Life on Facebook as a conservative woman is trying. I’m constantly subject to liberal politics, so-called “feminist” issues, and pro-choice propaganda. Yet, I’ve learned to filter it out, to keep scrolling and move on with my day. There are many reasons why I choose not to engage, but the primary one is out of respect for my friends and our friendships.

I’ve always been able to handle opposing views; I still love my friends and family who don’t share my views and values. But, I’ve always feared so many would not give me the same courtesy. Last weekend proved me right.

When I finally felt so compelled to post something that I believed, oh, man, did the floodgates open! It was the Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, that tipped me over the edge. For me and many other women, this day of marching would go down in history as a day we hung our heads in shame and shook them in disgust. So, I dared offer my view on Facebook: to me, this march was ridiculous.

I felt offended by the profanities being shouted, shame for the undignified costumes, and disgust for the truly twisted way some of these women perceive the world. I needed to make it clear that these women weren’t speaking for me. I am a feminist, but I am not that kind of feminist.

Within minutes—seconds even—of posting a comment reading #notmymarch, I received a deluge of incensed, disrespectful responses: “How can you think this? You’re a woman!” Or, in essence, “That’s not okay. I must change your mind!” There is a positive, polite way to engage people who don’t share your opinions. This was not it.

When I asked a liberal friend of mine to respect my platform and refrain from commenting on my post because I have refrained from commenting on hers (just asking for the same respect, here!) I saw passive-aggressive comments such as, “What a rough ride life must be for those who think being challenged online is comparable to the hell so many endure every day.” Or I get told to “Have a pleasant night rueing [sic] in self-indulgence.”

How silly of me to think women should respect other women…even on Facebook. How silly of me to think that a group of people championing the fair, equitable treatment of women would let a fellow woman voice her thoughts without the onslaught of a verbal attack. How silly of me to think we might be able to have a calm, thoughtful discussion about out differing opinions.

I realize that Facebook will always be “just Facebook.” It’s not real life; it’s an online social media platform. But if these people, these “feminist” stalwarts, can’t even show me respect from behind their keyboards, how can they legitimately claim to be the heroes standing up for and representing my gender?

Beyond the anger and frustration originally felt with the comments about my post, I feel pure sadness. I’m saddened I have to accept the fact that people I’ve known for years, even family members, have unfriended me. I’m saddened these women who say they’re so accepting and understanding can’t handle the fact that I don’t agree. I’m saddened they choose to forget my existence instead of being mature adults and just agreeing to disagree. I’m saddened that some of these people didn’t bring their children to my daughter’s birthday party this past weekend because of my political views. How did we—as a society, as a country—reach this point?

I’m not a closed-minded individual. I’ve taken time to listen to the story that is the feminist movement of today. And yet, I still don’t agree with its liberal agenda. Instead of trying to respectfully engage me in debate and find some common ground, today’s “feminists” talk at me and write off what I have to say. I’ve given them the space and respect to express their views, but they’re unwilling to do the same for me.

Life on Facebook as a conservative woman is trying. What will tomorrow bring? Probably more and more liberal politics, so-called “feminist’ issues, and pro-choice propaganda. And what will I do? I’ll scroll on. I’ll scroll on out of the love I feel toward the people who I disagree with and out of respect for their opinions. I can only hope in the future they will do the same for me.

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