBAKYHTY, otherwise known as the Philosophy of the Wide-Open Field.

And I am an excellent person to make this argument, because I am deeply and weirdly different, and BECAUSE of my own differences, I have been the beneficiary of the Wide-Open Field.

Right now, whole bunches of folks want a special law to protect their little bits of “special and different.”

And the thing about laws is, they create fences, and the more fences there are, the more impossible it becomes to get from who you are to who you want to become.

The very best law legislates as little as possible, with the broad rule that anything not expressly forbidden is permitted.

See all that green in the Wide-Open Field?

What is good and right and honorable in American law started here.

The absolute worst law legislates as much as possible, with the broad rule that anything not compulsory is forbidden.

Chinese Communist law, Russian Communist law, and the laws of all totalitarian countries start here and live here.

There is no Wide-Open field in this picture.

Right now, I see a lot of people trying to create laws legislating how people THINK about gender, and race, and political affiliations.

They want to FORCE respect for their point of view, for their alignment, for who they are.

They want to FORCE people to think that however they are is right, good, normal, okay.

And you can’t. People are going to think whatever they think, and you cannot do a single thing to force them to be better, but by trying to force people to think thoughts YOU approve of, you can make the situation a whole lot worse. And not just for them. For yourself.

You can’t make people like you, you can’t make people respect you, and you can’t make people believe that whatever way you are that’s different than the way they are is good, or okay.

You can create an environment, however, in which everyone has to start demanding their own laws to protect their own tiny bit of turf.

But Law create more fences, not more field.


So you can be part of the problem by locking down pieces of freedom with pieces of “compulsory action” and “compulsory thought.”

Or you can embrace the Philosophy of the Wide-Open Field, which starts with “Everything that is not forbidden is permitted,” and which is protected by the Rule of The Wide-Open Field:


Pronounced Mee-YOD-bak-YHET-ee.


MYODBAKYHTY: Mind Your Own Damn Business, And Keep Your Hands To Yourself.

If you leave the Wide-Open Field wide open, there will be room enough in it for you to be whoever you are.

If you push for laws to try to force respect and obedience from those who don’t respect or like you, realize that the people YOU don’t like or respect can also get lawyers, and they too can push through bad laws that fence off thought and action and lock down parts of the field of individual rights and personal freedom until you cannot speak without doing so illegally, and you cannot think without committing a crime.

Please consider that there are four-hundred-million-ish people in the USA, and maybe as many as eleven of them HAVEN’T said, “There oughtta be a law…”

The Honest English translation of “There oughtta be a law…” is “I wanna shove MY view of the world down YOUR throat.”

When you support more laws, you start forcing people who never gave you a second thought before to hate you, because the law you favored put them in a box, and made them criminals for their thoughts.


Say it with me. Mee-YOD-bak-YHET-ee.
It is the simple rule that grants broad and amazing freedom. When you live by this rule, and this is the rule enforced by the law…

No one else needs to like you.

No one else needs to respect you.

Bastards can fucking HATE you… IF they mind their own business and keep their hands to themselves.

Which you make possible by doing the same thing.

The moment you realize that if you like and respect yourself and are living the life you want to live, or are at least pursuing the path you’ve set out for yourself to get there, you are FREE.

When you’re earned your own respect by living the life that matters to you, what other people think of you doesn’t affect your world.

And being able to walk across the Wide-Open Field that the freedom of broad individual rights creates allows all those narrow-minded bigoted jackasses you detest (the ones who don’t know you’re cool and who hate everything you think and love) to stand in their own place with their own issues and find their OWN path across the Wide-Open Field.

Probably well away from yours.

Maybe you don’t want them to have that freedom – the freedom to hate you from a distance.

Do you want the freedom to hate them from a distance, though?

Take a moment to consider that if the people you can’t stand are NOT forced by restrictive, field-narrowing laws to bow and grovel before what they hate or be criminalized for their THOUGHTS…

…the people who hate you (or at least what you stand for) might meet you in the field and come to like you, even if they discover you’re different, in whatever way you’re different. And no matter who you are, you’re at least different than someone, because odds are pretty high that whoever you are, you’re not like me.

And if those narrow-minded, bigoted, straight-gay-cis-trans-black-white-yellow-brown-red-rightwing-leftwing-middlewing-other-path assholes don’t like you?

Fuck ’em. Ignore them. Enjoy hating them in the privacy of your own unrestricted life.

As long as the rule is MYODBAKYHTY, and they’re following the rule, and you’re following the rule, and the government UPHOLDS the rule, the fact that they’re assholes doesn’t hurt you.

The Wide-Open Field gives freedom to everyone. Having a wide-open field lets you, me, and everyone else find our own way home to who we need to be, without having to fight through any laws, any restrictions, any punishment for being different.

‘Cause here’s the thing you gotta remember.

Everybody is different.

And when the Wide-Open Field is all locked down, EVERYONE gets locked up.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved