Do you not know I am a woman? when I think, I must speak. Sweet, say on. (As You Like It, III.ii)
“Pardon me, but I have a few things to say on the matter.”
I must express a huge thank you to everyone who commented on my post yesterday about sharing controversial opinions . All this time I’ve been worried about offending people when the consensus seems to be from everyone: this IS my blog and I shouldn’t hold myself back. It’s all a matter of tact and approach, which given my mood on any given day could be stellar or disastrous
This is all very timely as I mentioned with JJiraffe’s recent post about blog comments and today’s assignment for SITS31DBBB . For today’s activity, we’re supposed to spend time commenting on other blogs and exploring why we leave comments in the first place.
I’ve realized that I leave comments on other blogs because I’ve connected in some way with what’s been written, whether I can relate to the experience and thoughts shared, am responding to a call to action or call for support, or responding to a question. In a niche that has some incredible Good News posts and some truly heartbreaking Very Bad News posts, I at the very least try to keep up and say a quick Mazel Tov or I’m So Sorry, respectively, at the very least.
I also would love to engage more in the conversation happening ON my blog. If Blogger didn’t suck so hard*, I would respond to comments directly in-thread. I tried to do that on my last couple of posts but again, since Blogger suuuuucks the most I can do is comment on my own posts with a lil “@So-and-So” mention, I couldn’t really keep up with the comments.
*But you know where you can reply in-thread? WordPress! And that’s why I’m moving there folks. Mark your calendars: August 1, 2011 – Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed is moving to WordPress. Props to Mel , after her frank advice about self-hosting + WP when we met last November and hearing it repeated by many other bloggers since. I’m going the self-hosting route with much trepidation and excitement. I will blog about the big move more after July 1st.
Wait, what exactly does commenting have to do with what I post?
In thinking about why I leave comments, it’s allowed me to really think about the comments people left yesterday about whether or not they would be offended, comment or not comment on posts that might be otherwise controversial.
So yes, I’m going to man up and write about all of those things I threw out there yesterday. Bear with me though – I need to plug them into my calendar to really set aside the time to shape them into well-thought out, tactful posts.
But before I let this conversation come to a close, I wanted to highlight a couple of comments that stuck out for me from yesterday’s post:
We as infertiles understand better than most that life is messy. Its not all happy feelings and smiles. And I believe that since the blog is mine, or in this case yours, that you have a right, and an obligation to share all of it. The good and the bad.
She reminded me of the very title of my blog: Hannah wept, Sarah laughed. The good AND the bad and all the messy in between. That’s why I started this blog in the first place, as a safe place to just get it all out there.
Your blog is different because while much of your content is just about your life and what you think and feel, you do put up well-researched educational post about infertility and other topics that are important to you. Does this mean that you can’t put up what might be controversial opinion pieces too? I don’t think it excludes you from doing so but it might make you think twice before you do it.
Esperanza brings up a great point. While the blog was started solely as a personal emotional outlet, since everything exploded with my video, I feel a genuine commitment to give back to this community in responsible ways.
I say that because when I wrote my post about getting a mammogram , I got called out by a physician who said that I was giving the impression this was standard testing for women with POI. In fact, it was just my doc at the time being an overcautious wackadoo. This physician initially wanted me to remove the post because it sounded like I was giving out bad medical advice for women with POI, but I kept it anyway for a variety of reasons.
Esperanza’s comment reminds me of the level of social responsibility that has inadvertently become a very key aspect of my blog.
The next three comments gave me insight on how to approach all this controversy.
As for my philosophy as a blogger: I don’t get controversial very often but when I do I discuss my issue with respect and I don’t call people names. I do worry about offending people but I work hard to respond the way I would want people to respond to me if I was on the other side.
The worst time was when my best friend (who has her own history with IF and pregnancy loss) was pregnant. There were so many emotions going on with me and I didn’t have the heart to click ‘publish’ because I was afraid of hurting her feelings and jepordizing our friendship. It killed me that I couldn’t express myself in my blog. I finally did write a post which I expressed my feelings, but it was so lightly glossed over and not remotely the post that showed all my true feelings.
I, too, blog publicly with my name and my friends and family follow me — sometimes that limits me as I’m afraid to post certain things. But, I discovered that instead of just making a blanket statement about things that were hurtful, but rather really explaining it in depth worked.
The takeaway message from all three is contextand authenticity.I need to be genuine about the way I feel on these subjects, but I also need to write about them in a way that doesn’t alienate people in the process.
I am also afraid offending people and I work in a country you need to be wise, how you express your self. In Ukraine we don’t have the freedom to express our selfs.
I had no idea anyone from Ukraine read this blog. I have such an American ethnocentric point of view that I’m always amazed even when someone from Canada leaves a comment Mirjam’s comment really made me stop and think about the incredible privilege I have of free speech. It just made me appreciate that privilege I have as an American blogger and maybe I shouldn’t be complaining about self-censorship in the first place.
Sometimes, I should write what’s in my heart if only for the privilege of writing.
So be on the lookout this summer. I’ll talk about why I don’t want to be a mom to twins and why life without kids can be actually, quite rad. (I already know my “life without kids” post is going to be centered around five days with a little black and yellow Corvette and copious amounts of oysters, butter fat, and wine.)
I’ll try to approach the whole posting about your kids on FB posts with some practical advice and honesty and not sugarcoat the reality of how I feel about it.
And if you’re lucky, I’ll get to cervical mucus and birth control before the autumn.
Thanks for helping me remain in perspective and for keeping this dialogue going.