A few days ago I received an email from a faithful reader of this blog. She was writing to tell me that another disability blogger had written a post attacking me and making fun of something I said. Now, let me state clearly, I have no problem with people disagreeing with me, calling me on something I've said, or asking me to re-think an opinion. As a result I have discovered how often I'm wrongheaded in some way or that I have used words too carelessly. Without struggle I can think of 6 posts that I've changed due to reader feedback. The posts are better because of it AND I've learned through the experience. On the other hand, I have discovered there are times when a challenge has caused to think about what I've written, I realise that I do really, deeply, believe what I have said and that the challenge has allowed me to deepen my thinking.
While there were many times in my youth that I took criticism too personally and as a result felt under attack, I am no longer, nor have I been for a fairly long time now, that person. I have grown to like debate and to like perhaps the most important of diversities - the diversity of opinion. I'm good with all that. So, when I heard that there was a blogger out there disagreeing with me, I was OK with that.
What I wasn't OK with was the kind of 'behind your back' attack that it was. As I read it, I realised that the goal of the post was to mock me not challenge me, to call me 'stupid' without chance of rebuttal. I also realised that the quote taken from my writing was accurate but the way that it was was discussed was not. I wasn't sure what to do. I didn't comment as I didn't want to engage with someone who had decided not to engage me. Perhaps I should have but I kind of felt that I'd be playing into some kind of odd game.
Also, I am not going to link to that post because I don't want to reinforce that behaviour with too much attention.
I am writing this to ask all of you who read this blog - if you are going to disagree with me, in print or on the web, let me know. You certainly don't need my permission - have at me, disagree all you want, but have the courage to tell me or engage me in some way.
I've never, and don't ask now, asked people to alert me when they link to a post or write something positive - I find out anyways through the links feature of 'Sitemeter.' So don't worry about that.
Disagree with me! I love having sparked cause for discussion and debate. But don't attack me behind my back, I'm so not good with that.
Sorry to take up a whole post with this, but it's something I wanted to say.