At the beginning of the year I was really hoping that this would be the time when we would start to support one another, but the Blogosphere has gotten ugly lately. You have got to have some really thick skin to be a part of this space. People are ripping each other apart, judging each other’s choices, criticizing their opinions.
We don’t all have to agree on everything; nor should we agree on everything. What a boring world it would be if we did. Yet what is going on lately amongst the women in this space in this feels like a giant leap backwards. If it continues, I fear that we are going to be our own demise.
Here’s the thing. We have a right to make the decisions we believe are best for ourselves and our family. You have that right. I have that right. The person with big computer muscles has that right too.
Here’s the other thing. We absolutely have a right to disagree with one another’s decisions. You have that right. I have that right. And yes, the person with the big computer muscles has that right too.
For example, it is my opinion that influence does not equal entitlement. You have every right to disagree. We do not all have to agree with one another or hold hands and sing Kumbaya.
Yet having a right to voice an opinion does not mean that any of us should voice our opinion about another’s decision in a way that belittles them. Nor does it mean that an opposing opinion matters. Whether you agree with me or not, I am still going to do what I believe is best for me and my family, and I imagine that you would say that same. There is also a vast difference between voicing a dissenting opinion and publicly ripping someone else apart. Do not forget that when you publicly criticize another person’s decisions you too you are very likely being judged as well.
If one person decides to work with a brand that you do not like, well that is just too bad. If one person decides to vaccinate her child (or not), it is none of your business. If one woman decides not to breastfeed, or to stop working, or to work 80 hour weeks, or to breastfeed until the child is five – well that is not your call either. Each one of us is making the decision that we feel is right for ourselves and our families.
Rather than continuing to jump down each other’s throats, how about if we just agree to disagree? Is that so hard? Bullying by criticism will not work. Perhaps we can instead respect one another’s right to make a decision that we feel is the right one for ourselves and our families. How about if we try to disagree respectfully for the case of good conversation rather than merely launching a personal attack? Or maybe we can use our other right of just walking away, removing ourselves from the conversation. Can’t we be bold without being bitter?
Big computer muscles mean nothing. Personal attacks will get you nowhere. It is conversation and respect that matters.