Monday, May 6, 2013

Political Correctness in the Birth Community

I enjoy expressing my opinion and writing this blog. The whole premise of Banned From Baby Showers is the freedom to say all the things you feel you can't elsewhere.  Maybe it's at a baby shower, a playgroup, a church meeting, or lunch with girlfriends.  It's that moment where you decide to keep your opinion (even if it's based on fact) to yourself in order to keep your friends.  Here, you don't have to do that.  Speak freely.

I honestly enjoy hearing what other people think, even when they disagree with me.  No, really.  I'm OK with it.  I've always said, as long as it's kept respectful, free of foul language and hate, speak your mind.  Of course, it's more fun when people agree with me, but it's unrealistic.  It would be boring if we all had the same opinion on everything.

My husband and I are of differently political parties.  We don't really discuss politics at home though.  When we do, our kids hear both sides, so I guess that's good.  I've had so many people tell me that it would make them crazy if their spouse were of a different political party, but I love him much more than I do politics or any opinion either of us might hold.  This week I did tell him that I was slightly disturbed that the push for the "morning after" pill doesn't bother him.  But it was one of those moments when I thought, I'm not going to change his mind by arguing with him and telling him that he's wrong.  He's not wrong for having an opinion that is different than mine.  It was respectful and the discussion was over as quickly as it started.

With that little bit of history, I had an experience this week that I found indicative of the direction society -- including the birth community --  is heading and it really bugged me.  On my BFBS Facebook page, I expressed what I thought of a picture that was floating around in my newsfeed.  It had nothing to do with the photographer, but that's how things got all twisted around.  I should mention that I never look at who takes a picture because I honestly don't care.  If I were a photographer, I might care, but I'm not.  I don't even really know what makes one picture artistically better than another.  I am clueless.  When one photographer critiques another, I don't get it.  They all look the same to me.  Full disclosure about just how clueless I really am.  But I sometimes think that pictures are interesting, sad, angry, or intensely happy.  In this case, I thought it was weird.  I jumped over to my BFBS Facebook page and said so.  I was kind of laughing and kind of shivering all at once!  Then I moved on with my day, shuttling kids around to their various activities.

I started getting texts telling me I started a riot.  Don't try to go read it - I deleted it.  It brought all the crazies out.  Here's where my problem is.  I was told my opinion was WRONG and that I was being mean.  Before that, there were a handful of comments that disagreed with me, which I was fine with. I am not going to have my words twisted around by someone who wants to take me down.  Nothing I said had come from a mean place.  That is not who I am.

This is what I see that is happening in the natural birth community:  It's offensive to say "you can have an amazing birth" because you might offend the people who struggle with infertility.  It's offensive to say "husband" because so many people aren't married or you might alienate the gay community.  To tell people that you loved your birth is a slap in the face to those that required a c-section.  The list goes on and on.  No one can share their experience because they might offend someone else.  Give me a break.

We've got one blogger who has taken it upon herself to police the other bloggers and make sure they are all politically correct and not making anyone else "feel bad".  She is telling people their opinion is WRONG.  The birth community has been brainwashed to think we have to stroke everyone's ego so their feelings aren't hurt.  Are we that fragile as women? Are we so self-centered to think everything is about us?  Honestly, no one can express an opinion EVER because you might hurt someone's feelings and said blogger will come after you.  Said blogger has bullied me and others - telling us who to "like" and not "like" on Facebook, what's "appropriate" to say and not say, and actively trying to turn others against us.  I hate bullies.  I wrote a post last year with said blogger in mind.  It's called Bullying on the Playground of Life.  For the record, I have never posted to someone else's page and told them they are wrong for having their opinions or supporting things that I do not.  It's not my place.  Banned From Baby Showers is my page.  I will not be treated this way on my own page.

Before you express your OPINION, please stop and think "Am I telling this person her opinion is wrong?  Am I respecting her right to her opinion, even if it's not politically correct or my opinion?"

The joke is that I should just write "vanilla" -- plain-Jane, non-offensive posts -- so that my words are not twisted.  Quite honestly, I'm not sure I know which those are.  I didn't think my comments this week were particularly offensive, just my simple observation and opinion.  It was in true Banned From Baby Showers form.

I am not a mean person.  I generally like people.  I would never post something malicious to pick a fight.  I just have an opinion.   I think I'm amusing.  I like a good discussion, but not so much a fight. Like you, I am very busy.  I don't have time for a pointless fight and neither do you! Facebook is the biggest time-suck on the planet. We all have children who want us to get off Facebook.  Go have a good day, and remember, everyone is entitled to an opinion, even if you don't agree.  Just because you disagree, it doesn't mean they are wrong.

I would like to keep writing this blog, but if this trend of walking on eggshells continues, writing is not fun.  I'd rather not write than have to worry who might get offended at my words that are not written with hatred.  Like I said this week, I really hate "vanilla".  Forgive me if I keep writing with a little spice.  If you hate me or what I write, you are invited to either politely disagree or step away.

12 comments:

Kami Lou with Mama Roo said...

Please keep writing with spice! Everyone IS entitled to their own opinion. Keep it clean, but disagree. Disagreeing with someone can make a person realize why they believe something so strongly. I want to be challenged and challenge others. We can't be afraid to state our opinions in a respectful, clear manner. You just keep writing! I have been following you and a handful of other bloggers since I was pregnant 2 years ago. I have been challenged so many times sometimes changing my mind, and others standing firmly in my beliefs.

Sara said...

I totally agree. At our local birth circle a lesbian couple brought up that they thought having a "dad's birth circle" was excluding them. Seriously?! I hate all of the tiptoeing around. I speak what i feel to be the truth, and try to not look down on what others feel to be the truth.

Danialle B. said...

No one should have to filter their words to avoid offending someone or some group of people. It's silly! And it IS selfish to force others to filter themselves. Anyone who is offended needs to stop & deal with the issue of why THEY are so -insecure- to be offended by another person's opinion in the first place.

Keep writing what you write! Someone has to keep it real ;)

Mama Birth said...

Amen. Now prepare for the barrage of hate from those who think they are "judgement free". They suck.

Donna Ryan said...

Already did, Mama Birth! I was bullied some more, being told to "grow up".

Emily Rainer said...

Love your blog! Keep writing the way you do and let everyone who doesn't like it, leave or get over it!!! I hate our culture in the US that you can't do ANYTHING without offending someone. You know, whenever, I have gotten my feelings hurt in the past, it has made me stronger. I didn't expect others to change what they were doing. I analyzed why it hurt my feelings and if they weren't being malicious then I tried to fix whatever my issue was that made me upset. If they WERE being malicious, I AVOIDED them. I didn't ask them to change. Because I know what our whole country has forgotten, I CANNOT control other people's actions or words. I can only control my actions, reactions, and words. That is hard enough, why would I also make it my mission to police others? Casting stones, living in a glass house and all that.

Mary McGiffin said...

Don't stop writing! I love your blog. I love that you tell it like it is. My baby is 7 weeks old and in the last trimester of pregnancy I came to your blog and read all of your old posts. Love all the good info! Don't let a bully win.

Kennethos said...

Seriously!? Can I give you a hug!? I am so tired of the politically correct BS. Please speak your mind and don't be ashamed of it. Although I do feel that sometimes other people's opinions can be "wrong" I use that term very carefully because trying to "call them on it" or correct them IS pointless. As long as we can all agree to disagree there should never be an issue. I just found this blog, and I think I might just start coming back regularly. Thank you for your honesty. Enjoy your free speach and don't let others silence you. If you stop speaking freely just because some people can't handle it, you've let the bullies win. Let's band together and silence those bullies!

T said...

I have been saying for the last few years that we are living in our own little version of Fahrenheit 451. We are eliminating words from our vocabulary, literature, and straight out history because they have become offensive. We are always worried about offending somebody else. Life is offensive, get over it. Pull your big girl panties up and move on to more pressing issues.

Regina said...

I have no clue what your ordeal was over but I will say that political correctness is in large part what is wrong with our country! SO ANNOYING!!!!

beccalouise said...

amen lady! i like the brief mention that Dallin H oaks gave to political correctness this past conference. I won't quote it here but it's easy to look up. keep with the spice.

pkks said...

I love your blog. I am so sick of the PC stuff in this world. Tell it like it is. I have got to the point that I am not allowed to share the fact that I breast fed my kids and enjoyed it!! If I say I think breast feeding is the best way to go, some people take offence to that. How crazy is that!!! If you had to bottle feed I really don't care, that's your choice but don't get on the defence when I promote breasfeeding. Keep up the blog!!!