To quote Shark Tank’s Mr. Wonderful, I am a “nothing burger” in the blog space. My followers number in the hundreds, not thousands. My page views can be as little as zero on a given day. And, only a handful of promotional opportunities have come my way, none paying. Because, burger status.
So, when I stumbled across something which called out the problems with mommy bloggers, I thought, “This is pretty harsh, but she raises some good points.” Understandably, others vehemently disagreed and the comments came flying in. Though the author was banned from the group from which she had chosen to share her post, it didn’t stop the discussion on what should be said or not said in this space so many share.
There were the rallying cries for keeping things positive. Rebuttals on how awesome mom bloggers are and how this particular one was just a hater. There were the virtual high fives among those calling her out. All justified and refreshing responses to a pot – stirring time bomb.
But, it still needs space. It still needs a place among all the lovey dovey kumbaya shit in the blog world. Hell, I even wrote one of those pieces. I am so thankful for the guidance and support afforded to me as a fellow writer of all things parenting. I love being a mom blogger, despite all of the wrong things I may be doing in the process. But, it still needs space. It needs space because free speech means taking the sweet with the sour. It means different opinions and respectful dialogue. It means anger and passion.
As a high school journalist, I vividly remember the only time I came close to getting in trouble at school. It was over an article that addressed some controversial fashion choices. My facts were sound, my quotes on point, but that didn’t stop people from being offended and me from nearly being reprimanded. Luckily, my adviser had my back and free speech won out that day.
Lots of disgusting stuff is on the Internet. I mean just awful, brutal words. Words calling for the raping of women, sites that encourage child molestation, tweets cheering the killing of innocent unarmed blacks and of cops alike, Facebook posts telling trans people to commit suicide, and on and on. There is so much of that vile sewage to worry about that to even be remotely offended by some blogger with a chip on her shoulder seems like a huge waste of mental energy.
Somehow, we’ve seemed to have lost sight of what free speech is all about. All you have to do is consider the “offensive” nature of those Trump 2016 chalk writings to wonder what the fuck has happened? When did having a minority or controversial opinion become so hard for others to digest? Why do we have to have trigger warnings and safe spaces? Why does Facebook purposely hide certain news stories? Why was Azalea Banks banned from Twitter (perhaps justifiably) when so many others saying far worse continue to spew 140 characters of garbage on the regular.
I know words can hurt, I was bullied just like everyone else on the planet. I also can admit to saying some hurtful things myself. We all have. I know social media has made it harder to avoid hateful speech, and I absolutely do not condone words that in any way encourage harm. I know far too many young people are killing themselves because of the cruelty of others.
I also know an angry post from a blogger is not that. Not even close.
Just scroll and roll, folks. Scroll and roll.