Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bemoaning drop-the-mic blogging

What is it about winter? These frigid gray on gray on gray days that turn all your thoughts inward. Cause memories to crawl out of the wrinkles of your brain (or is it that you're digging for them?). We're all inside so much we're dusting off the neglecting relics and wondering how we could've forgotten about them in the first place.

It's a writer's playground and a mother's nightmare.

Which is probably why when posts titled "I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry" show up on my Facebook feed I want to throw a hammer at my computer. Writer Amy Glass obviously doesn't have children and she doesn't have children in winter, because if she did she wouldn't write things like this: 
"I hear women talk about how 'hard' it is to raise kids and manage a household all the time. I never hear men talk about this. It’s because women secretly like to talk about how hard managing a household is so they don’t have to explain their lack of real accomplishments. Men don’t care to 'manage a household.' They aren’t conditioned to think stupid things like that are 'important.' "
I hesitated to give Smart any more credibility or page hits by writing about or linking to her post. Judging by the title and contents of the post, she was intending to incite outrage in the same way Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter do -- by unapologetically stating something they know will offend a large portion of the population, knowing that the outrage will get them more notoriety than attempting civil discourse. 

Doing laundry is not difficult. Neither are doing the dishes or scrubbing the kitchen floor. No mother has ever claimed these things are rocket science. Raising kids is difficult though. When she says that it's difficult to be exceptional while raising a family, she's right. Difficult but not impossible.  

And raising kids to be empathetic, kind and understanding of those who make different life choices than they do is also difficult. I'm imagine, like any parent, Amy Smart's parents did their best. And hopefully, when she's able to see past her own self-righteousness, she'll experience a new sort of enlightened thinking -- one where she doesn't apply blanket assumptions and can see there are merits to having children and managing a household, just as there are merits to backpacking across Asia and landing a dream job. 
"Women will be equal with men when we stop demanding that it be considered equally important to do housework and real work," Smart writes.
I believe women will improve our chances of equality if we start supporting and empowering each other for our choices rather than suggesting that those who choose to stay at home are less enlightened than those who don't. Doesn't enlightenment comes with making the choice to begin with?

Lately, it seems more and more people seem to be going with this Drop-the-Mic technique for rhetoric (this may or may not be an actual thing). Unable to break and/or keep up with Google's ever-changing keyword algorithms, writers who want their content to be noticed are taking the road less civil.

The Drop-the-Mic Technique goes as follows:

1. Blog title that will immediately offend a portion of a large audience thus ensuring its shareablity
2. Statement about how you're on the internet and you have an OPINION!
3. Re-iteration of controversial and/or offensive OPINION!
4. Open refusal to consider other viewpoints because they're not nearly as valid or logical as your OPINION!
4. Drop the Mic

Smart makes good points in her post. Her method will definitely get her page views. So maybe she's winning in the end. But I feel like it's just one more entry in the polarizing of our country. Making the assumption that nobody is willing to consider the gray area -- even when that's the part where we can learn the most about each other and ourselves.

Drop the mic.


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