Okay, I wasn't going to but I think I'm going to weigh in on something.
I have mentioned Margalit's blog before. I found her blog through my buddy Ellen's blog. I like the fact that Margalit expresses herself and gets me thinking about things. I may not always agree with what she has to say but I think it's nice to get other perspectives. This weekend, there was a firestorm of controversy among the "mommy bloggers." Most of it aimed at Margalit. This really bothered me. The inital post was on this blog. It started out as a post about child-rearing but turned into a conversation about welfare and the working poor. Margalit tried to make her opinion heard but was either misunderstood or simply vilified for her comments on other blogs/posts. I'm not going to state any positions on this feud one way or another. It is an extremely complicated issue and since I have never faced poverty or hunger (nor do I have children), I don't feel it is my place to start spouting off. However, I have never liked "gang mentality." And whether or not these bloggers were justified in being angry at Margalit and her comments, it made me really angry how they ganged up on her and refused to acknowledge anything that she had to say.
I have the unenviable position of being a Christian, a Texan, a liberal, a (childless) woman, a cultural relativist and a secular humanist. I often feel like I offend everyone and identify with no one at the same time. But I do know this. I'm never going to apologize for who I am. I'm not going to change for anyone. I will follow Voltaire's example and defend to the death someone's right to say what they want. I will not allow people to gang up on an individual or bully them. I will try my best not to be a part of an exclusionary group (and don't start throwing Christianity in my face with this one)! I will always keep myself open to listen to what others have to say. If we are ever to change someone's mind, it cannot be through intimidation or anger. I would hate to think that in a country that values free speech as much as we do, people would be intimidated and threatened into not blogging.
The blogging world is a fascinating place. I didn't create my blog to make a statement or to make money or to get attention. I just wanted to share my life with my friends and family who live far away. But I have made some surprising internet friends in the process and I've been exposed to lots of great ideas. My hope is that we will use the internet to make connections with our fellow human beings. To appreciate what is relevant to us and to let go of the rest.
So, leave Margalit alone, people. If you don't like it, don't read it. And if you want to say something, make it nice and respectful. That goes for all of us. Myself and Margalit included. After all, it's something most of us learned on the playground.
"If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."