Friday, August 26, 2011

Trying to be Nice

I broke with my usual posting schedule yesterday because felt very strongly about an issue. I joined a Facebook group against the use of the term 'frape' and I found that some of the comments I read in the group saddened me a lot and I wanted to address that.

I also felt that joining the group may have been seen as hypocritical, since I am passionately pro-free-speech and have been known to tell some pretty bad-taste jokes myself. And in mulling over the issue, I realised why I feel that trivialising rape is wrong, in spite of being, generally, a very difficult person to offend.

So I decided to write about it. And I didn't post it to the relevant Facebook group, because I didn't especially want to argue with a bunch of strangers who are as entitled to their viewpoints as I am to mine. I don't enjoy arguments.

But I did not want to write my post in anger. I have occasionally written posts in an absolute fit of passion, when I have to consciously slow and soften my typing in case I smash the keyboard :) And I don't like doing it - it's such a pain to re-read the post over and over to make sure I'm not being unfair.

This is my blog so I feel I'm allowed be angry on it. But I don't ever want to be unfair.

I feel strongly about yesterday's topic. I also feel strongly about feminism (which, by the way, I view as a position that empowers both men and women with choices, not - as many people seem to assume - a label for women who dislike men), racial equality, voter turnout, recycling, availability of shoes in unusually large and small sizes, the statement that slim women are not 'real women' (what on earth is a 'real woman' anyway? I'm pretty sure I'm one and I never had to pass any tests. Was I off sick that day?), marriage equality,  transgender recognition and the superiority of milk chocolate over dark. Not in that order, obviously.

And I know not everyone who reads my blog is going to agree with me on all of them. I may never post about most of those issues (the chocolate thing is probably going to come up again, though).

I will, however, always try to post about them with the best manners that I can. And if anyone ever wants to argue, I'll respond with my cool head on.

Have you ever tackled an emotive issue on your blog? What kind of response did you get? How do you feel about issue-based blogging?


  1. Here now, what's this about milk chocolate over dark? I'm afraid we're going to have to have words regarding that one!

    Seriously though, a lot of the time I feel ill equipt to argue my corner so would rather listen to/read what others have to say. That's not to say I don't feel strongly about many things (you've listed a good few of them there)but it takes quite a lot of research and discussion before I'm willing to argue my opinion.

  2. I try to give emotive issues a wide berth on my blog, simply because I have enough experience of the internet to not feed the trolls.

    But your blog is exactly that: it is yours. So never shield away from talking about things that you beleive need to be given a voice.

  3. I haven't tackled an emotive issue on my blog simply because in the five moths since I've been writing, nothing has come up that I want to share, but that's not to say I wouldn't.

    As for other people blogging about issues they feel strongly about, Go for it. I'm usually following a blog because I like the writing. I'll still like it even if I don't agree with it, and I might even learn something.

  4. I've done it on occasion where I've felt strongly enough about a subject, or angry enough about it, that I wanted to write about it. I've tended to deflect my own irritation in the blog itself by using something funny as a picture, for example.

    By extension, I know that if I post an image blog about politics, I'll get some strong responses along party lines.

  5. Zoe -
    Another dark chocolate lover. Will they never stop? :)

    I definitely get what you mean about not feeling qualified to argue. I feel like that a lot too, so when I do it, it tends to be in a 'this is just my opinion, kindly do not take it as fact!!' fashion. I get very worried that someone will think that I think I'm an expert.

    I'm an expert on milk chocolate and that's about it!

    Donna, I love the phrase 'don't feed the trolls'! That's exactly why I didn't put my 'frape' post on any fora where the issue was being discussed.

    Also I fully agree that a blog is a personal space - and occasionally I am likely to bang on about things that matter to me. Weirdly, my most popular posts tend to be the ones where I veer away from my usual writing-and-books topics!

    Sarah, I find that too - if I like a blogger I'll even enjoy the posts I disagree with. A blogger I love once said that she said she didn't believe in writers' block. I do, but I still enjoyed reading her point of view because it was well-written and well thought out!

    William, the funny picture is a good tactic, it never even crossed my mind! But I can definitely see how it would soften a more heated post.

    I don't post about politics because if I did, living on this mad little island I'd end up doing nothing else. . . :)

  6. I've dealt with emotive topics on my blog. It's my space and, like you, I strongly believe in freedom of speech. I do try to offer the same freedom to anyone commenting, though. I'm hardly infallible ;-)


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