Saturday, September 29, 2007

Why I Love Anonymous Commenters

Recently I wrote about the Duggars and about how people who don't have children believe they know what it's like to raise children. And someone left me this comment:

After reading this article all I could think about is how most people with children aren't qualified to have children. yet this author wants to make it seem that having children is somehow a promotion to a state of "understanding" versus those who have no children and are "ignorant". There are many people without children who would make better parents than many people with children. sometimes the simple fact of not having a child shows a restraint and measure of control that most people would benefit from having. i whole heartedly disagree with the author's opinion of childless people versus people with children, and if I require research to prove it then I simply say "look at American children". A group that consists of mostly overweight, out of control, spoiled kids who's parents are saying "this isn't my fault, its his/her nature". Its unfair to judge those who don't have children as being ignorant when most people with children fall into that same category, possibly even yourself Ms. Schoff. I only pray that when you go home your child is sitting there reading a book and abstaining from soft drinks because you taught them to rather than sitting in front of a myspace screen, with a bag of chips and a coke, chatting with some unknown person because you have yet to take control.

First of all, did I EVER say ANYWHERE that people who don't have children are "ignorant" in general and across the board? No. I did not. I said, simply, and I stand by my statement, that if you have not raised children, you do NOT know what it's like to raise children. Pretty basic and pretty straigtforward. This commenter is obviously IGNORANT of my blog, however, or he/she would know that my kids are far too young to have a clue what MySpace is AND that I'm a health nut and therefore there is no Coke to be found in this house anywhere. Ever. If he/she knew that, he/she would probably be IGNORANT enough to assume that means I'm a "good" parent, since that appears to be the criteria by which he/she judges parents.

But alas, unfortunately, as all of you who are raising children know, being a good parent is not as simple as not liking to eat crappy food. If only it were.

If you'd like to read a story about bad parenting, however, I'm currently reading one of the most disturbing accounts of child abuse ever. It's called Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison. I'm reading it for my class this term, the topic of which is "Writing About Violence." What I have to do for the next ten weeks is read five horrible books, one of them an account of survival in Auschwitz, and write two first person essays about violence. By Tuesday I also have to write an account of a violent episode I've experienced.

Did I mention a few weeks ago BEFORE I started school that I'm totally overwhelmed with things to do? So multiply it by ten now. And how am I coping? By complaining on my blog and reprimanding ignorant commenters. That's productive, right?

When I first signed up for this class I thought to myself, I haven't suffered any kind of excessive abuse like I've read about, nor have I been a war orphan, etcetera -- what on earth will I write about for this class? But then when I started to think about it, I have a lot of violent stories to tell. So I have plenty of fodder it turns out -- if I could just find some self-discipline. Oh, and if I could get my kids hooked up with some internet predators to chat with online so they'd eat some chips and leave me alone a little bit, I suppose that might help too.


Melissa said...

Geez, you ignorant good parent you. I say you invest in the soda and call it a day.

(And now I have to fight the urge to qualify that with an "of course I'm kidding, kids and soda are a lethal combination" type comment, lest you think I'm the bad parent. Which I probably am. But still.)

SUEB0B said...

Staci - I love you, and commenters can be weird. I have had quite a few occasions where people seem to ignore what I have written and instead comment on some ongoing story they are making up in their own heads as they go along.

As a non-parent, I agree that we childless people generally have no clue. Sometimes I think what it would be like to have kids and then think "Dang - you have to put up with them ALL the time? I mean, like ALL the time? That is gnarly!"

At least with the dog, I can leave her alone for a few hours...

Kit said...

How stressful having to immerse yourself in violence and despair for such a long period in your 'spare' time too - that would tip me over the edge, I think, I can only cope with light and fluffy at the end of a day juggling children and work.

rivergirlie said...

you're very brave to do a course of this type. i run quite fast in the opposite direction if harrowing films, books, tv progs, news reports are around. i brace myself to do my amnesty letters, pay my direct debit to actionaid, and that's it. i'm afraid. so-called 'misery memoirs' are HUGE in the UK - and i wonder why it's so. they even have a section in my local chain bookshop called 'tragic lives'. i think the important bit, though, is the sub-title: 'triumph over adversity'.
the market still demands a happy ending.

Anjali said...

Oh, once again you have me LOL!

Not about the child abuse (I'm not a sicko). I mean about the commenter.

cce said...

When I had my own hater frequenting my blog and I made a few stabs at ridiculing him in the hopes that he would go away, I only encouraged his return and continued harassment. One of my blog readers sent me a great piece of advice...Do not feed the trolls.
Hope 'anonymous' gives up soon.

lauri said...

it wasn't me!

Girl said...

Holy blind judgment batman, wonder what it's like to know everything about everything so that you can dream up ways to be mean to people.

I haven't ever read your blog till today but somehow I am think you didn't deserve THAT comment.

radical mama said...

Gotta love people who stand behing their ideas... anonomously.

Survival in Auschwitz by Levi? I had to read that in college, too. It's completely depression but also so very good. Very different from other Holocaust memoirs.

Christina said...

Sounds like a difficult, yet interesting class. I don't know if I could handle the intensity of that topic.

As for your commenter, apparently that person didn't read your post very well, or had some other issue they needed to work out. Too bad they did it on your blog. Then again, it provided good fodder, right?

Daisy said...

Walking in another's shoes -- what a concept. The commenter just didn't get it.

Jennifer said...

WOW. First of all, good for you for posting the commenter's crap, for lack of better terminology. Reality is, if you do not have children you CANNOT know what it is like to raise them. I am a woman and therefore CANNOT know what it is like to be a man, nor can I know how it is to be African American, and immigrant and any other number of things that people feel qualified to critize in their infinite wisdom . I do not know if you are American or not, but I am infuriated and am actually shaking at that verbal assault. Maybe it is good that you husband held off on buying that gun!

Lisa said...

I enjoy your blog immensely.

AND I agree with your assessment on people in general. I was just stating that myself...if you haven't walked a mile in my shoes as a parent, don't tell me what I should or shouldn't do.

I would be crying with your class. I"m not handling abuse cases well...there's a case in Michigan about a father physically abusing and RAPING his 3 month old daughter. I almost threw up when I heard about it.