Luckily, I don't have that many readers anyway
Because I'm about to take what will probably be a very unpopular stance.
I guess there's some controversy that's got the blogosphere up in arms. There's this woman who has one of those sites where she says mean hateful things about other people in a desperate and rather unsuccessful attempt to be funny. Is it a slambook? I don't know. One of the posts about this issue used that word a few times but I'm unfamiliar with what those are exactly. Anyway, I'm not going to link to this woman's site because I don't want to add to the controversy by: 1) sending people to her site and thus increasing her stats; or 2) possibly linking my own site to the fray.
But I will tell you what it's all about.
Recently, this woman has taken to making digs at popular bloggers by taking photos of their children (that they have innocently posted to their own sites, as so many of us do) and photoshopping them into what she is calling "parodies." The one that seems to have gotten everyone all distraught this week is in reference to a post that Sweetney wrote about how upsetting it was to take her 4-y-o daughter to preschool and watch the other children react overwhelmingly to the popular girl enter the room while seemingly ignoring her own child.
You can read the original post here.
So then this mean woman photoshopped a picture of Sweetney's daughter and - it's so stupid and not funny that I can't really figure it out - either made fun of the girl's hair, or insinuated that she was developmentally disabled.
I'll save you the trouble of searching for it yourself:
The post read: "Hey Sweetney, want to know why your daughter isn't the most popular girl in class? I think I might have some idea:
Well obviously this hurt Sweetney's feelings and she responded with this short but angry post. And then Amalah - who I adore and read regularly - backed her up with this ranting and irate post. And I've been thinking about it ever since.
So now that you've got all the background, let me get on with my heartless and unfeeling opinion on the matter.
I've been a mother a lot longer than either of these girls, so I probably understand some things that they haven't quite internalized yet. One of these things, which has nothing to do with the internet but can surely be applied to this situation, is that NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO LOVE YOUR CHILD AS MUCH AS YOU DO. Part of what we have to teach our children is how to thicken their skin to these people who may do or say mean things about them, and as we do this, we thicken our own skin against such attacks on those who we love more than life itself.
I'm not defending this woman or her site. I think it's mean, hateful, cruel and wrong. I do not think that she has a "right" to do this. I just think you're living in your own personal Wonderland if you don't expect things like this to happen.
Did Sweetney ask for this? Does it serve her right? Certainly not. But did she make it possible? Yes, in fact she did. Her web site did not get popular all on its own. She put her life out there and she posted photos of her child and she talked openly about the girl's social issues. She has to know that there are bullies out there who are going to take advantage of that. It's not right, but it's reality.
Just like it's not "right" that we make fun of celebrity babies, it is the society in which we live. If you jump up and down on Oprah's couch, people are going to say that your baby looks like she's wearing a toupee.
Like it or not, you've put yourself out there. I love Dooce - read her, forward her, quote her - but I don't buy her "I'm just doing this to have a record for my child when she's older" argument. Go read her site. She's not just documenting her daughter's childhood, she's obviously writing to entertain us. She does national media interviews promoting her site. It's a new media world and she is a celebrity in it.
So go ahead, really let me have it now.* Look, I understand where Sweetney & Amalah are coming from. I remember when My Kid was a toddler, and it used to kill me to think of anyone even thinking unkind thoughts about my baby. I get it. But you're going to have to teach your children to deal with bullies better than the example you've set this week.
* bonus points if you can name the movie quote!