Posts Tagged ‘criticism

22
Feb
09

I’m full of shit

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about this blog is the reaction it has generated. The e-mails and comments sent to me have been almost entirely supportive, which I very much appreciate. However, last week this suddenly landed in my inbox.

i just read your blog and you are full of shit.if i was that girl i would walk passed you in the street.they all did that for a good cause grow up…………………

I found this anger confusing, not least because it was left as a comment to my “this is me” page. At first I hoped it might have been left my mistake, as it seem like otherwise the writer had somehow taken offence to me personally, which was just bizarre. However, I soon realised that what had upset this person was my post on a naked calendar featuring people I know that I had just discovered. I had to delete the comment, as it would have been ridiculous to leave it where it was left. All the same, I’d like to highlight it and offer a defence.

It’s not that I’m so thin-skinned that I can’t accept that someone doesn’t like me for what I write. I’ve had plenty of articles published that pissed people off, and I would never dream of giving a shit. I’m also not bothered by the childish use of foul language. Let’s face it, with post titles like “Dermot O’Leary can go fuck himself”, it’s not something I’m in a position to moan about. What is bothering me is how people can misinterpret a comment and perceive offence where none exists. Ok, the language I used in this particular post might be described as flippant, you might even say sarcastic. Yet I do not accept that it was negative or unfairly critical. I believe I expressed encouragement for the enterprise and the cause it is aimed to support.

I have to admit I’m nervous about meeting again the individuals referred to in the post. I imagine they’ll be a bit pissed. I probably should be more careful about what I write here, especially now that thanks to the Indo people close to me know I write this blog. Even with this aside, there’s a duty of care. We bloggers enjoy a freedom to write what we like without interference from an editorial process. This, however, should not permit us to unfairly cause hurt or offence with impunity. In general, this isn’t a major issue as most Irish bloggers seem to be mindful of this. But we should also be mindful of unintended offence with off-the-cuff remarks about individuals.

This being said, if you publish pictures of yourselves in the nude and distribute them freely, it’s a bit of an ask to assume everyone will dismiss it as a big laugh. I would have thought such a calendar was designed to generate a discussion, and this is what my post sought to reflect.