I’m not posting any links today. The articles I’m talking about are easy to find, but be wary of triggers.
I finally cut all ties to Salon.com today. It’s a bummer. Back when they had Mothers Who Think I really enjoyed dropping by. I read essays by Anne Lamott and David Brin there. For years I’ve been getting the newsletter and every once in awhile something will pique my interest and I’ll go read. But lately, it’s been a real disappointment.
I’m pretty open minded but I feel sad reading articles about how sexy and fun voyeurism was with an couple the (young, female) author met online. There’s a salon blogger who shares that the people she met at the bdsm club are more polite than the folks who hang out at the bar. I’m sure that’s true, but wow. Sad. Of course people can and do make sexual mistakes, and actually that blogger is a good example of how someone can do something weird or kinky and absolutely not be an addict. She decided it wasn’t for her, and so she stopped. But still, something that was a part of a really creepy, seamy underground when I was young is now acceptable. And maybe that’s not a bad thing.
Maybe it’s a generational difference, like racism. My grandmother was scandalized when she saw an interracial couple. She felt it was unconscionable to bring children into the world who would be rejected on both sides. She embarrassed me. The language she used made me cringe. I couldn’t make it compute because I loved my grandma and knew she wasn’t a hateful person. People on that side of the family died in the Civil War, fighting slavery. But the words she’d grown up using (colored) had become slur. I understand that better now. Twenty years ago a woman in the playground flipped her lid and admonished me for not teaching my child to say African-American instead of Black while both our children looked on in confusion. Her child cried just as hard as mine did when she was pulled away. I was terribly hurt and still feel a little stab of fear when I have to choose my words. How do you tell someone that you’re not racist? We signal it by our language, but the rules get weird and not everyone agrees on them. My grandmother didn’t consider herself a racist, but I did, mostly because of her language but also because of her outdated, wrong ideas.
I don’t consider myself a prude, but I wonder if that young blogger would. I don’t want to squelch anyone’s pleasure or sexuality. I’m not a judgmental person. But maybe that young author would disagree. Maybe I have outdated, wrong ideas. I know I have outdated ears. The language teenagers use today is offensive and rude, but they obviously don’t agree. I couldn’t imagine calling a female friend a bitch.
These kinds of discussions are what I used to love about Salon.com but it’s been a long time since I’ve read the likes of David Brin and Anne Lamott there. Even so, it’s taken me a long time to give up hope. Today I realized that I need to just let go. Today I clicked on what I thought would be an article about liberals and conservatives having a dialog about abortion. It was a comic strip featuring the great white anti-abortion devil, Bill O’Reilly. For the record, I like Bill O’Reilly. The weird vibe he’s got going with a lot of the females he has on the show bothers me, but I’m admittedly hypersensitive to flirtations behavior. I resent being lumped (as an atheist) together with left wing radicals. It was the letters though that convinced me it’s time to let go of Salon.com. They were depressing, a bunch of juvenile delinquents throwing curses at each other. “Obviously you have a teeny tiny penis.” “Homosexuals have bigger penises.” Mob stupidity.
I guaran-damn-tee I’m not the only person in America who believes that a woman has the right to choose AND is pro-life. There is a point where the right of the child to live supersedes the right of the mother to choose whether or not to be pregnant. Figuring out where that point should be – that’s where I’d like to see the debate go. Poking scissors into a baby’s head and sucking out the brains so they can be pulled out is different than a D&C. And those are different from the morning after pill. I think we can all agree that prevention is best, but how should we go about that? We can tell that one of Saturn’s moons has water but we can’t figure out an effective way to control conception? How can such smart people be so dumb? I’m sure we can figure this out without calling names and comparing penis size.
Maybe I’m the one who’s changed. Maybe it’s always been this vitriolic and now that I’m older that kind of dialog has lost its charm. I don’t know. But it seems to have become a meaner place than it used to be. I don’t want to read vitriolic diatribes any more. It’s depressing, like the whole world is Lord of the Flies writ large.
Maybe it’s because all the mothers who think have left.