March 26, 2012

miserable hag skanks get a life

Wow. I need a shower after an ugly kerfuffle on a site I won't hurt your eyes by linking.

This brings up a lot of important issues that bear discussing, too. My thoughts.

One: the internet cannot be cleaned. There will always be hideous, wrong, damaging, hurtful, misguided, SAD commentary out there. While it is good to try to respond to it sometimes, it is not a reasonable goal to think it can be erased. We will never 'set the record straight' or save all parents from being exposed to poison; we can just spread as much good as possible.

Two: consider the source. Not all internet commentary is of equal value. Dignifying some of this stuff with a response only elevates that person and lessens your authority.

Three: lay down with pigs, get up muddy. Wrestling with people who are horrid and nasty, or nasty and defensive, or (worst) frightened, doesn't dignify one's arguments or help the cause of good information.

Four: People are watching. Most people who read stuff on the internet aren't commenting. But they are googling, gossiping, emailing, and forming opinions. Everything you say matters and can be found.

Five: Manners still matter.

Six: The friend of your enemy's enemy is your friend, whether you like it or not. If you are nasty, flippant, shrill, or wrong you will not only hurt your own cause you will hurt anyone who shares your views. When I represent F.E.A.S.T. out there in the world I am called to account for everything that is said that recommends F.E.A.S.T., for example. When I represent the parent community I am asked to apologize for everything a parent has said - whether I agree with that other parent or not. Is this fair? No. But it is still true. There is no 'we,' there is no 'they.'

Six Point Five: It goes both ways. When you attack all people of another opinion because of the excesses or ill temper of others of that bent, it undermines you.

Seven: Personal attacks work, but not the way you want. Any time you make it personal - about the other person's integrity or motives or authority - you make it about YOU. If you keep it on the idea, you win whether the other person is persuaded or not: because people are listening.

Eight: There is a stage for activism, and it isn't when you are currently fighting for your own child's life, generally. Those Internet fights can be brutal, brutal, brutal and if you are in a fragile place they can undermine your equilibrium. I would NOT recommend reading that kind of effed up s%^& without a very "wise mind" and some months of calm in your back pocket.

Nine: Let people be horrid. It is their own reward. You are not going to fix them. They have to live in their horrible, horrible minds.

Ten: I went through this seven years ago with my book. I'm a writer and this goes with the territory. There will be ignorant, thoughtless, cruel, anonymous commentary. That's the price of getting information out there, and it is expected. Yes, it hurts to be considered self-serving, a poor mother, all that - but no one writes a book about such things to have her ego stroked or bolster her self-esteem. One writes to connect and cry out against wrong and to make some small change in the world. 

Ten Point One: That woman is a nasty bit of baggage. 

Ten Point Two: I broke nearly ALL the above rules yesterday. I will do better today.

2 comments:

  1. You did very well to step away when necessary. xx

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  2. Mothers are mad as hell snd they arent going to take it any more! We love our kids and we dont want to be blamed or pushed aside when they need us most. This train is out of the station!

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