Civil Disagreements

I’m having a disagreement with a fellow blogger.

This woman said that I had no right to judge her. I find this an interesting concept.

Regardless of whether or not either one of us is correct, the idea that someone thinks they can blog without being judged intrigues me.

Is this something we can expect as bloggers, not to be judged? Seriously, I’m asking this of anyone who reads it. Do I have the right not to be judged by the actions I write about? Do you?

In a public blog, we write about our lives, thoughts and actions. We install counters to see how many people read us and link us. We comment on other blogs and make friends with one another. All this is based on judgment, is it not? Do we not decide whom we want to lurk on, read and link to by judging who they are by what they write about it?

When you blog publicly mustn’t you assume you will be judged by what you write, how you write?

Further, when a blog has a comment section, can’t one safely assume that one day someone might have a difference of opinion AND comment? Some blogs do this on purpose to drive up readership. Not this particular woman’s, but it happens.

Most of us write about our lives, experiences and stories. Who we are colors everything that we type. However, most of us have areas of our lives and minds that we don’t share on our blogs. Why? Various reasons – personal, intimate, none of anyone’s business, because we don’t want to be judged.

Now barring abusive responses and spam, do you censor what is written? Do you want discussion? Or do you want “support” only? Maybe there should be some kind of indication that allows only smiley emoticons and love and kisses.

And really, if you can’t be a responsible pet owner, do not have pets, no matter how many kids are starving in Africa.


11 thoughts on “Civil Disagreements

  1. I think it’s unreasonable for people to put their words out for the public to read and then think that no one can judge them for what they’ve written. If you don’t want people to make a judgement about you, don’t write something for the public to read. By God, that’s what spiral notebooks and Bic pens are for.

    If you are seen or heard by anyone – anyone! – then you’re going to be judged. You’ll be judged by what you wear, what you say, how you sound, what you look like, what you do, where you go, blah, blah, blah. You don’t have to create something to be judged – walking out the front door is enough. Stay home alone and keep silent if you can’t stand for anyone to form an opinion about you.

  2. Jen, you seem pretty intent to pick a fight but I’m not gonna bite! Not worth my time! I write an uncensored & honest blog, I don’t “rose-coat” my life, and so of course I expect some people to disagree. But you came out of nowhere in attack-mode trying to make judgments about my character, and that is BS coming from someone who never read the blog and is only leaving a comment for the 1st time! You are NOT the authority on “responsible pet ownership”, and PETS ARE NOT PEOPLE!

  3. This following comment is not really directed at anyone in particular. It’s just stuff I was thinking while going through and reading comments here and over there.

    I worked at the SPCA for over 2 years. I’ve seen the direct results of irresponsible pet ownership. I understand that there are people who “humanise” their pets- I mean some really do go over the top. But I think there definitely has to be some kind of humanisation of this creature that is counting on you for EVERYTHING. Is a dog really like a real child? Biologically of course not. But to some people the feelings and the relationship are just as real.

    However, whatever your opinion is on pets = people I think that any time someone has a pet and has not fully prepared themselves for every single responsibility should really evaluate whether or not it’s in the best interest of the animal to keep it.

    Pets are not people. That doesn’t mean they deserve less respect. I mean, the person says they don’t think pets are people, but on the other hand she has opted to give her other dog a “hairstyle”.

    Now, I’m not a genius or anything but my understanding is that the hair is there to keep the dog’s body warm. You purposely took your animal to a salon (a human concept) and shaved it off to make your “animal” look pretty. Do you think the dog gives a shit how it looks?

    I don’t think so.

    In terms of the expectation of judgement…

    I had to censor my blog a while because I was going through my divorce. I had to be careful what I talked about. Do I think that if I write something that I know will spark debate that people won’t judge me? Of course not. People who say they don’t judge are just plain lying.

    I think that people who also say “Of course I expect to be judged” and then make it a huge drama obviously were not prepared for it. At the same time, she has a right to get upset as well. I mean that’s all blogs are. A series of opinions and life stories.

    Anyway, this is just what I’ve been thinking.

    Glad to see your blog fixed. I saw the 403 and though “waaah she’s banned my IP because I’ve been a bad blog friend”. lol

    Blogger’s been funny lately.

  4. Uh, Crystal, you bit. Not worth your time, yet you’re here defending yourself in an entry about judgement. Did you actually read it or just want to get your two cents in?

    I didn’t interpret/make-up your behavior. You wrote it out for the world to see. It was offensive enough to me that I commented.

    I have read your blog before and no, I never commented because there was nothing to say.

    Rose coat your life, are you kidding me? You’re always talking about poor children and being so socially informed and helpful, but your words don’t mesh with your actions.

    I am actually an authority on pet care and if you read your comments, I was not the only one who found your behavior offensive. I was the only one who didn’t rose coat their response. You really could not misinterpret my meaning. And yet you did.

    It became about the rich and starving children and anything to justify a simple act of neglect and irresponsibility. It is what it is, Crystal. Own up to it and move on.

  5. I do believe “who am I to judge.” But on the other hand I think of what Stanford said on Sex and the City, “We all judge. It’s what we do.” Sometimes judgement is a kind of reality check. “Wow, maybe that wasn’t a great idea after all.” Sometimes judgement can be cruel. If you don’t want something to judge you for what you did / said, don’t write about it. If you are going to judge, tact is a good thing, unless you are good friends with a person who you think can take it.

  6. I can see what was so provacative about her post to bring about such a reaction from you. I’m a bit floored that she’s surprised by the hooplah.

    I recently did a little navelgazing about the whole issue and in the end it is simply this: you put yourself out there and so invite response from those who decide to read. Their response cannot be controlled and that too must be accepted.

    We can all control only our level of participation in this forum, and that includes responding to criticism or being drawn into debates.

  7. I have not commented on her site–and I won’t–but I saw her post and I’m horribly offended by it.

    And she’s going to fit right in here in the DC area. There are lots of people just like her hereabouts,unfortunately…

    I am firmly (and on the record in my blog) horrified by the “my pets are my children” crew. I have human kids and I have cats and the two are not the same, not by a long shot.

    But having a pet IS like having child in that they are your responsibility and rely on you for everything. I had a cat with a serious illness we had to deal with when I had a young child in the house, another on the way and very limited finances. Somehow, we managed to make sure our cat had the care she needed because it wasn’t a yes or no choice. It was part of what we’d taken on when we adopted her!!!

    Having a dog whose butt is caked with BLOOD and NOT immediately calling the vet,(and sitting there watching your pet in pain and BLOGGING) is animal cruelty. And dressing it up with “how can I take my pet to the vet while children are suffering” just doesn’t work.

    If Crystal is so torn up by the idea of children in foreign lands dying of illnesses she should forego medical care herself and send the money to Doctors Without Borders or some such. (Which I’m sure she won’t)

    But it’s not an excuse for sitting and watching a helpless animal suffer. It just sounds to me like she’s too cheap to spend money on her pets. And if that’s the case, she shouldn’t be a pet owner at all.

    While I’m on this, she had to go LOOKING for an animal hospital? Does that mean she has NEVER taken her dogs to the vet?

  8. I really appreciate all the responses to this entry, both via commenter and e-mail. Every one has a slightly different twist to a general concensus.

    Claire has a point with the tact angle, Megan with how far to get involved, Belinda with the validity of response. And well, Dixie and LL I obviously agree with.

    The last thing I’m going to say is that, again, I believe actions dictate character.

    I speak up when i feel there is a need. I will not sugar coat my opinions to help it go down easier.

    Stand up for what you believe in. Library Lady does almost daily.

    And trust me, this attitude has gotten my ass in more trouble than I’d care to think about, but I just can’t keep my trap shut.

  9. woooo, looks like I missed a couple of days of your blog!
    I totally agree with you, anything that I write, I expect people to judge me, one way or another, I’m not afraid of constructive critisizm..sometimes you go about living your life the way you do, and then someone points something out and wow, you never realized that before, maybe I should take a look at myself, or you say, well thats what you think, I like it this way, so pppff…either way, if you are blogging, you are asking for opinions!
    not sure that this is making much sense, as I’m exhausted tonight, but well I wanted to put my 2 little cents in!!! 🙂

  10. I was maybe feeling too diplomatic and should have maybe just summed it up to a simple: she told the story and should expect and be ready to deal with reactions. You didn’t just verbally sucker punch her, you backed up your opinions with reasons.

    And personally I think pet ownership carries the obligation to go to some lengths to keep a pet healthy and happy. But at the very bare minimum, scraping the proverbial barrel, is the obligation to spare a pet discomfort, misery, pain and suffering.

    Some people can’t afford all treatments, but everyone can afford to put a pet out of its misery. There is no excuse for doing nothing just because you can’t make a decision.

    Having a pet obligates you to do more than just watch.

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