Well, that was certainly interesting. It’s like I invited a whole bunch of people over for dinner and they took a huge shit in the middle of my living room floor. Thank God Coco was here to clean all that up.
I think maybe I should take this opportunity to clear a few things up, especially since a post on my website that was not even really about abortion caused several readers in my comments to chant MURDER! and several readers to send me email calling me a murderer. Last week I posted links to two women who both lived through devastating, near-death experiences during pregnancy because I found their point of view riveting and deserving of a large audience. Interestingly, these women (and many others who have lived through similar circumstances) felt that they and the hell that they lived through were summarily dismissed by the derisive hand gesture of a man who is running for president. My post was much more about this man’s apparent attitude toward women, one that seems to be backed up by his voting record on equal pay and the improved availability of contraceptives to women. (see here and here)
You are more than welcome to disagree with that (I even let you express that disagreement ON MY WEBSITE), and I did not nor will I ever accuse you of lacking intellect for doing so. I merely suggested that you might want to read an account of their experiences to gain perspective as to why they (and I) might feel that his policies would disenfranchise us as women. And I used the word “reconsider,” which I guess was translated into several languages as YOU WILL BE CASTRATED IF YOU DISAGREE. That’s unfortunate because I used it to mean, “Hey, here’s something to think about.”
I know I’m not going to change your mind, but at least I can point you in the direction of some really powerful reading.
And if you take a look at the comments left on that post, the overwhelming majority of which were left by people who did not take the time to read the links, you’ll see that I did not delete a single one. The conversation was left open to both sides, so you can hardly accuse me of “shoving my liberal agenda down your throat.” Although by the tenor of some of the angrier comments you would have thought that my post was an endorsement of eating your own children.
No where on this website did I say that you must be dumb to believe in God or intend to vote for John McCain, and if you’ll look closely the only person I accused of being dumb was myself:
I cannot believe that I actually wrote such bullshit, and this should prove that whenever I make fun of Mormons, I’m just making fun of the Mormon that I was, the ignorant, intolerant, pig-headed adolescent who needed a big one up her pooper.
I am attacking myself, not you, not your religion, and certainly not your God. I’m not even attacking Mormons. I know who that specific adolescent was, and I know the insufferable opinions she had toward other human beings. She is the one I consider an idiot. She is the one worthy of my disdain. She specifically, and no one else. If anyone should threaten to remove this website from their bookmarks IT SHOULD BE ME!
When I sat down to write those posts I knew that certain readers (and maybe even certain advertisers) would subconsciously or even deliberately misinterpret my words and perhaps make good on a threat to leave this website forever. And I knew when I had that thought that I could not be silent — such self-censorship would not be faithful to the spirit of this website (one whose Sweaty Goat Balls scared away the likes of Nickelodeon). Some of the readers who have left farewell notes in the comments and in my inbox are waving it in my face that they are taking their pageviews with them. And I guess the business woman in me is supposed to fold under that kind of pressure, but there is no way I’d have any respect for myself as a woman and a human if I valued my pageviews over the fact that I think fellow American citizens are being relegated to the back of the bus. Years from now when my daughter reads through the pages of this website she will know that I didn’t just sit here on my hands when I had the opportunity to speak out against what I consider to be injustice. In fact, I feel compelled to set this example for her, to show her just how lucky she was to be born in a place where her mother cannot be imprisoned or silenced because of her passion.
From author John Scalzi:
The reader who believes a fiction author should keep his or her opinions to themselves is effectively (if generally unintentionally) saying “You exist only to amuse me. You are not allowed to do anything else.” To which the only rational response is: blow me. I’m not going to hesitate to add my voice to the national dialogue on any subject just because someone somewhere might not be happy with what I have to say. And more to the point, I think it is bad and dangerous thinking for people to suggest that fiction writers should have to live in a black box of opinion. The idea that writing fiction somehow obliges or even just encourages a vow of silence on any subject, politics or otherwise, that might offend someone somewhere, is flatly odious.
Will this be the last post about politics? Probably not, and that is fair warning to the segment of my readership who doesn’t want to read about how much we disagree. This website has always been about my life, and right now these are the topics we’re discussing over dinner, these are the things keeping me awake at night. And you can call me a liberal elitist, a baby killer, or even (*gasp*) a European socialist, but you will never walk away from this website wondering what the hell I stand for. And other than maybe the monthly newsletters I have written for my daughter, I’m not so sure there is anything more important I have done as a parent.