Friday, May 16, 2008

On Kumbaya-ness

In her post today, Mel wrote about some negative feelings that have been swirling around the IF blogosphere lately. I wasn't sure how to express my thoughts succinctly enough for a comment, so I thought that I would write a post on the subject.

There are two competing arguments here: one is that if you don't have something nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all. The other, as Alice Roosevelt Longworth so eloquently put it, is that if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, come sit by me. Yes, misery does love company, and jealousy much more so.

Each blogger posts for her own reasons, but I would venture that one of them is to give voice to her feelings. Only on your blog are you truly able to vent your rage and frustrations with the world.

Those lucky enough to be pregnant after IF or to parent after IF try often to remind those of us not in that category that they remember and understand the pain of infertility. They write that an individual's pain is incomparable -- it cannot be compared across lives.

I agree that the pain of infertility cannot be compared from one person to another. It is all different and there really can be no hierarchy of pain. But this recognition and understanding does not end my pain. It is important to understand that too.

Those lucky ones should not have to stifle their joy in their children simply to be sensitive to the unlucky ones. Conversely, those of us here on the still trying side shouldn't have to bite back our tears or doubts or questions in order to refrain from hurting those of us who have moved to the other side. Understand please that I am not advocating ad hominem attacks. Instead, I would have us assume that negativity can and does have a healthy, cleansing place in our world and that we should not rail against it.

10 comments:

Marie said...

I completely agree. You should be able to use your little blog corner for whatever happy or sad.

The Town Criers said...

I wholeheartedly agree with conversation--with giving a point-of-view or even speaking generally about a whole group of people. I think that is very different from writing directly about a single person.

The post that I quoted was talking about the posts that speak about specific people. There is a big difference in my book between writing "IFers with kids annoy me" and "Melissa annoys me." One speaks to the situation, the other speaks to the person.

Truthfully, the only danger in some of the generalized "I hate it when..." posts is that sometimes people get what they ask for. I read once in the comment section of a blog that a certain blogger didn't like it when those who had children commented on her blog. I made a mental note of this and haven't commented on her blog again. I then received an email where she asked me if I had stopped reading--she was confused why I had stopped commenting. I told her what I had read and she responded, "oh, but I wasn't talking about you. I like it when you comment." But I belong to that "with children" group. So...it's a mixed message. And that's sort of the problem with blanket statements.

Jen said...

This is a really interesting discussion. I agree with using your own blog for yourself, but I don't agree on being purposfully mean or rude to another person. Complaining is one thing, but there is another level above that.

Trace said...

Hmm, I vent on the blog ALL the time. Sure my friends are sympathetic, but they just don't get it. But would I ever criticize or make a veiled negative reference about another blogger on my blog? No way.

Leah said...

Well put. I agree completely that one's blog is truly their own domain to write what they wish -- if you don't like it, don't read. But it (nor any other part of commenting on other's blogs or the like) should be used to attack or abuse anyone else. It's just not necessary.

By the way, I love *any* blog that correctly uses "ad hominem." :-)

MrsDrink said...

I completely agree, yet I find it so incredibly difficult to voice my opinion like that (on my own blog) in fear that I will offend one of my friends that have crossed over that very fine line. While I don't want to offend them, I ~do~ want to voice my feelings...yet, it's not very often I do.

Sunny said...

Such a great post! You hit the nail on the head!

Antigone said...

As opposed to ad homonym.

hoping for a child said...

i guess i haven't given this much thought. i haven't read anything negative about anyone, but i know i'd be turned off if i did. perhaps i've been a bit naive about blogging since i found out i am pregnant. i guess i just don't see how my situation has changed all that much...i mean i'm pregnant but anything could happen and i'm just holding out hope that all goes well. but until i see my babies alive and healthy in 8 plus months, i'll continue to feel the same way i did when i started my blog. i feel i still belong in this community.

trish said...

I mostly agree. I haven't tried to have kids yet, so I can only talk about this on an intellectual level (as opposed to a been there felt that level), but I love using my blog to vent. On the other hand, I also try to not let it become a wallowing blog where I wallow in my misery. The only time I allow myself to complain, bitch or moan about something is if I can do it with some humor. That seems to dispel most ill-will that might leak through the post. Anyone who gets mad at humor is just lame.

Anyway, like I said, I can only talk about this abstractly (?) because I haven't yet ventured on the making babies train. Hopefully within the next year, though!