Writing is something I just enjoy. This blog is the latest step in my writing journey. When you write a blog you get the good with the bad in as far as the Internet goes. It really depends on what your topic is.
Today I got this comment from one of my regular, somewhat-but-not-really-anonymous cranks. They said (in part):
It’s tough being you, isn’t it? Always something to complain about. Well you have your soapbox. I’m sure it is good therapy for you and your readers….It’s not as though you are providing meaningful social commentary….
But not really because this is my blog, which makes it my little slice of soapbox, doesn’t it? (The answer is of course “yes” )
It got me thinking about how people were reacting to Angelina Jolie Pitt’s editorial in the New York Times today.
In part, she said:
LOS ANGELES — TWO years ago I wrote about my choice to have a preventive double mastectomy. A simple blood test had revealed that I carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene. It gave me an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. I lost my mother, grandmother and aunt to cancer.
I wanted other women at risk to know about the options. I promised to follow up with any information that could be useful, including about my next preventive surgery, the removal of my ovaries and fallopian tubes.
I had been planning this for some time. It is a less complex surgery than the mastectomy, but its effects are more severe. It puts a woman into forced menopause.
Women, especially breast cancer survivors like myself are applauding her. But then there are the cranks. So maybe it’s a woman who writes kind of a thing? Is it like that tired old adage that when a man tells it like it is, it’s fine, but when a woman asserts herself, she’s a bitch?
I usually would put something about the topic of breast cancer on my breast cancer blog but Mrs. Jolie Pitt’s op-ed isn’t just about that topic. When she writes, she writes from her personal experience or what she knows. I get it. I respect it. But a lot of people don’t.
Jolie’s advocacy is especially powerful, though, because the issues she’s discussing—and the issues she is, more importantly, encouraging a discussion about—are intimately connected to cultural assumptions about youth and desirability. Jolie is oversharing, in a way, but it’s a productive form of oversharing—far removed from the vapidities of the Kardashian Selfie or the self-indulgences of Celebrity Instagram. Jolie, in talking about her surgery, is also emphasizing the inextricable connection between inner health and outer beauty. “I feel feminine,” Jolie writes in today’s essay. That declaration is preceded, tellingly, by this one: “I will look for natural ways to strengthen my immune system.”
So there and she is using her writing skills for good. But she still gets a lot of criticism.
Mind you, I am not on par with or comparing myself to some glamorous actress-activist, I am just me writing about whatever strikes my fancy. Sometimes it’s a recipe, a photograph, politics, locally newsworthy, my garden, or a topic that just interests me.
But if someone disagrees with what I write? Most of the time, it is just another perspective and I am actually cool with that, but other times it is like my pal from today with the recurring IP address from Wayne who feels they have a life obligation to shred what I write about on occasion and me along with it for bonus points. I delete the comments as that is all the air space most of them deserve but every once in a while I wonder about why it is I am supposed to be seen and not heard? Why do they read what I write if it is so offensive to them?
I read lots of other people’s blogs and articles. If I don’t like what some of them are writing, I don’t feel particularly compelled to shred their efforts, I just move onto something else. They have their opinions, I have mine. It’s their little slice of soapbox and I think the world is big enough for all of us.
Thanks for stopping by this evening!